08th May 2018

Poetry and Fairytales from Manchester South

Where the Cheshire plain is proffered eastward towards bordering counties, the distance opens out from peripheral Greater Manchester and the ground rises into the hill country of North West Derbyshire’s High Peak. From upper vantage points on the moorland plateau, the vista returns and looks westward as it stretches out across flatter lands. It extends over distances which on a clear day, reveal the far off English border and mountainous regions near coastal cliffs and beaches of North Wales.

Upon the Dark Peak, just below Kinder downfall, is the mermaid pool which is said to be saline and connected back to the ocean through the conduit of a subterranean waterway. On Easter Eve at midnight, the appearance of a water nymph or mermaid from the recondite deep can mesmerize or bestow the gift of immortality upon the observer.

Down back towards the plain are the mysterious Edges of Cheshire, watched over by their keepers. These can be strange centres of energy; an eerie unknown can gather there and then radiate out to affect those upon who this force chooses to bestow its power. Be it for good or ill, when this is present and in motion, an open mind is required.

Out there, somewhere in the distance and long ago, the Pearl Poet wrote the Arthurian epic, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. What can seldom be perceived is the areas shape shifting phenomenon. A Cheshire cat cannot be contained, it becomes only a component part; the remnants of an ephemeral smile, gradually disappearing from Charles Dodgson’s vision. Other shape shifters have more longevity in visibility but are not necessarily more easily discerned. The poem ‘Shape Shifter’, together with a few of the lines above, is written into the book Jacksons Edge. This is the second book, album and DVD, in a trilogy of the same genre. A package which begins with Poetry and Fairytales, the recently released album by the Lol Cooper Band, leads seamlessly into Jacksons Edge, and finishes in the crescendo of a concluding musical.

The poem ‘Shape Shifter’ commences gently and peaceably in a Cheshire village, not far from the big City. It then races away into the organised chaos of a haunting possession, but that’s another story. For now we’ll start at the beginning, with the first of the three which is the debut album of the Lol Cooper Band, namely Poetry and Fairytales.

The accompanying book to Poetry and Fairytales, is a contemporary art form which the band believes encompasses the ‘myth and atmosphere’ genre. It forms a part of the Lol Cooper Band’s NME (New Musical Experience).  The books content has been put into place by members of the Lol Cooper Band, which include: musicians, vocalists, poets, actors and masters of sound, along with visionary technologists. It contains a poetic preface and introduction which is preceded in the hard back opening cover by a compact disc (CD) with six compositions by the Lol Cooper Band. The opening piece of music is ’Poetry and Fairytales’ and this has become the catalyst for a creative microcosm, resulting in this and future NMEs.

 The creative process takes place in Stockport’s valley of a universe (also known as Cavalier Studios), within the old county borders of Cheshire in Greater Manchester, where atmospheric fairytales and mythology contain many possibilities. Each of the six pieces of music has a corresponding poem in the book, which is followed by a concluding poem about those people amongst our number who are deluded enough to think; they can mock and alter the way, without consequence.

The individual members of the Lol Cooper Band have strong long standing connections to Cavalier Studios stretching back to the 1980’s. After long absences, band members found themselves being drawn back by strange, yet meaningful coincidence, and invited back into an environment of working without effort to create the first NME. The signs say now, conclude as and when, with that feeling of delight and accomplishment which accompanies worthwhile action, pressing on swiftly to the next one. The individual stories of members of the Lol Cooper Band are contained within the book as short autobiographies. The lyrics to songs can also be found in the book along with artistic creative image and form. As mythology, poetry, and indeed fairytales give us a link to the past, ancient and recent, contemporary mythology can help our imaginations envisage the future.

At Cavalier Studios the Steampunk genre has been used sympathetically as a concept to augment the new musical experience. The genre encapsulates the innovation and can-do attitude of the Victorian era and Industrial Revolution, whilst at the same time dreaming up what at first impression may appear to be the resultant ruminations of a crank. Anyhow! Steampunk style and its ethics are another story. Above all else, it’s good fun when the band brushes shoulders with its peripheral essence, in the fairy-tale environment of the Lol Cooper band NME.

The last hard back page of the Poetry and Fairytales book contains a Digital Video Disc (DVD), which puts the Lol Cooper Band and their music onto screen with imagery and form using many different methods of delivery to make the whole package come to life and make sense.

Poetry and Fairytales has been launched in spring 2018, and is to be supported by a website to help improve accessibility for all parties interested in experiencing the NME of Cavalier Studios Lol Cooper Band. Towards the end of summer 2018, the Lol Cooper band start work on the second NME described earlier: Jacksons Edge.

Poetry and Fairytales has been created for sheer joy, informative fun, and a different way of thinking for people who want to be friends of the band, and entertained by its artistic antics. Open the book and join in with the Lol Cooper Band and NME. It’s a window through which you can see more clearly; the encryption gently and gradually unravels from this one to the next and then concludes.

Thank you for taking the time to step into an opaque ‘Faeryland’, and for reading into the myth and atmosphere of the Lol Cooper Band’s NEW MUSICAL EXPERIENCE, by way of their debut album entitled Poetry and Fairytales.

John Bradshaw