Music Review – Statute of Liberty

 The Statute of Liberty
 Creative Routes Records
 £10 plus £1.50 p+p from or call 020 7358 3138


Creative Routes is an organisation that “celebrates and promotes the creativity and individuality of mad people and creatively campaigns to tackle stigma and discrimination” such that its founder has adopted the name Sarah Tonin, a pun on the neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, writes David Hemingway.

The organisation states that its successes derive from it being “mad-led” and “not run by normal people”. The first CD – a compilation featuring the likes of Deadbeat International, Crank and The Escapists – is not occupational therapy but is intended to document “an outpouring of immense and unique creative energy”.

Nevertheless, mental health and the mental health system is (understandably) the release’s foremost pre-occupation:

Dozzy Angel’s droll Adopt-A-Nutter Appeal urges sponsors to contribute £10 to “pay for the junk food that nutters eat because their medication makes them crave sugars and fat”; while Bonkersfest by The Section is a deadpan announcement that the band “could not make their recording session as they were detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983.”

“I’m going out of my mind all the time,” sing Unity & Devision on Sugar: “Their solution is to call the doctor and medicate me. There’s no chemical solution for my deep-seated problem.”

The CD’s musical content is both engaging and humdrum, suggesting that there’s not a direct correlation between “madness” and “creative genius”. Nevertheless, The Statute of Liberty is undeniably impressive in terms of intent and motivation.

David Hemingway writes for XLR8R and Record Collector magazines and is a rehabilitation co-ordinator
A live CD/DVD called Dark Matter from last week’s Liberty festival will be released soon.

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