David Palfreyman is a fascinating artist from Sheffield, England. Artist is to put it lightly, his repertoire spans the spectrum of actor, musician, poet, and songwriter. A guy that is involved in a litany of projects with several industry professionals, his previously released double album “Decades,” was released in 2017 and co-written with Nicholas Pegg (author of “The Complete Bowie” and actor who played Dalek in “Dr. Who”). The album was critically acclaimed and is genuinely one of the most remarkable expressions of a concept album. A musical drama. The album literally had a cast of several talented artists and performances from yet again, a wide-ranging spectrum of music industry experience and projects. You had people who had worked with Bowie and Nick Cave (just to cherry-pick a couple, the list goes on) for example, involved. The producer was Ian Caple (Tricky, Kate Bush). The album’s experience was so conceptual that it involved scripted dialogue segueing scores of the soundtrack. Those parts were performed by actors (vocally) who also had impressive experiences as well (Titanic, The Omen, Prince of Persia- again just cherry-picking). The list is lengthy and vast and there were a lot of people involved. To the point where I’ve already spent a good deal of time just trying to explain the previous release. Note that I said “previous.” Spoiler alert. Indeed, David Palfreyman has released a new album entitled “The Palfreyman Collective.” It came out a few weeks ago, last month, on November 18th. And if there was ultimately one big point that I was trying to get across with all that background, it’s that David Palfreyman doesn’t just “drop an album.” The man orchestrates and releases an experience / epic event. True to form, the Palfreyman experience is a culmination of several talented musicians and artists in collaboration.
As it turns out, several of the songs on “The Palfreyman Collective” were ones that David wrote during the “Decades” sessions and during its release, which is remarkable to think about considering that “Decades” alone is a 39-track double album spanning an hour and a half of content. He tells We Are Cult:
I wrote around sixty songs for the Decades project and was still writing and recording new stuff with Ian Caple even after the sessions with Nicholas Pegg had ended
Notable collaborators include:
- Martin Barker who has worked with Marianne Faithful and Tim Robins.
- Matt Hector who has worked with Iggy Pop.
- Ben Miles, an actor who has worked on / in Star Wars AND Star Trek
- Dan Mckinna from Tindersticks
- David Clayton who has worked with Bowie and George Michael
- Greg Hart from Cats in Space
- Rodger Hanna who was also involved with “Decades” returns to the studio for this one as well.
And that’s just rattling off some of the musicians and producers involved! Down to the artwork Palfreyman has a knack for pulling in amazing talent from everywhere. The album cover was designed by Steve ‘KRUSHER’ Joule who has designed album covers for Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Hawkwind, Japan, and Black Sabbath. When it comes to vocals, David himself is featured on several tracks, and anyone else performing vocals is listed as the “feature” on each track next to the official project name in the credits. Palfreyman, who began his musical endeavors at a young age as a Trombone player performing at venues like the Royal Albert Hall, to being trained formally as an actor at Richmond Drama School (which led to several other appearances and voiceover projects you’d likely be familiar with as well), to playing in several bands throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he deeply involved with every aspect of “The Palfreyman Collective” on both sides of the mixing board. Diteli Records released an official music video for “Slow Burner” from the album. I thought that was a premium choice as a stand-out track on the record, it is a good representation of a lot of the avenues that are explored on the album. Definitely a great gateway drug into the experience! Check it out:
Track 1: “To Die, To Be Really Dead” (feat. David Palfreyman)
Track 2: “Invaluable Soul” (feat. Damien Edwards from Cats in Space)
Track 3: “Downtrodden Boy” (feat. David Palfreyman)
Track 4: “In This Little Place” (feat. David Palfreyman)
Track 5: “Isn’t it So” (feat. Damien Edwards from Cats in Space)
Track 6: “Once I was Here” (feat. David Palfreyman)
Track 7: “I Can’t Be With You” (feat. David Palfreyman)
Track 8: “Slowburner” (feat. Paul Manzi of Arena)
Track 9: “Jaded Zone Driver” (feat. Jesse Smith of The Classic Rock Show / Gutterdummerung )
Track 10: “Who Am I Today” (feat. Allegra Shock)
Track 11: “Afraid of the Morning” (feat. Sarah Jane Morris of The Communards)
My overall assessment upon hearing the album is that it is just as advertised. The first thing that comes to mind is Rock Opera. Operatic in the sense of over-the-top performance and dramatics. Throughout the album I heard it go from “Zeppelin” vibes to Bob Seger. Those are just my initial impressions, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the rock and roll exploration that takes place throughout the album. I picked up on a lot of Beatles songwriting sensibilities in there as well, which gives it a concept feel or flow even though a “concept” might not be plainly stated. Best example of that kind of experience I could liken it to is The Beatles’ second side of the Abbey Road record. Mix that in with an eclectic group of talented musicians, artists, and producers, and you have a “Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” version of that. Anyone who has an ear for that legendary classic rock sound is sure to enjoy this record.
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