Some artists would have no luck at all if it wasn’t for bad luck. Brian Christinzio (the BC of BC Camplight) has found the trio of releases he’s unofficially dubbed the Manchester series blighted by setbacks: after the first – How To Die In The North – reached us in 2015 he was unexpectedly deported back to the US, whilst having then regained temporary status back here for the bow of it’s successor Deportation Blues, his father died.
If Christinzio wasn’t a fatalist before that, he must certainly be now, as just at the point of delivering the series climax the spectre of a world wide pandemic threw all his promotional plans into the longest grass this century.
It’s probably a good job then that Shortly After Takeoff is his masterpiece, whether it was written as part of the healing process or just as a clearing house for all of the emotional flotsam he had left to send out. As ever he’s disarmingly honest, speaking openly on subjects like grief and decaying mental health, but there’s a cabaret musical feel to songs like I Want To Be In The Mafia and I Only Drink When I’m Drunk, a wild-eyed gaiety which is as exhilarating as it’s uncomfortable.
Maybe it’s the 21st century thing for nosing into other people’s lives, maybe it’s the sheer scale of the hard knocks it’s creator has suffered, but Shortly After Takeoff’s poignancy and breathless creative drive, matched to his circumstances, means that even if things come in threes, Brian Christinzio has definitely now earned himself some better fortune.
You can read the full review here.