Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet

Music Review

14 Dec 2012
FInk
Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet
Ninja Tune
Formats also available: CD, vinyl
CD, vinyl

Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet is presumably a reference to the time that Fin ‘Fink’ Greenall has been spending on the road over the past couple of years. Like many musicians these days he can no longer rely on album sales for an income and has to put in the miles if he's going to make a living. The extent of music piracy on the web is so great that it appears to have affected even those right at the top of the tree, there seem to an awful lot of big names (past and present) on tour these days, which is no bad thing, it means that there is a stronger link with the audience and they get to earn a living in an honest fashion. You get a strong sense of honesty with Fink's work, he sings about the stuff he knows, about London, about living the not so high life and about the vulnerability of others. It makes a refreshing change from the average singer/songwriter and explains his international appeal.

Wheels Beneath My Feet was recorded in Europe on the Perfect Darkness tour in 2011-12 and it was recorded rather well. Fink's albums have always sounded good, some more so than others - Biscuits for Breakfast being the highlight - but the live setting adds an immediacy and energy that is uncommon in the studio work.

The experience he has gained on the road have turned him into a strong act, Fink is a confident musician who's capable of immersing himself in the work and bringing greater vibrancy to familiar numbers. Many of the songs on here reveal more colour and depth than you find on the records, some of them even sound better because of the live, in-the-moment nature of the performance.

The WAV download is clearly superior to the 320kbps MP3 version because the recording has plenty of scale and decent bandwidth and dynamics for the uncompressed format to work with, there's plenty of power in the kick drum and nice meaty bass guitar when it's let loose. You also get some crowd noise which adds real atmosphere to the performance even if the crowd seems to be standing behind the artist in the soundscape, I guess it would be tricky to have that noise behind the listener in a stereo mix like this. The important thing is that he responds to the crowd's energy and puts more into the performance, the result is a powerful and compelling album that is in many ways a a Best of for an artist who deserves more attention.

Jason Kennedy

Fink. Image by Christine van der Merwe

Tracklisting:

Biscuits (live from Amager Bio, Copenhagen)

Perfect Darkness (live from Union Chapel, London)

Fear Is Like Fire (live from Koko, London)

Yesterday Was Hard On All Of Us (live from Paradiso, Amsterdam)

Blueberry Pancakes (live from WUK, Vienna)

Trouble's What You're In (live from Union Chapel, London)

Berlin Sunrise (live from La Cigale, Paris)

Warm Shadow (live from Epicerie Moderne, Lyon)

Honesty (live from La Cigale, Paris)

Wheels (live from Paradiso, Amsterdam)

This Is The Thing (live from Paradiso, Amsterdam)

Sort Of Revolution (live from La Cigale, Paris)

Pretty Little Thing (live from Meetfactory, Prague)