Andy White is a Belfast singer-songwriter whose first EP Religious Persuasion, and 1986 debut album Rave on Andy White kick-started a career which includes twenty albums, two books of poetry and a novel. Writing with Peter Gabriel, forming ALT with Tim Finn and Liam O Maonlai, touring the world many times over with his acoustic guitar and winning Ireland’s top music awards, Andy has lived in Belfast, Dublin, Switzerland and, currently, Melbourne. Time is a Buffalo in the Art Of War is his fourteenth studio album.

Andy’s new album takes over from where his previous release The Guilty & The Innocent left off. It zooms out to come to terms with the big picture we’re all faced with—socially, politically, personally. The album’s subtitle is, “It’s our world, and this is how I see it”. The Guilty & The Innocent named names. Ten short acoustic rock ‘n’ roll songs about Trump, the Manchester bombing, Grenfell and the Unheard, with the album featuring the glorious title track in which Andy stepped back from judgement, realising that this is part of the problem and that “the guilty and the innocent are the same as you and me”.

Time Is A Buffalo In The Art Of War takes that thought and puts it on the last train out of the UK along with a troupe of characters hurtling through the night. ‘The Shit Hits The Fan’ confronts the reality of the situation in a series of questions. ‘Running Round In Circles’ is the response. ‘One In A Million’ starts in a Belfast bus station, love and death on the narrator’s mind, and leads to ‘Friday Night’ and a contemporary connection with a spirit from 1989. ‘Fire Engines Blue Trains and Trucks’ builds from toy cars to smart bombs and leaves us on the dark side of the moon. ‘Fly If You Want To’ gives equal weight to taking it or leaving it—as long as good records are playing in the bar. ‘Armageddon #4’ is the big picture writ large, freedom marching for “a better future than today”. ‘Everyone’s Gone To France’—perhaps the Last Train has made it across the Channel. Perhaps not.

The album features an orchestra, a brass section, Andy’s son Sebastian on drums and Rod McVey—multi-instrumentalist and co-producer of Andy’s early albums.

“I had finished throwing things at the telly and pointed my finger at the sky. I was listening to Imagine, feeling the power of truth being able to turn around an apparently hope-free situation. The strength of our aspirations towards freedom. I was listening to The War on Drugs, big sound, guitar solos, songs stretching out as far as they wanted to. If you have a lot to say take all the time you want to say it. That’s what we did.” ANDY WHITE

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