Alan Marshall – Suilven Heights

When not penning his own ditties Scotsman Alan Marshall has been known to front a Stone Roses tribute act. Getting away from the music of Messrs Squire and Brown , Marshall has created a very interesting beast with his début ‘Suilven Heights’.

Opener Good time Girl is pure merseybeat, all jaunty guitars at the go weaving around a delightfully catchy melody. It’s a really catchy number and it’s easy to see why it was chosen as a single. Not one to be pigeonholed Marshall switches style quite easy. High Five is pure surf rock and wouldn’t be out-of-place in a hammock. 

Winter Sun plays like the demented bastard lovechild of Belle & Sebastian gone on a rockabilly rampage.  While the excellent Crazy Diamond is reminiscent of the La’s more playful moments. The sweep of styles here highlight an accomplished songsmith who is comfortable in a variety of musical genres.

All in all, it’s a seriously likable début from a songwriter who has clearly been sitting on a treasure trove of material.  Some artists could disappear under the weight of the genre hopping on display but Marshall does it with a sense of bravado that is winning rather than excruciating. There’s a real confidence and vitality to this record that makes you reach for the play button again and again.