Updated: Feb 2, 2019
(2013 - Ongoing)
By Helena ‘Raven’ Geo
Here we go again, taking a deep dive into the outlaw world of the successful TV series Peaky Blinders, with the second out of four of this review, where leading part of this soundtrack goes to PJ Harvey -British alternative rock, punk blues, indie rock, folk rock musician- as well as Arctic Monkeys –British indie rock, garage rock band- since a lot of their music ‘decorates’ all of its episodes. Let’s take an inside look, in the music gems introduced in this 2nd season.
On the 1st episode we pleasantly welcomed Danny Boy*, performed in 1965 by the one-of-a-kind Mr. Johnny Cash, the Anthem song of Northern Ireland, an Irish folk song, the lyrics of which were written in 1910 and belong to Frederic Weatherly, who, 3 years later (1913), updated it to the tune of the, already existing back then, Londonderry Air. This song is said to be written, though never confirmed, for a father to a son, who was leaving for the war, or as a farewell song referencing to the Irish diaspora. A favorite also of the famous movie producers the Brothers Coen, featured also during their 1990s’ gangster film Miller’s Crossing (Watch the famous scene here).
Amongst the musical gems of the 2nd season, the unexpectedly amazing alternative/indie Rocking Horse* (2009) by The Dead Weather, with lyrics like “I drank some dirty water, Shook evil hands, I've done some bad things, And they get easier to do. Then I wrote a nasty letter, And I sent it to the Lord, I said don't you dare come, And bother me no more”.
Also, the garage rock singles Pull A U* -with its astounding guitar sounds- as well as Fried My Little Brains*, both taken by the album Keep On Your Mean Side (2003) by The Kills.
Worthy of mention are the garage/stoner rock single Out Of The Black* (2013) by Royal Blood, the hard/blues/psychedelic rock single of 2014 Come On Over*, also by Royal Blood, the rock track Where I Lay* (2013) by Pistol Day Parade, and the alternative/garage rock River Styx* by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, taken by their 2010 album Beat The Devil’s Tattoo.
The 3rd episode wonderfully surprised us with covers of the series theme song Red Right Hand (Nick Cave), one in more mild sounds, with the melodic voice of PJ Harvey (2014, recorded for the series purposes), as well as the cover of the same track by Arctic Monkeys, in alternative/indie rhythms in 2009.
Standing out, by PJ Harvey, the alternative/indie Man-Size (1993), Naked Cousin* (1996), All & Everyone* (2011) -the last one travelling you with its 70s’/80s’ sounds, A Perfect Day Elise (1998), and Is This Desire? (1998) taken by the same titled album.
From the 1995 album the tracks To Bring You My Love, from the same titled album, and also Long Snake Moan*, Down by the Water*, the alternative/punk/blues rock Working For The Man* and the alternative rock C’mon Billy.
By Arctic Monkeys you can listen to their amazingly powerful rock tracks from their 2013 AM album, R U Mine*, One For The Road*, Arabella*, Do I Wanna Know*, and the althernative/indie If You Were There, Beware* (2007).
We got to know the Scottish folk song The Water Is Wide, performed by PJ Harvey, a song also known as “O Waly, Waly”, which part of its lyrics go back to the 1600s’, and its more modern adaptation became known by musician Pete Seeger. A lovely listen-to is the folk What He Wrote (2010) by British musician Laura Marling, inspired by letters sent from a wife to her husband during World War II.
I have to mention also the folk country song All My Tears*, performed by Ane Brun (2013), which was initially released in 1999, and its lyrics and music belong to the American musician Julie Miller (“It don't matter where you bury me, I'll be home and I'll be free. It don't matter where I lay, All my tears be washed away”).
And of course, the series could not but include during this season, the soundtrack stars of its 1st season, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, with their comeback in the series in the Remastered Version of 2011 Loverman*, and once more with the Red Right Hand, Flood Remix.
P.S.1: Whether you are a fan of alternative/indie music or not, listen to Love Bomb* (2007) by Grinderman, with no second thought. It was, to me, the surprise-track of this season.
P.S.2: Before we went on to meet the talented Tom Hardy on the big screen, as Max Rockatansky in Mad Max:Fury Road in 2015, or as Venom in 2018, the actor made his presence known in Peaky Blinders (2nd-4th seasons) as Alfred ‘Alfie’ Solomons, the character of which is based on the real Alfie Solomon (without the final “s”), a violent Jewish gangster, with origins from Camden Town, who is said to have attended the same London school as the also back then infamous gangster Darby Sabini.
P.S.3: Watch for the asterisk* next to song references for Must Listen choices.
P.S.4: Soon to follow, the 3rd season soundtrack review. Keep up with the Peaky Blinders sound!
Cillian Murphy (Tommy Shelby), Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby), Joe Cole (John Shelby), Michael Gray (Finn Shelby), Sophie Rundle (Ada Shelby), Helen McCrory (aunt Polly), Annabelle Wallis (Grace Burgess), Tom Hardy (Alfie Solomons), Iddo Goldberg (Freddie), Sam Neill (CI Campbell) and many more.