By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Brad Harris.
Hard on the heels of last April’s Dead Setters album “Onward into the Fog” comes Mark Lucas' fourteenth release (if you don’t count the five digital Bandcamp only releases reflecting most of his ‘80’s and ‘90’s output).
“Magnetic West” is as much a celebration of time passages as anything, with songs reaching back to Mark’s childhood in England, migration to Australia in 1981 and then navigating the next forty odd years, not to mention the craziness of the pandemic (we all had a Covid moment or two).
That said, the real stars here are Mark’s “rainy day friends”- co-producer / mandolin player / harmony vocalist Glenn Skarratt has been sharing stages and studios with Mark since the mid ‘90’s and was a key member of The Parwills, The Badhats and early Dead Setters; similarly, fiddle / harmony vocalist John Lee has been a sonic coconspirator and Dead Setter across five albums and countless stages. James Gillard (bass) held down the bottom end twenty years ago on the “Ghost of Lost Creek Road” album, and James Church previously lent his magic to 2015 solo outing “Little Town Blues”. The result is a gentle mix of dry humour, romance and socio-politicalobservation planted in a folk strewn ‘grassy field.
The album is available in a limited cd run with an instrumental version also available through Bandcamp, and it’s worth noting that Mark still draws the line at Spotify.
English born, Sydney based singer-songwriter, Mark Lucas has played many roles in the past 30 odd years. Arriving in Australia in 1981 with a trunk full of belongings and an old Martin guitar, he has been variously a banana farm hand, insurance broker, Native American arts trader, worked in movies and bars, and even found time to establish one of Sydney’s favourite small venues, Petersham Bowling Club (the pbc); but always at heart he’s followed the muse wherever it leads, from late ‘70’s South London roots rock, to quirky ‘80’s pop/rock, and returning full circle to the narrative heart of the troubadour.
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