And Colours in Between was released originally as a CDR in 2007 & then mastered and reissued by Transistor Records in 2008 with some amendments to track listing.
"It’s almost ten years since the Stormclouds released ‘Sleep No More’; long enough to wage two wars since I sat in the rain outside Ladbroke Grove tube station in London clutching a newly acquired copy of said LP and a tear-smeared letter from an empty-handed heart, the former purchased from one or other of the two Bills in the old Plastic Passion shop and the latter found fluttering on the ground like a broken-backed butterfly. I can still smell the distinctive mix of kebab, patchouli and diesel oil that I always associate with that moment and with that record. Time passes, calibrated not in terms of hours and solar cycles but in words and smells and sounds, the rhythm of the rain and the beat of the earth, and all are long gone now – not least the Stormclouds, singer Melanie Townsend sacked from the band just as Louise Allen had been before her; I really must ask Steve Lines what his secret is sometime.
So anyway, there I sat with the rain trickling down the back of my neck not knowing and never guessing that a hundred months or so later I’d be back outside Ladbroke Grove tube again, this time waiting for a friend and armed with a copy of the aptly named Left Outsides debut four-track EP, ‘Leaving the Frozen Butterflies Behind’, which I’d been blown away enough by to circulate to all and sundry and anyone really who’d listen, including the good Mr George Parsons, who kindly went so far as to feature them in the latest issue of ‘Dream’ magazine as a result of my pointing them in his general direction. The Left Outsides reminded me then and they remind me now of the Stormclouds, all folky, dreamy, hypnotic psychedelia with flashes of Opal, Clay Allison and Mazzy Star, yet quintessentially English and pastoral too. Luckily vocalist, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Mark Nicholas decided against sacking saintly vocalist, ace viola player and musical saw player (hurrah!) Alison Cotton after recording their debut however, and instead married her in time to record this, their first album. A wise move.
I was transported immediately back to Ladbroke Grove on hearing ‘Now it’s Over’ (originally by 1960s San Francisco band Living Children, and the sole cover version on here; they also covered Mercury Rev’s ‘Goddess on a Hi-Way’ and the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s ‘Ballad of Jim Jones’ on their debut EP) which begins with the sound of traffic and Big Ben. OK so you can’t actually hear Big Ben from Ladbroke Grove, but you get the general idea. Mark’s voice also sounds like Nick “Bevis Frond” Saloman’s on this, which is no bad thing (and also reinforces the Londonesque idiom somewhat). ‘The Chameleon’ is another of mark’s vocal tracks, this time early English psychedelia is the trigger and I suspect the Pretty Things’ ‘SF Sorrow’ is the key – you almost expect the sound of laughing schoolchildren to weave through the mix.
According to the aforementioned ‘Dream’ interview, ‘Dog Leap Stairs’ which opens the album was inspired by walking in the countryside during a thunderstorm and coming across monks chanting in a secluded candlelit abbey, while ‘Clouds Hill’ is a song about impressionable youth in the first person. Again, it summons churches looming like petrified galleons in a milky, mist-clad landscape.
Along with the title track, ‘Fallen by the Wayside’ is a personal favourite; jaunty folk-psych led from the front by Alison’s winsome vocals and lilting viola refrain, while ‘The Other Side’ showcases Mark’s acoustic guitar work while ‘I Fear That I Have Lost My Way’ is an all too brief instrumental, a meditation on an Sunday afternoon spent picnicking with a lover beneath a windblown suspension bridge (I’m making this up, but you can conjure up your own imagery to suit).
The fuse is still burning and the colours of the sun still glow while in some strong hearts the honesty of love and truth remain. Open the windows wide and take the Left Outsides to the people, this is music they richly deserve to hear".
(Phil McMullen, Terrascope 2007) www.terrascope.co.uk
"I love this record for its melancholy end-of-autumn-pull-your-coat-tighter-around-you feel. Arising from the ashes of the Eighteenth Day of May, the Left Outsides have maintained that band’s fascination with folk-rock and psychedelia but added their own imprint. Their songs have a glacial exterior which eventually melts to reveal a glowing heart, smouldering with a childlike passion for secret gardens, lighthouses in winter and affairs that are only finally consummated after death. This is ethereal, introspective and largely acoustic, its American influences inflected with a touch of very English whimsy: the record ends on the sound of Big Ben’s chimes and Alison reciting a sly Dorothy Parker poem.
Though they’ve developed their own sound, the songs have a welcome variety: ethereal Nico-esque folk music (‘Neon Rainbow’) is followed by wistful Barrett-style psych-pop (‘The Chameleon’) and an introspective drone-pop sound (‘A Kingdom of My Own’) that would neatly hang on the 'nu-gazing' hook that journalists have recently invented for the sons and daughters of shoegazing. The two well-chosen covers also have their own dark radiance: ‘Glad It’s Over’, originally by San Francisco psych outfit The Living Children, has an end-of-Summer-of-Love melancholy feel while Mark sings the Thirteenth Floor Elevators’ ‘Splash One’ with a contemplative air until Alison’s cello zaps the mood with huge sweeps of sound.
‘And Colours in Between’ is an album of gentle but robust psych-folk, its feelings burning quietly but fiercely, getting brighter and hotter the darker and colder it grows outside. One of the best records I’ve heard this year". Ged M, 2007 - www.soundsxp.com