Greetings pilgrim. You're at the pages of Webshaped, an internet site concerning itself with the activities of the singer and songwriter Neville Clay. We run this site solely as fans of the man and his music. We'll try and keep you up to date with any gigs that are coming up (that we find out about), details about how to get hold of recordings, and anything else we think will be of interest. Here is Nev's real MySpace page!
you can email us at
whitemice @ webshaped.co.uk
due to spam avoidance, we're not including a link. feel free to cut and paste. And delete the spaces.
Nev has recorded three albums: 'Not It', 'As If', and 'Pearshaped'. If you are interested in getting some of them, or all of them, please tap an email to us.
that email address again is whitemice @ webshaped.co.uk. don't forget to delete the spaces. Alternatively, you can go to indiepages and use a credit card for purchasing. Nev is under the letter 'C'. Return to the top
Phil, Ptolomic Terrascope - The startlingly accomplished singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist
Neville Clay has the happy knack of stumbling across his muse in the
unlikeliest of places, from the school-staff room to the market stall, from
the health-clinic to the betting-shop, down at the chippy and up at the
call centre. Football, lottery scratch-cards, the Animal Liberation Front,
council flats, lager, Stanley knives and mail-order catalogues; the very
clay, as it were, that forms the building blocks of English suburbia - it’s
the medium which is the message here. His caustic, trenchant and bitingly
witty observations are the musical equivalent of a Mike Leigh play; sparse,
sad, cynical, frightening, endlessly amusing - and occasionally
extraordinarily beautiful. ‘Be Gentle With Yourself’, ‘Serendipity’ and
‘Shipping News’ are like unexpected works of art found amidst scenes of
dereliction, and at his best Clay conjurs up breathtaking poetical couplets
out of the dust left behind: “There’s nothing I want to take from her
except the eczema on her hands. She drinks tea and smokes Bensons and
that’s all I understand…”(from ‘Staff Room’). File somewhere between
Michael Chapman and Pat Orchard, but make a note of where you put it,
because listening is an education in itself.
from 'Unpeeled' zine -
I DEFY ANYONE -
Neville Clay "Pearshaped" (Ferric Mordant) -
Bit of a tonic for the troops here, from the opening 'Pearshaped' the warmth
and sheer heart just infuse the whole thing, yeah, even the starkly observed
'Your Dad Sells Lighters'. Musically, its almost a swing kind of thing and
pretty much a light and bouncy bit of kit with totally ace guitars, pedal
steel and jaw harps, but it remains solidly English, northern England.
All the same 'Pearshaped' is a warm, wry record with eleven beautiful
observations of the human condition and the inhuman conditions some of us
live in. I defy anyone to listen to 'Shipping News' and refuse to buy this
Rob Nichols, The Evening Gazette - I was up on Tyneside last year to watch one of Hazel Oozell's acoustic
promotions and one of the turns was NEV CLAY.
He apologised for his voice straight off, he was not at all well at the time
but had gamely gone on with the gig despite sounding like Lee Marvin ... but
you couldn't help taking a massive shine to his performance.
With his wonderful guitar playing and lyrics to die for, he endeared himself
to the audience and we fell in love with his torrid tales of Tyneside street
Well, that was quite a few months ago but just this week, quite by chance, I
happened across his album. It was actually addressed to my mate but came to
my address by accident. Neville had forgotten to put stamps on the envelope
so I went down the sorting office to pick it up.
Must have been Serendipity. As Neville sings on this very disc. I'm so glad
I that it came into my hands because it is an absolute jewel. Pearshaped is
a quite phenomenal piece of work. It stands up there with Junior Elvis as
the best product the North-east offered up last year by a merry mile.
The guitaring is of a supreme standard - folk, country, jazz, indie - but
it's a vehicle for the most unexpected real life lyrics.
Gritty, urban, down to earth, bawdy, gallows humour and beautifully tender
in parts. All these things and more. The whole gamut of life in other words.
It's as if you have a series of musical/lyrical snapshots at your disposal
of Neville's life and times in Tyneside. Or rather the life that goes on all
He observes and passes on his discoveries about the bloke who tries to bum a
quid home for his bus fare.; the dad who sells lighter fuel outside the
market; or kids eating pasties on silver scooters.
You see another world is just a scratchcard away - that's what holds
everything together at the bulging seams. But this is an album firmly rooted
on our side of the lottery win.
Subject matters switch between useless Andy Cole Newcastle tattoos, dodgy
half-brothers who've been swiping DVD players. Settings include Joe Corals'
bookies, and the top shops. Anyone who writes the line "He smells of
sandwich shops and bus station toilets" is a star as far as I'm concerned.
But there's a whole 11 songs worth of lyrics of this quality. It'll make you
smile, it'll make you think, it'll make you pause before you drink.
New 21st century folk for townies. Could be. The new acoustic Half Man Half
Neville Clay's Pearshaped is released on Ferric Mordant Records. Please try
and get hold of it. Bloomin' marvellous it is. Try the website
www.ferricmordant.co.uk for more details.
See you at a gig somewhere soon.