Kate Jackson loses the plot on British Road Movies

British Road MoviesKate Jackson's got an album out, they said. It'll be a laugh, they said. She moved to Rome after The Long Blondes split, where she divided her time between crafting architectural paintings and wandering around one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, before the bright lights of Bury St. Edmonds proved too much to resist, and she moved back in 2014, they said. Well, I'm paraphrasing.

British Road Movies is Jackson's love letter to the dots on our maps, and the lines that join them up. (I guess "Separated by Motorways" wasn't enough.) According to the press release, each song is intended to be its own cinematic odyssey, "Movie titles with lyrical storyboards." It sounded like an interesting premise, so I thought I'd strap myself in and find out if any of them lived up to the unplayed vinyl 7" of "Giddy Stratospheres" that's still under my bed somewhere.

The End of Reason

Kate Jackson stars as a time-travelling cop who doesn't play by the rules. After being sent back to 2016, she uncovers a secret plot to keep the populace enamoured with neo-liberal Thatcherite doctrine - by convincing everyone that it's still the 1980s. "We're taking your life away!" she mumbles, but the sexy schoolteacher drawl doesn't really work outside her scratchy indie songs, and barely inside them either. When no one believes her, is a hologram of Johnny Jewel (Chromatics, Glass Candy) her only hope of saving the world? Features in an hour long car chase scene.

Homeward Bound

Producer and co-writer Bernard Butler provides the voice for Bernie, a grumpy old bear who learns to be a little less grizzly when a lost squirrel (Jackson) gatecrashes his retirement party. "Carry me! Carry me home!" cries the squirrel, over a Suede b-side. After 40 years on the force as a time-travelling bear cop, can Bernie carry his young companion as far as she's asking?

Metropolis

"This city pulls me to pieces..." How much would you be willing to sacrifice for a decent hook? That's the question Clara Tenby (Jackson) has to answer when a freak cloakroom accident leaves her with insufficient storage options.

Wonder Feeling

Kate Jackson stars as loveable time-travelling human misfit Glam Bowie in this surprisingly uplifting story of 70s family values, set to an irresistible glam rock soundtrack.

16 Years

"Your house was bright, with dirty patterned carpets... I wish I'd said how much I'd wanted to be ordinary... like you." Kate Jackson puts in a genuinely terrifying performance as Jarvis Cocker in this modern horror, based on the true story of a musician who one day decides to set about the grisly task of sewing together the lyrics and vocal affectation from "Disco 2000" and "Sheffield: Sex City" while hoping that no one will notice what she's done. Uh, what he's done.

Lie to Me

Ennio Morricone soundtracks a tale of melodrama and deceit in the Old West. Kate Jackson (Jackson) is known to shoot from the hip, but will her itchy trigger-finger backfire when she has to something something gun metaphor?

Stranded

Kate Jackson reprises her role as loveable time-travelling non-bear misfit Glam Bowie in this shot-for-shot remake of "Wonder Feeling".

The Atlantic

Glam Bowie loves planes. Luckily, he's about to get the ride of his life. Contains riffs which some listeners may find upsettingly hackneyed.

Last Of The Dreamers

"My costume may look a little bit worn. They don't even notice." Kate Jackson puts in an admirably unironic performance as Sally Bowles in this short, sweet take on the classic Nazi singalong, Cabaret.

Velvet Sofa From No. 26

Kate Jackson stars as the former singer of The Long Blondes, in a moving tribute to the death of the concept album.

Release: 20th May 2016, Hoo Ha Records

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