The Pineapple Thief – The Soord Sessions 1-4: Album Review

The lockdown collection from The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord

Release date: 16th April 2021

Label: Kscope

Format: 4CD deluxe media book

September 2020 saw the release of Versions Of The Truth, the latest instalment in the band’s discography (our review). The plan for an extensive live campaign was postponed and is set to begin in October 2021.Bruce Soord, not wanting to disappoint fans, subsequently announced he would perform a solo, acoustic, live-streamed performance of songs from across The Pineapple Thief’s illustrious catalogue.

Due to the success of the initial performance, 1 session turned into 4 across the summer. Bruce Soord explains “Back in the spring of 2020 I decided to perform a live acoustic show from my attic studio. I figured I could set up something with a bit more production than just a face peering down a mobile phone. I created a little haven of guitars, pedals, loopers, microphones and webcams and mixed them all together ready to send out to the world.”

From never having never streamed a live show before plus with most of the songs never performed solo before – some he had never performed at all – the outcome is quite remarkable. We had a listen to a sampler of the four-disc set

Not letting the limitations of playing an acoustic guitar in the attic, aided by some electronic gadgetry, restrict a jolly decent stab at some of the ten-minute plus epics, White Mist, The Final Thing On My Mind, Remember Us all feature in the sessions. Surprisingly (or not, depending on how you read it), Versions Of The Truth is largely avoided (although the sampler includes Demons and the title track) being replaced by a dip (although deep dive might be more apt) into the annals of TPT history and his own solo outings. There’s even a request set – where some requests result in the comment “I’ve forgotten how many songs I’ve written!” and of course, he admits that things could go in any direction “let’s hope it’s not South.”

However, every cloud and all that, the beauty of these musicians finding new ways to get across their music when unable to go on tour has resulted in moments like these that we wouldn’t have had the chance to experience and credit to Bruce Soord for taking up the challenge and running with it.

Alone At Sea gets all un-acoustic at the close with some dirty guitar getting worked up alongside some chugging percussion, wailing feedback and little grooves. The epic White Mist (“you were never in control”) manages to keep the intensity while still feeling very private, personal and intimate, getting over the feeling of talking to yourself. The self-depreciating ‘attempt’ at Final Thing On My Mindworks rather well. Very much in the style that Roy Harper would work with on some of his extended pieces, and complete with closing controlled guitar freak out.

And that’s just a snippet, a snapshot of the whole package. A lot of the Magnolia album on our sampler, perhaps a good move as there’s now the temptation to investigate what Bruce has done with the rest of the catalogue. Full tracklisting in our news piece.

Here’s Demons from Vol.4:

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