The beauty of Pagan Wanderer Lu isn’t that no two songs sound the same, it’s that no song ends the same as it begins with each track a miniature musical journey. And while your tour guide may be full of charming and witty anecdotes about places of local interest, driving the bus is an escapee from a high security institution coming down from a six week bender. Thus the energy of Fight My Battles For Me is motorway pile-up of musical styles and ideas.
Mr Lu, aka Andy Reagan, from Cardiff, has described this – his first or fifth album, depending on how you look at it – as “a plethora of plethoricities”, the result is certainly brilliantly inventive, daring and at times thrilling. Fight My Battles For Me is completely original and worthy of the highest of praise, not least because it feels completely authentic and coherent. For all the plethoricity and low-fi electronica, it is never gimmicky or contrived and the songs are melodic and catchy. And the lyrics are good too. ‘The Gentleman’s Game’ is funny, poignant and political: “The asylum seekers had a shit goalkeeper/ and the young offenders had some crap defenders/ Who won the match well I can’t remember”.
Since he started recording as the Pagan Wanderer Lu in 2000 Andy Regan has released 17 EPs and five albums. Some of the songs on this album are new versions of old songs, like ‘The Memorial Hall’, which is so catchy I felt like my pants were on fire. This collection the perfect introduction to an artist who if you are not listening to already, you should be.
Words: Jon Cheetham