Review of Ode to A Mare Trod Ditch Single by Johnny Flynn

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit
Ode to A Mare Trod Ditch
Single Review

Johnny Flynn Ode to A Mare Trod Ditch Single

This is a cross between a folk song, a sea-shanty and a really good piss up. It doesn't plod along, as it first appears to, but gallops about haphazardly; like a big, drunken daddy long legs. Unashamedly upbeat, the cracked voice floats above the jaunty rhythm, arriving at a vocal-only chant towards the end, before finally getting a sense of purpose on the last chorus.

The B-side, Oh to Eat an Apple, is a wistful, cliché-ridden lament set on a bus. It doesn't really go anywhere, but I don't think it's meant to. It's a sensory track about living in the moment and capturing the picture in your mind, I think. Either way it's a bit pretentious, a bit boring and full of terrible lines. It feels a badly executed attempt at something quite ambitious: subverting clichés into something real.

Despite the B-sides shortcomings the main attraction is quite a lovely piece of songwriting. It's not going to cause any revolutions or solve world hunger, but you probably won't hear much like this, this side of the merchant navy.

David Lapidus

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