Like a note from a friend in exile or a stone in your shoe, depending on your tastes, Luke Haines is back with ‘Setting The Dogs On The Post Punk Postman’. If nothing else, certainly a contender for title of the year. Always prolific, he seems to be relishing the enforced solitude of late, after last year’s ‘Beat Poetry For Survivalists’.


This is another strong set of songs, if anything even more satisfying. After only a few plays, I’m enjoying replaying it. As ever, it is unlikely to win him new fans, but I doubt that he cares either way . Which is exactly as it should be for any artist. As Luke has said before, art itself has no actual value, so just satisfy yourself (I paraphrase). Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.


You may already be familiar with ‘Ex-Stasi Spy’ and it’s video. The album/cd cover has brief explanations for each song, in an oblique way. “A comedy caper in a Trabant set in 1983”. It matters little, just enjoy some time in Luke’s world. The raucous “U-Boat, Baby” follows. Is this really “the second part of a trilogy…”? Only Luke knows.


‘Never Going Back To Liverpool’ tries to patch up some differences with the past. Complete with Beatley backing vocals, it makes me think of the only time I played a gig there. Didn’t go well.

‘When I Owned The Scarecrow’ has a vibe from ‘Rock And Roll Animals’, with the now expected recorders. Or maybe it’s a synth? No sign of ‘recorders’ on the notes. I think about these things too much.


‘Ivor On The Bus’ is a lovely tribute to Mr Cutler, a previous neighbour of Luke’s. Julian Barratt adds narration to ‘Yes, Mr Pumpkin’, appropriately, ‘Two Japanese Freaks Talking About Nixon And Mao’ possibly sounds exactly like you would hope. ‘I Just Want To Be Buried’ is a “singular entendre poem”, and as such is a righteous celebration of lust.


‘Andrea Dworkin’s Knees’ recalls a possibly accurate brief encounter with the writer, ‘Landscape Gardening’ is “a surgical procedure disguised as a song”, gently addictive, while the title track ends on a pleasingly sinister note. Essentially, no one else writes like Luke Haines. If you know, you know. And, in that case, you will buy this.


*Tuesdays, 2-4pm GMT, you can listen to Luke on Boogaloo Radio. It’s righteous stuff.


Author: Martin Chamarette