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The Real Tuesday Weld – The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid

So here’s the deal. The Real Tuesday Weld is Stephen Coates. Stephen Coates plays the Clerkenwell Kid on the album, The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid, a mythological character that Stephen met one night while tripping. “I only met him once; when I was making the album, I felt I was inhabiting that image… an alter-ego, I suppose.”

My point is that this is a solo project cloaked in disguise with a rather unique band name, with an album made possible with the help of a couple other musicians.


This album blends several different musical styles that all come together to create a light and cheerful sound. Coates has a soft, breathy style of singing that goes well with the bossa nova sound that dominates the album. While a martini and smoking jacket would be proper attire for listening to the Clerkenwell Kid, it is not all bossa nova as the song “Turn on the Sun” proves with an ensemble made up almost entirely from synthesized fabric.

The main thrust of The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid is that of love, loss, death and life. “Daisies” begins with a languid bass line and Coates singing the praises of the flower for which the song is named. After about two minutes the song takes a darker turn, with Coates conveying, “The cold earth will claim me/ Wrapping its arms back round the very charms it gave me/ No one will save me/ I know that you would if you could/ But even you will be pushing up daisies one day soon.” These bleak lyrics are saved from becoming crushingly depressing by the light delivery.

Coates tackles lofty subject matter, but his lyrical talents are up to the task. The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid is an enjoyable album to just listen to as it requires no other activities. Some of it may be playing soon at a Starbucks near you; but its lyrics and touches of psychedelic sounds that harkens back to Pink Floyd’s Division Bell make it worth checking out.


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