What’s on ACSOM’s Stereo? Hightown Pirates’ new LP ‘All of the Above’

“If you’re going to arrive un-fashionably late, at least arrive with a good story.”

Hightown Pirates have announced the release of their latest LP All of the Above, which was released on 1 May 2020 via Port Royal Records. Links to all formats can be found on the Hightown Pirates WEBSITE.

Frontman Simon Mason has this to say of the new album:

It’s hard, this business of music, or maybe I should say, certain aspects of this often revolting, revolving / sliding door / portal that creates dreams for some, nightmares for others but still provides the soundtrack to accompany all this… stuff.

It’s only music after-all, surely, it’s not that important as huge swathes of a continent burn, the politics of distrust and disunity are applauded as solutions rather than cause. It’s only music and we should be concerning ourselves with other things?

If you find yourself nodding in agreement, let’s not waste anymore of each other’s time, you’re on the wrong page here, you’ll probably get more satisfaction from hurling insults at Greta Thunberg on Twitter, so yeah, go away, there’s nothing for you here.

Hightown Pirates are about to release their second album, *pauses while more people go back to trolling a child*, anyone still here?

Good, I’ll continue.

Hightown Pirates? Who that?

Their 2017 debut album, Dry and High was received thus:

“A joyous, anthem-laden affair that evokes Arcade Fire’s sweep; Blood, Sweat & Tears’ horns and the finer moments of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica”

**** Q Magazine

“Boldness has genius, go f**kin’ listen.”

9/10 Louder Than War

“A brilliant debut album”


Never heard of them?

Not many people have, that’s ok though, it’s just music, right? The world’s burning / flooding / hating / judging but don’t worry we have Donald and Boris on hand, surely, they’ll sort it all out?


It’s not ‘just’ music is it? Not now, not ever really, but not now, because right now ‘we’ (not the Greta trolls) need some hope.

‘We’ need a distraction from the distractions created by those with the most to lose should we all become less distracted and more focused on why they need ‘us’ to be distracted, if you follow my drift?

“Look again you’ll see it’s all a plot, ISIS-brides, the far-right, the Queen the lot. The wicked witch ain’t dead, she married Uncle Sam, united we stand, not part of their plan”

Yep, same as it ever was.

To be clear, if you’re looking for some kind of, ‘rocknroll’ re-invented wheel, you ain’t gonna find it here, the kids are busy doing that in their home studios with technology and vitriol. They’re au-fait with Spotify algorithms, streaming services and playlists. They’re being punk rock without guitars and spikey hair and more power to them.

However, if you like the sound of:

1. Noisy / melodic guitars and feedback;
2. Lyrical story-telling and dark love songs, a-la Nick Cave;
3. The brass of Northern Soul;
4. The Who / ’Stones / Jam / Shack / Smiths / Hold-Steady / Bunnymen / Only Ones


5. All of the Above? (See what I did there?)…

Then the new album by a band you’ve probably never heard of is an album you’re definitely going to like, a lot. That this album was made without a single drop of alcohol or other substance being imbibed by any of the musicians involved, may seem like another distraction but I can assure you, the story behind that seemingly innocuous fact, is best told another day, some of it is told here: Too High, Too Far, Too Soon: Tales from a Dubious Past

That particular story is life and death whereas this?

It’s only music, right?

Listen to KEVIN MILES with A Celtic State of Mind here:


1. All of the Above
2. He who Lies Flat
3. Girl from the Library
4. A Sunday Sermon
5. Island Monkeys
6. When the Soldiers Come
7. The King of Hearts
8. Down on Love Lane
9. Different Drums
10. The Ballad of Hightown Pirates

All songs written and arranged by Simon Mason / Hightown Pirates.


Simon Mason: Lyrics, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals, percussion;
David Aird: Electric guitar;
Patrick Walden (Babyshambles): Electric guitar;
Shireen Liane: Electric guitar / vocals;
Matthew Starritt (Treetop Flyers): Bass;
Cass Browne (Senseless Things / Gorillaz / Loup GarouX): Drums;
Martin Smith (Shack/Mick Head): Trumpet;
Simon James (Shack/Mick Head): Sax;
Evgeny Minev: Sax;
Lauren Moon (Peter Perrett): Keyboards and vocals;
Lilly Vasil: Flute, vocals;
Shona Carmen: Vocals;
Additional instrumentation by Tim Hamper: Hammond organ / guitar.
‘They also served’: Matty Purslow, Eddie Wilson, Jon Finnigan, Duncan Mackay, Sophie-Marie Smith. Youth, Andrew Winters, David Emmerson.

Watch JOHN YOGI HUGHES with A Celtic State of Mind:

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