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RENAISSANCE Live Fillmore West 1970

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Of documentary as well as recreational interest are additional numbers that embrace ‘Try Believing’ (reminiscent faintly of Steams ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’) – a McCarty-Relf collaboration from the Yardbirds-Renaissance interregnum, and three demos from the period between the group’s return to England (and subsequent disbandment) and the 1975 reformation (as Illusion) of the surviving personnel of this original, and as far as I’m concerned, finest edition of Renaissance.

R2 Magazine (November 2016)


…this CD catches their performance live on stage that night, 46 years ago. The 4 tracks that they performed were ‘Innocence’, ‘Wanderer’, ‘No Name Raga’, and ‘Bullet’. Also included as bonus tracks are original demos and one previously unreleased song ‘Statues’, which was recorded in London on their return from that American trip.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (November 2016)


This disc showcases the talents or the early short-lived Renaissance line-up – the band formed by ex-Yardbirds Keith Relf and Jim McCarty. There’s a gentle, trippy, spiritual vibe to all of this, far removed from the heavy blues rock vibe of The Yardbirds. It’s an earnest kind of prog-rock – very much of its time, but none the worse for that. It’s easy to imagine the switched-on Fillmore audience nodding appreciatively to the gently shifting grooves and intertwining melody lines of guitar, bass and keyboards.

Shindig Magazine (October 2016)


‘Try Believing’ by Relf-McCarty presents a more cheerful, rocky face, with rhythmic guitar teeming with percussion as well as bass – Louis Cennamo thank you! Although this piece may have benefitted from more elaborate arrangements, it is eminently friendly and concludes this pleasantly unexpected album, including its share of nuggets. Fans of original Renaissance, you know what you have to do! 4 stars

Highlands Magazine (September 2016 – translated)


The demos are listed as ‘bonus tracks’, but with better sound quality these quickly become the selling point of the set. Less than twelve minutes between them, these tracks could have easily worked as B-sides, possibly A-sides, but unfortunately were lost in the annals of time until the turn of the millennium. Statues is a marvellous ditty with a subtle 7/8 time chorus, showing tendencies of progressive rock. I love the track I’d Love to Love You Till Tomorrow simply for its name. No further questions. Another favourite, Please Be Home, highlights Jane Relf’s beautiful vocals and is the only place on the album where her voice shines. All in all, it’s a peculiar set of tracks, but one that helps the listener further understand the first incarnation of the legendary band.

The Progressive Aspect (September 2016)


The sound here is basic, yet that somehow introduces a lo-fi charm, nearer to Relf and McCarty’s origins, keeping the five piece band away from the pomp-rock that later line-ups (devoid of original members) turned into a decent living…As a bonus there’s an unreleased studio track ‘Statues’, a workout for Relf’s vocalist sister Jane, and demos of several other unheard numbers.

Record Collector (September 2016)


…studio run through “Statues” – recorded soon after this San Francisco performance and added here as a bonus – starts to show how easily, and elegantly, the band could bend to pop idiom, one that brother and sister Relf would acoustically explore at home with the solemnly soulful “I’d Love To Love You Till Tomorrow” in 1976, shortly before Keith’s untimely death. Without him, “Please Be Home” which didn’t make the cut for the first album by ILLUSION, a new incarnation of the original RENAISSANCE, turned out rather chamber-like, if arresting, but as a reminder of the ensemble’s beginning, “Try Believing” – that gave the two Yardbirds an initial opportunity to test their new formula back in 1968, as TOGETHER – is a fittingly festive finale to the testament of the unique group’s continuity. An essential listen. 5 stars

DMME.net (September 2016)


Though this original version of the band was short-lived, you can hear the seeds of the classic Renaissance sound being born on this live recording, even though the band was completely overhauled just a short year later. Kicking off the set with “Innocence”, Relf’s effects laden guitar textures and Hawken’s majestic piano blend classical leanings with psychedelia, while the complex arrangement of “Wanderer” goes straight into the type of prog that the band would shortly become famous for, as the sinewy bass lines bounce around intricate passages of Hawken’s vast array of keyboards until Relf’s dreamy vocals come into play. The 14+ minute “No Name Raga” is more of a jam, again with plenty of psychedelic, folk, and prog rock elements fighting for supremacy, complete with some tasty guitar playing courtesy of Keith and layers of trippy keyboards from Hawken. “Bullet” starts out almost like a straight up classical piece, before the band burst in with some psychedelic hard rock for what turns out to be the most rousing number in the set, showing that Relf & McCarty hadn’t forgotten their blues and rock roots.

