Photo: Shaun Page

Crake retell the tale of a talking mongoose on “Gef”

Leeds quartet Crake recently shared “Enought Salt (For All Dogs)”, the A-side of their new 7″ on Saddle Creek which is released today as part of the label’s ‘Document Series’. It also means that we get to hear the B-side, “Gef”, in which the band relays that was told to their singer Rowan by her dad, about a talking mongoose who came to live with his family on the Isle of Mann. She explains further:

“Gef was closest to Voirrey, who first met Gef when she was only thirteen years old. My middle name is also Voirrey and the story of Gef is one I revisit often. Gef is recounted with none of the usual qualities given to ghouls or familiars, neither wicked nor auspicious. He was however is a terrible gossip, a teller of bad jokes and a good catcher of mice. The Irvings recite the implausible story of Gef in all earnestness – emotion buried within a topsoil of practicality leaning toward the mundane. Voirrey was often blamed for Gef’s conception, but until her death she denied any hand in his creation. Either way I don’t care. I love Gef all the same.”

Even though Crake start “Gef” in weary mood, Rowan intoning “don’t talk to me today Gef,” there’s undoubtedly a love lurking in the peripheries. This comes out as the band move forward into the song, adding some crackling guitars, choral vocals and some whimsical washes of silver synth. Rowan’s narrator seems to stay in the doldrums though, like she’s singing an old shanty about her woeful history, and Crake bring subtly dramatic romance to her singing “I heard them talk in Peel / they think it’s all my fault.” Finally, she seems to locate her affection for the mongoose, singing “So, meet me by the sea pink and we’ll give them your best howl / Nothing but close to hell could stop us now,” and “Gef” concludes with a fantastical piano outro, as if they’re wandering off into the night to find more mischief.

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