The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford, now closed (as usual) for business: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: was randomly decrepit and proven to be more than neo-bankrupt: it was so analogue it was anal and now deceased.
I saw Fink perform live in Bucharest the other week, as one does. I love his guitar work, his vocal inflections (heightened white man’s blues), his post-John Martyn sobriety. The lyrics can seem rather drab, hewn from a dumb modern guitarist’s Tin Pan Alley almanack, throwaway – that is until you join their dots and break the code. Morrissey, the Pope of Mope, wrote about bedsits and alienation, but he always cheapened the cut of his lyric by backing himself into the limelight. Whereas Fink cuts to the chase, to the frailty within each of us: he highlights the nub of the distraught and today’s trickle down despair with brevity and a demure balm. One of his best songs: Looking Too Closely.
Put your arms around somebody else
Don’t punish yourself, punish yourself
Truth is like blood underneath your fingernails
And you don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself
Looking too closely
Here Fink, an acoustic guitar to hand, is singing Maker. This song is rather casual, but his off-beat guitar playing is so effortless that it’s more than impressive.