To round out the CD, Angel Air have included some bonus material, including the previously unreleased song “Statues” from 1970, an upbeat pop tune with a catchy hook and some nice piano, plus the demo cuts “I’d Love to Love You Tomorrow”, “Please Be Home”, and “Try Believing”…All in all, this is an intriguing release, containing some rare material from the very first line-up of Renaissance, not long before the band would be completely revamped with all new members and taking the elements begun here to the next level.

Sea Of Tranquility (September 2016)


This CD catches their performance live on stage that night, 46 years ago. The 4 tracks that they performed were ‘Innocence’, ‘Wanderer’, ‘No Name Raga’ and ‘Bullet’. Also included as bonus tracks are original demos and one previously unreleased song ‘Statues’, which was recorded in London on their return from that American trip.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (September 2016)


This band was formed by Keith Relf and drummer Jim McCarty in the aftermath of The Yardbirds’ sad demise, and Angel Air’s new offering was recorded in fairly murky sound quality at San Francisco’s Fillmore West in March 1970 during their one and only American tour, fleshed out a little with the inclusion of a few demo tracks, outtakes and hitherto unreleased 1976 track from vocalist Jane Relf entitled ‘Statues’.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (August 2016)


Renaissance was a group that always fantasized and improvised, so the music lovers are best catered for. With 35 minutes of music, we are treated to an unreleased song (‘Statues’, 1970), a studio demo (‘Please Be Home ‘, 1976) and two home recordings where Keith Relf plays the lead role (‘Try Believing ‘, 1968 & ‘I’d Love To Love You Till Tomorrow’, 1976). As on his official solo single, you can hear a Keith Relf here that has nothing to do with The Yardbirds, nor Renaissance. ‘I’d Love To Love’ is a folk tune, whilst ‘Try Believing’ sounds very commercial. Renaissance are for music fans and Keith Relf enthusiasts.

Keys and Chords (August 2016)


…this record captures the band in full progressive rock mode, recorded as they supported the Butterfield Blues Band during a US tour. Although there are only four live tracks, these weigh in at suitably hefty lengths allowing the band to indulge in a mixture of extended keyboard and guitar workouts that place them somewhere between the psychedelia of Jefferson Airplane and the more progressive rock noodlings of Soft Machine. The Airplane feel is further enhanced by Jane Relf’s vocal, a slightly less self-assured Grace Slick. The album comes with the addition of demos and the previously unreleased light ’70s pop rock offering Statues.

Southern Daily Echo (August 2016)

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GREENSLADE The Birthday Album – Live Switzerland 1974

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With several of the pieces extending outward into multi-sectioned suites of such proportions that would give ELP or Yes a run for their money, they command a bristling with intricacy and hard rock edge that occasionally recalls the baroque complexities of Gentle Giant, driven by the Wetton-esque crunch of Tony Reeves’ bass. Dave Lawson’s synths provide textural contrast to Dave Greenslade’s blues-rooted soloing…These spirited and road-tested renditions of their studio counterparts pack a considerable punch.

Prog Magazine (December 2016)


…Lawson and Greenslade really get to show their chops on the 17-minute long free-jamming ‘Sundance’ where they wring all sorts of wonderful sounds from their keyboards, while the 14-minute ‘Drum Folk’ allows McCulloch to knock seven bells out of his cavernous-sounding kit. Now if only I could grow my hair long again…

Pipeline Magazine (December 2016)


“Pilgrim’s Progress” may be the most illustrious example of the ensemble’s instrumental intricacy and their ability to wrap attack – sharpened to perfection in “Time To Dream” – in elegance, but “Drowning Man” adds a playful groove to it, whereas two organs propel “Feathered Friends” towards a “Gimme Some Lovin’” kind of cool before stopping at the gothic prospect of eco disaster. For original GREENSLADE, extinction was around the corner, too, and the telepathy captured here would soon be gone, but while it lasted it felt magical. *****

DMME.net (November 2016)


Two albums are played exclusively: ‘Greenslade’ & ‘Bedside Manners Are Extra’, the live versions being slightly different from the studio albums. Dave Lawson (Alan Brown Set, Episode Six, Samurai) is on piano, keyboards, clavinet and ARP synthesizer. Tony Reeves is on bass (ex-John Mayall and Colosseum. On the drums Andy McCulloch (ex-King Crimson). One notices the absence of guitar, the music of Greenslade being entirely dedicated to keyboards – beautifully used and particularly diversified. The sharing between the two aforementioned albums is fairly equal…the sound of the set is very listenable too, in accordance with the quality reissues of Angel Air. A live release recommend to lovers of keyboard-based music.

