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Live Robin 2-2003, a CD/DVD set, captures the band in a small, intimate setting during a reunion show. Unlike many bands of the era, it’s obvious that Go West was a real band; Cox singing with a passion and a strength that wasn’t enhanced by computer and studio trickery. This set is heavily Go West specific; eight of the nine songs are performed here, with single “Call Me” and album cut “Innocence” being highlights of the set. Though Dancing is largely ignored, their take of “True Colors” is excellent, and worthy of inclusion. “Faithful,” the band’s final major single, shows that by the end of their run, they had escaped the new wave pop ghetto they were regulated to, and were making fine soul music…
The DVD portion of this set (previously released in 2004 as King Of Wishful Thinking) offers the show in its entirety, and you can see how much fun the band is having onstage. There’s also an excellent, career-spanning interview between the Cox and Drummie, and it’s obvious of the love and the bond the two of them have as they regale with humour and honesty about the ups and downs of their career. It’s an enlightening coda to an excellent reunion show, and makes this live disc a must-have for the Go West fan, as well as a nice introduction for the curious.
The Recoup (July 2016)
The Mutter Slater Band perform ‘Why Are You Talking To Me?’ from their forthcoming album release ‘The Champ’, available from Angel Air Records on September 16th 2016.
Gigs coming up in 2016…
5th August – CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL – Cambridge – Del Bromham’s Blues Devils
6th August – A NEW DAY FESTIVAL – Faversham – Kent
28th August – THE GREAT BRITISH ROCK AND BLUES FESTIVAL – Colne – Del Bromham solo acoustic
11th September – NEWARK BLUES FESTIVAL – Newark – Del Bromham’s Blues Devils
16th September – THE BEAR – Luton – Del Bromham’s Blues Devils
30th September – HARTLEPOOL BLUES CLUB – Hartlepool – Del Bromham’s Blues Devils
1st October – CORNMARKET BLUES – Raven Hall – Corby – Del Bromham’s Blues Devils
2nd October – WHITBY BLUES FESTIVAL – Whitby – Del Bromham’s Blues Devils
5th November – MALT SHOVEL BEER FESTIVAL – Northampton
11th November – ILFRACOMBE ROCK AND BLUES FESTIVAL – Ilfracombe, Devon - Stray
18th November – THE BORDERLINE – London – Stray
Think seventies, think of the timeless memorable sounds of White Plains, Guys And Dolls, Edison Lighthouse, and you know what musical direction this goes in. Tony Burrows has long been noted for decades as the best pop singer, and there are great songs here. “Love Matters” from the Original Cast is a nice love song while Tony Burrows’ “Better Fly Butterfly” is a more solid pop track. Sue & Sunny provide strong vocals which can be heard clearly on “Ain’t That Telling You People” which appeared in 1976. “Oh My Jo” by Tony Burrows takes me back to nice memories of the golden early seventies.
Keys and Chords (Translated – June 2016)
Categorization of this release is difficult. Everything is normal on the one hand, and on the other influences are spread wide. Rock, melodic rock, pop, power pop, blues are completely natural aspects making for a diverse record. The fantastic “Steaming Hot” with a lot of organ sound and a nice guitar solo cries out for a live version, and also the power rocker “All My Doors Are Open” would be well suited to a live performance. Basically you would have to discuss every single song in detail from this album to do it justice.
There is refined harmonica and crisp blues on “Drums, Bass and Guitar”, and the rocker “Northern Nights” has intense melodies, then there’s the power pop of “Simple Simon” with its haunting refrain. There are sill calm tunes such as “The Book Of You”, to contrast with the power. An album without failure, which lacks only the occasional hit.
Music An Sich (Translated – June 2016)
In terms of proginess, what Jerusalem serve up, resides in the more rock with a slice of prog side of life, than the other way round, all of the songs reliant on a strong sense of melody and structure to get their message across. Lyrically however things are a little more quirk-driven, a sideways glance at the modern world being where everything stems from. This approach works best on the bullish “Steaming Hot”, the pulsating beat driving a comment on the wish to be young and beautiful forever…”Northern Lights” shows the band at their best, the urgent, furtive rhythm carrying you along at a magnificent lick that is as enigmatic as it is engaging.
