RnR Magazine (4 Stars)

‘Perhaps my best years are gone. Where there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now.’

The words are from Samuel Beckett, and are the inspiration behind Serious Child’s debut album, a set of songs about change and transition and one or two odd characters.

On paper, Serious Child is a trio led by singer-songwriter Alan Young with Steve Welch on bass and Carla March who provides backing vocals. In reality, it’s a collective of fine musicians including producer Boo Hewerdine, Tanya Brittain, John McCusker, Jamie Francis, Evan Carson, Gary Bridle and Gustaf Ljunggren and if you recognise any of those names you know they are quality.

A couple of the songs are rather bizarre. ‘Paul The Bag’ concerns an ageing gangster who broke Alan’s hand on a train to Bognor Regis (true story) and ‘Three Hail Marys’ is a probably apocryphal family story and how his father was excommunicated for punching a priest. Most are rather more thoughtful: ‘Time Keeps Rolling’ is a charming song about his father-in-law’s Sunday lunch ritual; ‘The Last Chance’ is based on a poem by Robert Oppenheimer and ‘You Wear The Smile’ is about listening to your inner voice.

I like Empty Nest although I’m not sure what I’d file it under but that’s part of the pleasure.

Dai Jeffries

Alan Young