World of Fox
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World of Fox

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As with Friends of the Stars, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from World of Fox, other than the likelihood that Simon Fox would perform a few tracks from ‘Everything is for the Best’, released on 1st August and officially ‘launched’ at this event. My first thought was ‘ooh, a banjo!’ and I wasn’t disappointed, as Fox deftly bent the strings to his will making the instrument sound bright, cheeky, melancholy and thoughtful by turns. The banjo tracks were the most inspiring for me, although the guitar-based performances were also amazing. Mixing some new tracks from the latest album with others hand-picked from his back-catalogue it was clear to all that Simon is an extremely seasoned composer and performer. That said, he never takes himself too seriously, letting the music speak for itself and even parodying his own work in the clever, ‘Grumpy Man Blues’. The enduring image from the set for me was during the final track, ‘Idiocracy’ – a rather charmless title for what has to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard in a long time. Starting simple and building layer-on-layer, (with layering being a recurrent theme in the tracks played this evening) I found myself re-imagining the glint of disco-ball on glass as evening sunlight on calm waters. His music makes you feel warm and calm and his voice was rich and expressive – the perfect evening antidote to the gathering fall. - Brumlive.com


The sad tale of Nick Drake’s demise highlighted many issues surrounding his, at the time, largely ignored musical offerings; a beauty which drifted under a misanthropic music scene, a sound of quintessential English folk music. With a sudden posthumous rise to fame a few years back thanks to some ‘celebrity’ endorsement, a joyous guitar platitude was reintroduced for all to hear, and now the sound is allowed more commercial acclaim.

I bring all of this up as I feel it is vital that the delicate beauty of a hazy English summer evening, with cider (the proper stuff, no White Lightning), hay blowing in the breeze, and crispy Sycamore leaves underfoot, is something which needs to be established in a modern music market, and so bands like World Of Fox do not continue to go past unrecognised.

Sitting comfortably in the line up for the End Of The Road festival, the current incarnation of Simon Fox (Grover, Fox, Lonesome Fox) offers his Leonard Cohen-falling-in-love heart on a platter for us to simply divulge, and at times shun for its all too personal reflections. Tracks such as ‘You Don’t Know Me’ allow the prolific musician to lull us into a sleepy hypnotic state with exceptional guitar chiming techniques, as is shown across all of Everything Is For The Best as Fox show his hands at the banjo, keyboards, theremin, mandolin, as well as other percussion, brass and woodwind instruments which are shown off in the occasional instrumental tracks like ‘The Spider’ which help us to walk along the journey of World Of Fox.

At times the record can be slightly alienating for the listener, and yes it can sound a little dated too with the like of ‘I’ll Pay More Attention To You’ becoming a distant accumulation of emotions and noises you don’t really want to hang around with for too long, but being so personal to Fox, sometimes it can leave the listener a little isolated. But when he does get it right, it’s a beautiful record to listen to, even if outside of your door is a concrete floor or a busy road, if you put on your headphones, look up to the sky, and play Everything Is For The Best, take a deep slow breath, and elevate yourself to a gentler plain, but if you shed a tear to ‘Stoneground Wholemeal’, don’t blame me.

Peter Clark

- Bearded Magazine


Full of instrumental superiority and vocals that instantly attract
you, this is one heck of a beautifully made album

Performing under the name of Fox but whose birth name is Simon Fox,
this UK artist is responsible here for releasing some exquisite songs
that have the ability to transport you to a far-off place full of
whimsical beings that smile at your every turn. With all twelve tracks
penned by Fox and the accompanied performed by him as well, to say he
is talented is one hell of an understatement.

Leaves me Blind begins with some quite delightful yet sparse banjo
picking which sounds like a Gothic bluegrass sound rather than a
Kentuckian one. Possessing Celtic traits, this purely instrumental
track is one which soothes the soul and pleases the mind. With an
intriguing feel about it, You Don't Know Me is full to the brim with a
quirky electric groove that sounds like an eclectic artist at his
best. Although it has a somewhat poignant feel about its end, this
only adds an extra edge of magnificence to what really is a marvellous
track. Although it can be described as a sparse song, A Solitary Tree
On The Brow Of A Hill raises with magnificence rather well towards a
most enjoyable track which I'm sure many would describe as the best on
the album.

There are countless numbers of artists out there who provide all the
accompaniment and write their own material to accompany this. Some
artists who follow this musical trait simply do not reach the required
grade to be classed in the same league as Dylan or Paul Simon but with
this album I'm pretty damn sure this musical tag can be labelled to
Fox. - Maverick Magazine (Jan 2010 issue)


Discography

world of fox - "respect"
free downloads throughout 2010!

world of fox - "everything is for the best" (comin005)
debut album on commercially inviable - released 1st august2009
12 tracks - cd

simon fox - "there are no others, there is only us (fox version)" (unreleased)
original soundtrack for marc silver's film of the same name, commissioned by supersonic - premiered july 2009

fox/various - "skip more school" (wiaiwya052)
split single on where it's at is where you are - released june 2009

fox - "fruit" (wiaiwya051)
single on where it's at is where you are - released may 2009
2 tracks - free download

lonesome fox - "the first rule of comedy" (bearos 071)
debut release on bearos - released 2007
4 tracks - 3" cd

Further discography include releases as Grover and collaborations with other artists

Photos

Bio

A prolific and committed independent musician, Simon Fox was formerly leader of Birmingham’s post-rock pioneers, Grover. Between 1993 and 2003, Grover released a host of albums, singles and split releases on independent labels around the world. Broadcasts on BBC Radio1 (including a Peel Session in 2001), plus airtime on a variety of independent stations in Europe and the USA, helped Grover build a dedicated international fan-base and influence the UK post-rock scene.

Since then, Simon has quietened down, trading sweeping guitar theatrics for more intimate, acoustic-led songwriting. The new songs, performed under the moniker WORLD OF FOX, show a more personal, reflective side, with deceptively rich arrangements, a disarming wit and a flair for creating intimate moods. Recordings feature Simon playing a wide variety of instruments, including guitars, banjo, percussion, keyboards, Theremin, mandolin, even occasional brass and woodwind.

As well as performing solo, Simon can often be seen and heard collaborating with other artists. Most notably, he was one half of electronica duo Krafla, was a founder member of the Experimental Music Collective, recorded and gigged an album with Clair Horton, is currently working with James Summerfield and is a regular guest DJ for the Grumpy Man DJs.

A debut single, "The First Rule Of Comedy", released under the name Lonesome Fox, was released in December 2007 on Bearos Records. 2009 also sees the release of two World of Fox singles on Where It's At Is Where You Are Records.