THIS MONTH, MARC ALMOND and composer John Harle release their collaborative LP The Tyburn Tree, named for the famous gallows that once stood near London’s Marble Arch, where numerous highwaymen, traitors, criminal aristos and even the long-dead Oliver Cromwell were hung for the enjoyment of morbid, gin-soaked picnickers. Concerned with the macabre, supernatural history of the loved and reviled city, and subtitled Dark London, the album’s song-cycle includes dramatisations of the Highgate Vampire, the Limehouse Golem and Spring Heeled Jack. There’s also this interpretation of the archaic and mysterious London song My Fair Lady. Commencing nursery-rhyme style, it soon veers into 60s orchestral pop before finding itself in a sinister, paranoid plague pit of shadows and danger – “We could build a bridge of flesh… though it leads us into death,” acts the operatic Almond over Harle’s mini-play audio-painting.
The album’s out next week, and Harle and Almond take The Tyburn Tree on tour in March, with dates at London’s Barbican Hall (March 2), Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall (3), the Cambridge Corn Exchange (4), the Brighton Dome (5) and Colston Hall, Bristol (6). See here for more info.