The Weather at World’s End: 1997–2022 anthologises 20 songs from 25 years of Colin Harper’s under-the-radar ‘studio band’ the Legends of Tomorrow. Dozens of musicians/recording artists from Northern Ireland’s rock, blues, folk, punk, jazz and traditional music communities and guests from further afield have joyously contributed to Legends’ recordings over that period – only a few of which have been nationally released – and this anthology features 50 of these collaborators.
Of the 20 tracks, 18 are Harper compositions and the others are by 60s British folk enigma Anne Briggs and 70s Australian rock god Billy Thorpe. There are two 2023 remixes of 1997 tracks, one previously unreleased track and two new tracks: ‘Better Weather’, featuring rising Yorkshire folk sensation Katie Spencer (vocals) plus jazz stars Linley Hamilton (flugelhorn) and Scott Flanigan (piano); and ‘All We Need is Love’, featuring soulful Americana recording artist Janet Henry (vocals) in her first new collaboration with Colin in 15 years, plus Belfast guitar hero Norman Boyd (Stonefish/Protex) and, on BVs, Alison O’Donnell (Mellow Candle) and Joby Fox (Bankrobbers/Energy Orchard).
The anthology majors on the ‘classic rock’ aspect of the Legends’ canon and features 14 lead vocalists, including Dave McLarnon (Shock Treatment), Tíona McSherry (Tamalin), Mickey Rafferty (the Minnows), Rick Monro (Sweet Mary Jane), Alison O’Donnell (Mellow Candle), Ciaran Gribbin (INXS) and Lyndsay Crothers (Wookalily).
The 32-page booklet includes Harper’s telling of the secret history of the ensemble and a ‘reunion photo session’ bringing together almost all of the featured vocalists along with Harper and his key collaborators over the past 25 years: Ali Mackenzie (bass), Cormac O’Kane (keys, production) and Mark Case (graphic design/promo videos).
Promotion will include promo videos of the two new tracks: ‘Better Weather’ by acclaimed animator Marry Waterson, including film of vocalist Katie Spencer; and ‘All We Need is Love’, an ersatz performance video shot at a Belfast club by Mark Case.