Sea Of Tranquility (June 2016)
In “Northern Lights” the violin even gets a bit part, and Lynden Williams voice resounds with rich chimes. Here and there it is drawn from the blues and folk style which will sharpen your focus as it contrasts with the guitar rock. Fair is fair, Jerusalem can finally get the attention they deserve. Excellent guitar rock that will amaze, and that does not surprise me with such a good line-up.
Keys and Chords (Translated – June 2016)
The ’70s may ooze out of many a pore, yet when tunes are as arresting as “Baby Come Around” or as life-affirming as the sunny “Sandy” with its almost baroque backdrop, the drift is timeless. So Dicken may cast another dreamlike glance over his shoulder on the exquisitely textured bonus “Close My Eyes” and sail away on acoustic lull: the streets he still walks on are full of sweet light rather than bitter tears. ****1/3
DMME.net (June 2016)
The guys in Mr Big are back. But upon hearing the fresh pop sounds on Bitter Streets you’d never know they disbanded in the first place. This band originally made a big splash way back in 1977 with their hit single “Romeo.” Like so many bands, however, follow up recordings failed to reach the success of that single and they eventually threw in the towel. The band members did eventually form a new band called Broken Home, but that only lasted for a while…before they decided to re-fuel Mr Big.
Recorded in 2010, Bitter Streets finds the band returning to something quite similar to their original sound (there’s even a re-recording of “Romeo” here). Streets sounds very much like a non-stop string of potential hits. And this release also includes two bonus tracks (“Close My Eyes” and “Dreamed”). Hopefully this album will reignite the flame that began so many years ago. These guys still have a fresh inviting sound–you’d never know they’ve been around for as long as they have. A good solid release.
babysue (June 2016)
This album was originally released way back in 1979 but we’re only now hearing it thanks to the folks at Britain’s Angel Air label (this is the first time the album has ever been issued on CD).
Snips (whose real name is Steve Parsons) was originally in the band Sharks and also worked for a while with Ginger Baker. In 1979 he began his solo career with the release of La Rocca! Produced by Chris Spedding (who also plays guitar on the album), this disc is one entertaining spin.
What’s interesting here are the songs themselves. Although the vocals are markedly different than either, the songs on La Rocca! remind us very much of mid-career stuff from Sparks and Devo (!?). As is almost always the case with Angel Air’s reissues, this disc includes all the tracks from the original album plus six additional bonus tracks. After spinning this a few times, we can’t help but feel that it’s a shame this album didn’t produce at least one or two hits. The songs certainly have that sort of appeal. Plenty of upbeat catchy pop cuts here including “Nine O’Clock,” “Skies of England,” “Happy Sometimes,” and “What Is Pop?”
babysue (June 2016)
This interesting period piece dates form 1979 and found vocalist Steve “Snips” Parsons working in close collaboration with guitarist and producer Chris Spedding in a revival of the partnership which had proved so creatively fruitful during the pair’s stint in short-lived supergroup Sharks earlier in the decade. The bulk of this stylish set was self-penned with the notable exception of Larry Wallis’ ‘Police Car’, with Bill Nelson’s distinctive interjections on synthesiser lending added impetus to the proceedings on tracks such as ‘Happy Sometimes’, ‘Dark Outside’ and ‘La Rocca’.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (June 2016)
A pleasantly nostalgic ‘of-its-time’ feel pervades on an LP that should perhaps have had more impact than it did, and which is now appended by six additional tracks. Nearly all the pieces are Parsons originals – and perhaps unsurprisingly he’s developed a successful later career in music for TV and film.
The Beat (June 2016)
…It’s not the first time for such an endeavor, what with the axeman taking to the mic on DAMAGE CONTROL’s “Raw”, but the result is intimate now, rather than heroic, on the likes of “Love Power And Peace” as the composer stresses a strength of a song itself, not only of its message. The anguished honesty of his delivery zooms out from the universal to personal in the fresh-fashioned title track – all sparse melange of sharp riffs, angular strum and Eastern weave – and, following a reference to angels, in an updated look at “Heaven” which is an epitome of an almost orchestral affection here. The vibrant reprise of “Oxygen” may seem to symbolize the insularity of Robin’s today’s approach, and not for nothing George, with a blues edge to most of the numbers, is boiling down the decisiveness of “The Rubicon” to his and Pete Haycock’s rapport.
