There’s something very warm and cosy about A Number More than Nothing At All, the debut album from Sussex six-piece Stick In A Pot.
This is perhaps unsurprising given the album was recorded in two band members’ homes, including the childhood bedroom of Stick In A Pot’s songwriter Piers Blewett, who returned to the nest recently following a couple of years living abroad.
What started as a ‘scratchy’ set of eight track recordings in the Blewett family home has since been nicely tarted up to reveal a pretty good new act on the every expanding indie folk scene.
With folk (of sorts) scooping top awards at The Brits recently this type of accessible indie folk is certainly of the moment and none more so than in Sussex. Brighton’s Bleeding Heart Recordings for example are making a deserved name for themselves through acts such as The Robot Heart.
Despite being loosely catogorised within this new wave of folk Stick In A Pot are firmly their own act, offering a distinct combination of well crafted indie song writing and earthy folk vocals from Blewett. Think Belle and Sebastian and Donovan rather than Mumford and Sons or Laura Marling.
The range of instruments used sparingly is central to A Number More Than Nothing At All. First track ‘Decider’ is mainly acoustic guitar and vocals, but a little bit of electric guitar pops in, so too does synth here and there over other tracks. Nothing fancy but enough to build the songs nicely and add to the melody.
Banjo, mandolin and glockenspiel are all used here as well. The album’s first two singles ‘Navel Lint’ and ‘Synaethesia’, the more prog rock sounding and ludicrously titled ‘In Underpants’ and ‘Early Morning’ are among a wealth of standouts.
Perhaps its because I’m from Brighton, perhaps its because like Blewett I’ve traveled abroad a bit then returned back to my family home for a spell, but I feel an affinity and closeness with this record that I don’t usually get with similar randomly sent albums by unknown acts.
A lot of bedroom artists like this are plying their trade, playing support slots in pub gigs, sending people like me their self produced CDs, but Stick In a Pot are a clear cut above the rest. Whether they reach the dizzy heights of others they like to compare themselves to such as Iron and Wine is dependent as much on luck and good PR as it is on talent. But from this inviting debut they certainly deserve more attention.
by Joe Lepper
A Number More Than Nothing At All is released on 28 March, 2011.