This floaty little stand alone single sticks out like a forgotten Kevin McAllister alone in New York City at Christmas. Craig’s recent solo album I Need A New War completed a trilogy of artful contemplative low key Smart Rock, packaged in atmospheric photography and understated typography.
It’s Never Been A Fair Fight isn’t on that record, it came out as a satellite that circled around the Uptown Controllers touring and the publishing of his magnificently titled book of collected lyrics and poems I Can’t Keep Saying Thank You. In the live clip he introduces his band as the We All Want The Same Things Band. This track isn’t on that record either. I’ve featured a track off the New Hope of this trilogy here before. I felt it was time to throw some light on the later installments.
So if he’s finally got to his Return Of The Jedi of chilled poetic hipster blues with this years album and it’s magnificent single Blankets the question around this track is ‘do we have a Rogue One or a Holiday Special?’
The single has two versions of the same song. One horn heavy upbeat full band experience and a slow and low acoustic coffee shop take. They’re both magnificent but the full on production takes the edge thanks to the brass. It’s Never Been A Fair Fight is classic CF storytelling made song. It’s like a very mellow Hold Steady track.
I’ve played the twofer probably more times than the three albums it owes money to combined. It’s a damned good song. I think it’s the resolve and the optimism between the pathos and the surrender of Finn’s lyric. So much of this trilogy is dipped in the cold dread of modern isolation it’s heartening to hear a jazzy swing behind the torch being held for the dame it’s about. For Vanessa’s everywhere, aye?
“If things change quickly just remember I still love you and I’ll circle ’round the block tonight, between 9 and 10 o’clock tonight”
Happy Life Day!