So with steps full of spring and a newly gained ‘can-do’ spirit, the happy couple seized the day and followed their hearts up the river of golden dreams, all the way to a tiny, grey, one-bedroom flat in North London. Lurching from one disastrous Customer Service job to the next, and each day turning to nought but filth, there was one of two paths Shaw could take to escape – either write the next great British novel, boldly staking claim to all that is good and pure in the land; or buy a pushbike and pedal himself into oncoming traffic. Luckily, Shaw had neither talent nor bicycle clips, and instead sat in bars and wrote songs. With passions for Sparklehorse, Neutral Milk Hotel, Young and Waits; and combining abstract storytelling with fiery musical cluster bombs, Benjamin Shaw has given us a beautifully bitter debut that boasts both fragile innocence and homicidal fantasy - an unforgettable and purifying experience.
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