As dark as times have been this year, few in the UK have yet to find inspiration from the situation currently around them, until now. Robbie Cavanagh in 3 minutes paints a picture of the UK that many will instantly recognise and in years to come we may look back on this as a reminder of how times were.
Created under lockdown conditions "Feeding Time" does not have the same production of values of the magnificent "To Leave / To Be Left" but it is every bit as good, with musicians of the the like of CJ Hillman on pedal steel why wouldn't it be?. Combined they produce a laconic country tune for Robbie to make his observations over, in general they are gently made with words occasionally getting elongated with many syllables in a quite charming way.
The mixture of emotions that he goes through during the song are ones that we've all experienced, bemusement, dismay at things that never came to pass, the constant rejigging of plans for when things must be better, and a bit of cabin fever style frustration of never seeing a way to return to normality.
The observation that the normally quiet town where he lives is now "eerily so" is neatly contrasted with a neighbour who obliviously sings until 3AM succinctly sums up the nation.
The optimistic chorus of "I'm thinking i'm hoping, i'm making plans to be out of here by fall if not before" is something we've all contemplated at some point, and many of us will empathise with lines like "There's a diary and its full of plans, I crossed them out again with a ballpoint pen" as we've seen weddings, gigs and events of all sorts fall by the wayside over the summer months.
There is a very subtle line that hints at moments of self reflection in all this unexpected free time, when Robbie sings
"I'm coping, complying, I'm passing time with my other half" he stops, ponders for a second or two and then clarifies "with my better half" as if re-evaluating just what it is that he has got and finding some solace.
There is a moment of frustration or cabin fever where Robbie's voice is raised to a vague threat "If this isn't over soon I can't be held responsible for what I'll do" which is a natural response but the nature of this threat remains undefined.
The final lines see Robbie at some point in the future looking back reflecting on those "eerie times when the flag flies low and the death toll rose". It brings home. in one short sentence the true cost of all that has happened.
Feeding Time is available 14th August and is available to pre order.
Robbie is currently in the process of pre production for his 3rd record, which will be recorded at Studiowz in Pembrokeshire in January 2021.
Hopefully he'll be special guest at O&O's Headline show in September at The Spice Of Life