CD Review – Pineapple Thief – The Soord Sessions Vol. 1 – 4

Like many musicians Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord found himself stymied by the restrictions of the Covid pandemic. The band had released an album, Versions Of The Truth, just before the lockdown came in and the ensuing restrictions blocked any chance the band had of playing live. As something of a way of easing some of the disappointment the fans would have been feeling, Bruce decided to stream himself playing a session at home in his attic studio. He had never done this before, so it was something of an adventure, but so well did it go, and the response so firm, that the idea was repeated and ultimately led to this four-disc set.

Soord decided to delve deeply into the band’s history, and even his own solo albums, for the set list of the sessions. Many of the songs hadn’t been played for quite a while so Soord needed to learn them again before he asked the paying fans to listen. So, the album covers roughly a twenty-year period of time, and a variety of moods.

The result is ostensibly a singer-song writer affair, though with Soord and his acoustic guitar helped by effects pedals and various gizmos. His performance is as introspective, moody, atmospheric and compelling as you might expect if you know the band’s work and his music. No Man’s Land, Demons, Magnolia, Alone at Sea all feature, but Soord is not averse to buckling-in for an epic or two either and includes The Final Thing On My Mind, White Mist, and Remember Us. The one disappointing thing about the whole release is that there’s no rapturous applause at the end of each song from a mesmerised audience, which it justly deserves, but just Bruce recomposing himself and preparing for the next song instead.

This whole package is quite a substantial affair. There’s thirty-six tracks spread over four discs, accompanied by a forty-eight-page hardback book in the deluxe edition. The production itself is excellent, with excellent crisp sound. Pineapple Thief’s music is not easy to present in this format, it is atmospheric and moody, almost brooding. Soord’s performances, though, are excellent, down to his own musical abilities and his thoughtful approach, but also to the strength of the original song-writing itself. These necessarily stripped versions of the songs show just how good the songs were in the first place. It also emphasises the depth of feeling and mood of the songs, the angst and the melancholia that is often at the core of them. This is not to say that they are depressing though. In many ways, like the Blues, they manage to be warm and life-affirming too. This is a fresh and thoughtful approach to some of the band’s best pieces and excellent to listen to.

DISC 1 (Soord session 1 – acoustic)

1. Intro [00:47]

2. Shoot First [05:03]

3. Willow Tree [05:59]

4. Part Zero [08:30]

5. No Man`s Land [06:44]

6. Snowdrops [07:22]

7. The Final Thing On My Mind [14:26]

DISC 2(Soord session 2 – acoustic)

1. Intro [00:46]

2. Magnolia [05:04]

3. My Debt To You [06:21]

4. Alone At Sea [08:25]

5. Clapham [06:19]

6. Cut The Flowers [08:06]

7. Shed A Light ([08:23]

8. White Mist [13:03]

Bonus Track

9. White Mist [13:11] (Soord session 5 – acoustic)

DISC 3 -(Soord session 3 – acoustic)

1. Intro [00:41]

2. All The Wars [04:48]

3. Threatening War [07:37]

4. Fend For Yourself [05:23]

5. The One You Left To Die [06:14]

6. Someone Here Is Missing [04:14]

7. Reaching Out [10:06]

8. A Loneliness [03:32]

9. Remember Us [12:32]

Bonus Track

10. A Loneliness [03:20](Soord session 5 – acoustic)

DISC 4 – (Soord session 4 – acoustic)

1. Intro [00:25]

2. In Exile [05:04]

3. Someone Pull Me Out [04:33]

4. Demons [07:51] WATCH VIDEO

5. All This Will Be Yours [06:11]

6. Last Man Standing [05:39]

7. The Solitary Path Of A Convicted Man [03:51]

8. Versions Of The Truth [06:17]

9. Bond [07:58]

Bonus Track

10. Barely Breathing [04:21]

Session 1 Broadcast May 2nd 2020 – 20:30 BST (Volume 1)
Session 2 Broadcast May 23rd 2020 – 20:30 BST (Volume 2)
Session 3 Broadcast May 30th 2020 – 20:30 BST (Volume 3)
Session 4 Broadcast August 15th 2020 – 20:30 BST (Volume 4)
Session 5 Broadcast December 4th 2020 – 20:00 BST (tracks 2-9 & 3-10)

Label: KScope

Release Date: 16th April 2021

Presented in a 48 page hardback book, which features an extended forward and notes on each session by Bruce plus previously unseen photos from the attic studio and images from the live streams along with technical and personal information on the equipment used.

The Deluxe edition is available on a “while stocks last” basis. As they say; “when they’re gone, they’re gone”.

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