New CD ‘In the Pipeline’ for Flame Proof Moth

Other | Friday 21st September 2012 | Osh

New CD imminent for Thames-bank busker

I recently found myself weaving in and out of the many static wizards and endlessly fascinating live statues along Embankment, when I stopped to hear the scatty, distorted strumming of an electric guitar. A crowd had gathered by a wall, looking down onto the banks of the Thames, cameras out.

On the pebbles below was a man in swimming trunks and sunglasses sat in a deck chair, busking the hell out of this beautiful late-summer’s day. A colourful sign covered in loose change told the uninitiated that this was Flame Proof Moth, AKA Tim Sidall, who is often found along the debris-laden bankside or, if the mood takes him, actually in the River. Not advisable for anyone whose cables have not been thoroughly water-proofed. Or anyone concerned about the long-term health effects of direct contact with dead floating pigeons.

The songs are rough and sketchy, basic guitar and vocals, with elements of a young Billy Bragg. The lyrics are funny and incisive; half the time it’s hard to know what on earth he’s going on about, but beneath the surreal musings about growing up in the African Savannah, and killing antelope for breakfast, there is some very subtle politics. The melodies are charming, at times spoken harshly through a battered portable amp. It’s live, raw, independent music, exactly the sort of thing there should be more of down by the River.

For someone who plays regularly in this vibrant, tourist-heavy part of London, he’s still relatively unknown. But that’s part of the charm. It’s a new experience for anyone passing by. And everyone who stops has their day brightened up - for at least the duration of the gig, after which they are free to continue on their miserable ways.

There is, as the Flame Proof Moth Wordpress blog will vaguely tell you, a ‘New CD ‘in the pipeline’. It can only be assumed that this will be available ‘soon’, but probably not from all good record stores. Take a walk along the Thames and catch this guy before it gets too cold for him to be out in his trunks.

 By Liam McKenna