David Boulter St Ann's

Label
Clay Pipe Music
Released
7th June 2024

Format Info

CD
LP - Purple Vinyl

Since his Yarmouth LP in 2020, and the spoken word-based Lovers Walk the following year, Boulter has concentrated on his soundtrack work. He has produced scores for documentary maker Volkan Üce’s Displaced – and Tinnitus, a visually striking film by Brazilian director Gregorio Graziosi. He has also released a series of lathe-cuts featuring his soundtrack work, and the Factory Mini CD and Twelve Bells for Libuše flexi-disc single on Clay Pipe.

 

St Ann’s, is a tribute to the council estate, on the edge of Nottingham city centre that defined Boulter’s formative years:

 

“I was born in the old St Ann’s. Famously documented in the late 60s as some of the poorest social housing in England. Crumbling, cramped, and full of damp. We had a shared toilet in the backyard and no bathroom, some of the houses were without hot water, it was freezing cold in winter. Everything seemed black and white.”

 

By the late 1960s, St. Ann’s, like many other city centre areas, had become run down and was earmarked by the council for slum clearance. 340 acres were bulldozed and 30,000 people including David’s family were compulsorily uprooted. In 1970 the Victorian streets were replaced with a Radburn-style estate.

 

“We moved to the new St Ann’s when I was six. There were two indoor toilets! A bathroom with a shiny white ceramic bath that you could fill whenever you wanted. Central heating, and a small garden at the front and back of the house. We had our own shed, and a cherry blossom tree just over the fence. Everything came into colour.”

 

Subtle use of guitar, double bass, vibraphone, tenor recorder and field recordings conjure up the old streets of cobble and slate, damp brickwork and grey skies, juxtaposing the newer post-1960s world of pebble dash and green grass, fresh air and a brighter future.

 

“After we moved to the new house, I still went to the old Victorian school, until it was demolished about a year later. It was very strange to walk to school through all the old houses and streets while they were being torn apart.”

 

This is a record full of personal memories, but it also tells the tale of Britain’s inner cities and their renewal in the 60s and 70s.

 

“At the end of 2022, my Mum could no longer live alone in our house. I spent Christmas packing belongings and emptying it, what to keep, what not to keep? The emotions and memories were intense. There was still the same carpet on the stairs that my Dad had put down when we’d moved in.

I’d already started to make some music that I knew had something to do with Nottingham, and the streets I’d spent my childhood wandering. When I arrived back home in Prague, the feelings poured into the music.

I grew up in St Ann’s and lived around the area until I left for London when I was 25. This LP is a celebration of a community, streets that still hold a special place in my heart. I will always be from St Ann’s and St Ann’s will always be a part of me.“

Other Releases by David Boulter