Still, there’s a crisp funk thrown onto “Pride” after the guitarist has pushed Ruby Turner’s wail to the back, while the infectious chorus and Mel Collins’ sax make the heavy, if sensual, “Catarina” stand out, but “World” offers dry crunch that’s gradually wetted with a slider to soften the writer’s acidic critique of our current ways. That’s why here’s a lot of love in these grooves: because it is all we need, as painful as it may be. ****
DMME.net (July 2016)
Over the years Britain’s Robin George has worked with an amazing array of great classic artists including Robert Plant, Glenn Hughes, Phil Lynott, David Byron, Roy Wood (!), John Wetton, and Pete Way. But he’s also recorded an impressive number of solo albums that have caught the attention of many.
On Painful Kiss , George presents his own recordings of songs that were recorded previously or made famous by other musicians. In addition, the album presents three new tracks that were written specifically for this release. Our guess is that these tracks will become the definitive recordings of many of these songs. These cuts have a nice thick fat produced sound with plenty of overdubs that add additional zest. And of course those remarkable guitars remain the trademark of Robin’s sound. Twelve nifty zippy cuts here including “Painful Kiss,” “Lonesome Daze,” “Pride,” “Love, Power and Peace” and “Oxygen.”
babysue (June 2016)
‘The American Way’ is where Charlie Morgan hits hard, despite few guitar interventions from Robin. It is However, my favourite track, surrounded by a bass groove. Another of my favourites is the bluesy ‘Bluesong’ where Robin demonstrates how successful it can be when he does not try to please at all costs, because when his guitar awakens, the music takes off…
Highlands Magazine (Translated – June 2016)
Openers ‘Painful Kiss’ and ‘Lonesome Daze’ – both still poppy with a metal edge – kick-start things nicely, and nod stylistically back to 1985 and George’s first solo album, albeit with a twenty-first century twist. ‘The American Way’ is a snappy little pup originally recorded with Glenn Hughes (this version unfortunately still lurks in the vaults, officially at least) and the coupling of ‘Catarina’, complete with sax solo from the legendary Mel Collins, and ‘The Rubicon’ is pretty much worth the price of the album alone: if your toes aren’t tapping by this point in the album you’d best check you still have a pulse.
John Tucker (May 2016)
If you’ve never encountered the work of Robin George before, I’ve no hesitation in suggesting that Painful Kiss is a wonderful place to start. For those more acquainted with his impressive output, the chance to hear some old favourites alongside some newer numbers given the full Robin George treatment, will prove simply too good to pass up.
Sea Of Tranquility (May 2016)
Catch Go West live in 2016!
August 6th – Rewind Festival North, Cheshire
August 27th – Holkham Hall, Norfolk
October 7th – Go West Ladies Lunch, Maidstone
November 25th – Churchill Theatre, Bromley
December 9th – Robin 2, Bilston
December 11th – The Stables, Milton Keynes
December 23rd – Indigo at The 02, London
The meaningful lyrics explore human nature, religion and beliefs within compact songs with clear vocals, strong melodies and catchy hooks plus plenty of synthesiser and guitar; it’ll sound great live.
Opening with the catchy up-tempo track called ’7′ there’s nice keyboard-melodies and synth-washes (Lloyd George), supporting DC’s lead vocal. ‘She Waits’ is a great head-nodding rocker featuring some splendid guitar work (Robin Harrison) and is cleverly arranged with some Purson-like psychedelic moments and should be a live favourite.
‘Forth Of Fife’ has lovely synth swathes and another highlight is ‘The Gathering’ with up-front keys, plus great bass and strong guitar work with a lovely Marillion-tinged instrumental mid-section…777 delivers well-balanced enjoyable end-to-end listens.
Classic Rock Society (August 2016)
The band has almost completely abandoned the real folky elements in their music; no tin whistles, no mandolin, no traditional folk melodies. Instead you get catchy synth themes and poppy vocal melodies as on the opener 7, a real waltz on She Waits, and metal riffing in The Gathering. They produce very poppy choruses (Nothing to Believe) and re-work the leading theme of Forth of Fife in the next song (The Gathering) without gluing the songs together. There the strength of the vocal lines becomes very apparent. Clifford manages to sing the long lyric lines without any obvious strain, and makes these songs fluid and melodious….
