“There is a true story, about the hounding of some travelling entertainers and their dancing bears and how the bears were killed by a mob in revenge for an invented attack on a local girl in the woods between Cinderford and Ruardean. This is at the heart of the whole record.”
The second Oliver Cherer album expanded the sound palette of the previous collection, Sir Ollife Leigh and Other Ghosts with a loose narrative about the fictitious Violet Meek, a young Forest of Dean girl persecuted for perceived promiscuity in a way that her male contemporaries were not. Dennis Potter had written his play A Beast with Two Backs in the 60s, where he adapted the real story of the killing of two bears by a drunken mob in The Forest of Dean in 1889 adding the murder of a girl which is falsely blamed on the travelling bears and their owners. There is a thread throughout the record that draws in the murder, the sexist atitudes I remember from growing up there in the 80s and the forest as a metaphor for sex and rebirth.