Forgotten Pharaohs - King Of Mirrors - CD & LP Formats

Forgotten Pharaohs - King Of Mirrors - CD & LP Formats

Regular price £12.00 Sale

Release Date 20/09/24

From the beach fires of San Francisco, via the vistas of the Sierra Nevada to the Welsh mountain hideaways of ancient princes, the Forgotten Pharaohs debut King of Mirrors is a worldly wonder, crafted by a classic rock journeyman. Born in Frome in Somerset but raised on the sounds of the American west coast, frontman Christian Pattemore is the archetypal man out of place and time; a Laurel Canyon dreamer from 1973 materialised amidst the ancient landscapes of rural Wales.

“It wasn't what everyone else was listening to, by any stretch,” he says of the Crosby, Still and Nash, James Taylor, Doobie Brothers and Neil Young records that his parents and drama teacher introduced him to as a child. “But it just felt like that's a path for me. It was like an affirmation. I grew up in a rural environment as well, so it was all very pastoral music. It's very much a part of my musicality.”

He made a living as a handyman on a lavender farm and further fed his Seventies Laurel Canyon obsession by taking a second job in a record shop in Hay-on-Wye. “I never took pay,” he says. “Instead I got as many LPs as I could by artists like Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash, Joni Mitchell, Little Feat, Steely Dan, anything Seventies Laurel Canyon, to learn more about this amazing music.”

Such natural talent naturally finds the sun. One fateful school sports day, Christian’s croc flew off as he crossed the finish line as winner of the dad’s egg and spoon race and landed at the feet of a fellow parent by the name of Alan McGee, the music industry legend behind the Creation and Poptones labels. “He looked at me and he goes ‘okay, that kid’s got some fight in him, I'm intrigued’,” Christian says. A demo changed hands, and so began an association that would span the coming decade.

An attempt to record the song with Christian’s family friend Mark Gardener of Ride floundered creatively, so Alan passed the song to Killing Joke bassist and celebrated producer Youth. “The original version was six minutes long and Youth goes ‘it sounds like Zeppelin but it needs a chorus’,” says Christian. “He just took it onto another level, raised the bar completely. He said to Alan, ‘Chris has got an album in him and I want to do this’.”

“This album sounds like a record from 1974 that got forgotten about,” says Christian; a dusty supergroup collaboration between CSNY, The Band and Steely Dan perhaps, remixed for the modern day by Queens of the Stone Age. Certainly the crackling power and rich imagery of King of Mirrors – along with its expert Laurel Canyon style layering of blues, folk, rock and dark psychedelia - have a timeless, pan-Atlantic quality.

Failure for King of Mirrors, though, doesn’t seem an option. This is the record that galvanised McGee and Youth to launch a brand-new label Creation Youth, with Forgotten Pharaohs as the first full-length release. “It’s early stages but there is a lot of buzz about it,” Christian says. “It's very exciting. it's a real honour.” For this musical visitor from 1973, his time has finally come.

Tracklisting: 1. Carousel / 2. Life To Burn / 3. Yes I Believe / 4. Soul On Fire / 5. Drive / 6. - Bryn Yr Hydd / 7. Cable Bay / 8. From The Heart / 9. Chameleon / 10. Giving The Best Away