Milk Roulette is Charlie Dore’s 8th album and despite its non-sequitous title, follows births, marriages and deaths as its theme.
Her most personal album to date includes songs about IVF, Pheromones, her father’s game of Milk Roulette, a protest song about downloading and a piano piece written by Charlie’s mother, aged just 6 years old and discovered 80 years later.
Recorded at home on two expensive mics, but otherwise as cheaply as decently possible with her co-producer-writer-schoolfriend Julian Littman, the album also features three members of Charlie’s live band, The Hula Valley Orchestra; Dudley Phillips and Gareth Huw Davies on double bass and Jake Walker on viola and violin.
As ever, this is a home-grown project with Julian on guitar, mandolin, Dobro, piano and percussion (suitcase and housekeys). Charlie plays Indian harmonium, piano, ukulele and autoharp. Other ambient sounds that may be heard on a closer listen include a snoring dog (Ash, Julian’s late friend) and lapping water (a record-breakingly long drink of water from Woody, Charlie’s Irish Terrier during an otherwise perfectly good take.)
The album also includes a guest appearance by Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow on ‘Three A Penny’ an almost acappella protest about cheap downloading, narrated by the service providers. Charlie says, ‘I’m a huge fan of O’Hooley &Tidow. I love their songs and the way their voices blend and I was knocked out that they were up for joining us’.
Old friend Reg Meuross and new friend Jess Vincent were also hijacked on their way home from a gig and lent their voices to Best Man For The Job, while the man behind the album design, Tom Climpson was co-opted to make his first ever appearance on record, singing bass. Charlie says,’He’s very shy of microphones, but he sings like Bing.’