Bonus track October and April is a cover of The Rasmus featuring Annette Olzon song, jointly sung by Clifford and his stunning musical, dancing and acting daughter Soheila. It is a rather cheesy and folky ballad, with acoustic guitar and spinet-like keys sounds that reminded me of the Dan Fogelberg/Emmylou Harris duet Only The Heart May Know on the Innocent Age album. Their voices blend together very well and the sober-but-effective arrangement makes this potential lamentable song a really nice one to listen to. I highly prefer it over the original. 8/10
Dutch Progressive Rock Page (July 2016)
Folk approaches have not entirely disappeared, but are now less frequent. This is perhaps most clear on the track “She Waits”, which is really rocking – a beautiful piece. Among the highlights include the great opener “7″ and the pop/prog “Reaching out” with its anthemic vocals and detailed synth solos. The soft synth number “Paradise Folly” is an excellent album closer.
Musik An Sich (Translated – June 2016)
…’Dragonfly’ includes an introduction with acoustic guitar but the tone in general is again neo-prog. ‘Paradise Folly’ is like JETHRO TULL: a beautiful ballad on acoustic guitar, with romantic keyboards, a beautiful voice, loads of emotion and a Gilmouresque solo. ‘October and April’ is an unplugged bonus track with the addition of a female voice. I do not know if all this will please the old fans, but they will gain more fans, because RED JASPER took a serious facelift with this album.
Highlands Magazine (Translated – June 2016)
777 is vintage prog-rock – it should have been recorded in 1974. Lloyd George’s keyboards are the key sound that grounds the album, not with Wakemanesque flight of fancy – well, not much – but with solid swathes of sound. The bass and drums are equally solid with Harrison’s guitars doing the rest. ‘Reaching Out’ is a prime example of the way the band works…there’s a bonus track, a cover of ‘October and April’ from Finnish band The Rasmus to emphasise Red Jasper’s credentials. If you like your rock music layered in pomp and circumstance, you’ll love this.
R2 Magazine (May 2016)
…with “Reaching Out” bringing a brighter tone to proceedings and Robin Harrison’s early Rothery inspired guitar styling taking hold, it’s a genuine, classy highlight of this album. As with the band’s precious release, lyrically the work of writer Clive Barker has inspired the exploration of human nature, religion and belief. Along with an intriguing album cover that evokes the most recent series of American Horror Story (Hotel), the imagery, both physical and mental is strong. When Red Jasper really hit their stride, they easily match that level of atmosphere.
Sea Of Tranquility (May 2016)
The band’s eagerly anticipated follow-up set mines a similar melodic vein as the five musicians explore the vagaries of the human condition via the refreshingly uncluttered delights of ‘Forth Of Fife’, ’7′ and ‘Paradise Folly’.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (April 2016)
The glossy anxiety of “7″ introducing a new set of rules, now erstwhile long instrumental passages have left ample room for David Clifford’s vocals that launch the heavy raga of “Blessed With Gold” on a deliciously high note, although sometimes words seem to twist the tunes into slightly repetitive patterns. As a result, the melody which unites “The Gathering” with “Forth Of Fife” could have outstayed its welcome and drown the “Firth of Forth / Firth Of Fifth” reference if not for the songs’ additional turns and distinctly different arrangements. So where others would indulge in countless time signatures, RJ wrap the verses of “She Waits” in waltz and harden its choruses to rock riffs, while giving the despondency of “Nothing To Believe” an anthemic bounce.
Still, where Lloyd George’s cosmic synthesizers make “Reaching Out” a typical art-rock ballad, “Paradise Folly” gets down to an acoustic, spiritual foundation of it all, something that’s stressed on a bonus cover of THE RASMUS’ “October And April” as DC and his daughter Soheila (whose solo album is long overdue) deliver a dramatic duet. There might always be seven reasons not to see it clear, but with “777″ RJ clear this view in spectacular fashion. ****
DMME.net (April 2016)