"Sky Falls" Peter Godwin (Zenda Records)
To the question when is a homage not simply a lazy form of affectionate folly? The answer arrives, when it transcends what has inspired it to stand alone, as a work that harnesses the spark that set in into flame.
Certain songs must wait for their time to be timely. One such example is Peter Godwin's 2012 single "Sky Falls" a shimmering rhapsody in blues of lush and darkening hue to John Barry and the film series that has always opened with an epic ballad. It is the perfect pill to pop as a palliative comfort to the news that the new James Bond movie No Time To Die won't be released till 2021, and that the franchise is now a half century old. An artillery of champagne corks should be exploding, but the time for celebration will come later, and in this stunning piece Peter Godwin had popped all of his drama pills with tremendous aplomb.
Godwin knows a thing or three about presentation. His visuals have always borne a nod and a wink to what's in vogue. When his band METRO and their single "Criminal World" didn't fare too well on release, a BBC ban for being suggestive of sexual ambiguity didn't much help, it fell into the ears of a certain David Bowie who included it on his album Let's Dance, although his version rather pedestrianised the drama implicit in the original. There is no such lack of moodiness to "Sky Falls." Brooding and intense with an existential lyric it cosies up to John Barry on a bed of churning strings.
Exquisitely shot and realised by Johnny Normal, and with a swirlingly insistent production by Charlie Hoskyns, this is an exercise in elegance and poise. A Scott Walker element presides, and the ghost of Billie MacKenzie sighs, as it proceeds to beguile the listener. An effort that deserves a wider audience, and perhaps on the coat tails of "Bond" disappointment, it may just receive some belated kudos, for being thus inspired, and is nothing less than wonderful.