Highlands Magazine – Translated (November 2016)


This is the last known live recording of the original line-up of progressive rock band Greenslade, recorded in Prilly, Switzerland on January 18th, 1974 – on band leader Dave Greenslade’s 31st birthday…songs performed that evening were from Greenslade’s first 2 studio albums, including ‘An English Western’, ‘Sun Kissed Your Not’, ‘Bedside Manners Are Extra’, ‘Drowning Man’, and ‘Feathered Friends’.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (November 2016)


…the instrumentals are the real strength of this album. Special mention must go to the rather Camel-like Swings and Roundabouts, the first part of a ten minute medley with Time Takes My Time where we get to hear Greenslade singing for the first time. However, the last duo of songs really bring the listener back into familiar Greenslade territory. Country Dance flows beautifully between fast jazz-based sections and murkier slow parts…The band are really on top form as well, never seeming to miss a note…I’d say fans of the band will definitely get a kick out of hearing this band in action at the best point in their history.

The Progressive Aspect (September 2016)


This release has historical significance for Greenslade fans as this is the last known live recording of the original line-up. Recorded in Philly, Switzerland on January 18, 1974 (Dave’s birthday), the band was then comprised of Dave Greenslade, Dave Lawson, Tony Reeves, and Andrew McCulloch. The concert presents the band playing material from their first two albums. You can tell from these tracks how tight these guys had gotten from performing this material live. The sound quality is good, but you can definitely tell that this was a concert recorded in the mid-1970s. We’ve always felt that Greenslade was one of the best progressive bands from the seventies and yet, for some reason, they’ve never received the same amount of recognition that many other bands from that time period have. Nine cool tracks here including “An English Western,” “Bedside Manners Are Extra,” “Time To Dream,” and “Feathered Friends.”

babysue (September 2016)


Hammond organ, Moog, Mellotron, electric piano, it’s all here and just dripping with early ’70s prog splendor. “Pilgrim’s Progress” is just amazing, a rousing number featuring rampaging Hammond and wild Moog, with the rhythms just supercharged underneath, while numbers such as “Sunkissed You’re Not” and “Bedside Manners are Extra” show just how tight this band were at delivering complex, symphonic prog rock. The atmospheric “Drowning Man” has a certain ELP feel to it, featuring some killer drumming courtesy of McCulloch, and “Time to Dream” ups the energy with intricate rhythms, passionate vocals, and wild keyboard explorations. The 17-minute “Sundance” is a keyboard lovers dream, as the duo pull out all the stops for a spirited jam, and McCulloch gets to solo with reckless abandon on the extended percussive romp “Drum Folk”. Toss in the hard rocking “Feathered Friends” and you have an energetic, virtuoso performance from fiery prog act who sadly, never really made it to stardom like some of their contemporaries…this is a killer show, and one that fans of vintage ’70s prog rock will want to seek out.

Sea Of Tranquility (September 2016)


This distinctly low fidelity offering captures the stylish prog rockers’ performance at Prilly in Switzerland on keyboard ace Dave Greenslade’s 31st birthday, in what was destined to be the last known live recording made by their original line-up.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (August 2016)


Greenslade was a band you could always listen to with pleasure, both on record and live. In 1974 they were on the stage at the renowned Jazz Bilzen Festival and gave an impressive show. With this release, you get to relive it!

Keys and Chords (August 2016)


The 72-minute excursion results from a recording that was only recently discovered by Reeves. The show was taped – on Dave Greenslade’s 31st birthday – in Prilly, Switzerland, during a European tour by the band. The big Greenslade following will be delighted to hear a selection of some of the songs and instrumentals they love resplendent in a concert ambience.

The Beat (August 2016)

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GO WEST Live Robin 2 – 2003

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Still, while leading beyond the obvious hits such as “The King Of Wishful Thinking” which many remember from the “Pretty Woman” movie, this concert reveals a degree of homogeneity to the GO WEST oeuvre, even though the funky “SOS” and “Innocence” rock the house, and “I Want To Hear It” is quite an athletic exercise, Cox’s grip on a microphone stand as firm as it is on the listeners in front of him. The band wring every sinew from their instruments and Drummie switches between keyboard and guitar to add texture to it all, yet, if not for a jazz piano “Missing Persons” could have test a non-initiated patience, unlike “The Sun And The Moon” that’s evoking the spirit of Otis Redding, and “What You Won’t Do For Love” that’s part of a “guilty pleasure” ministry. And there’s nothing wrong with it, as the cover of “Tracks Of My Tears” suggests: GO WEST still are the life of the party.

DMME.net (September 2016)


This lengthy concert features seventeen tracks and presents the duo and their backing band playing for over seventy-eight minutes. This double disc set contains the audio from the concert as well as a DVD for those wanting the complete experience. Tracks that will definitely take fans back include “Don’t Look Down,” “Goodbye Girl,” “Innocence,” and “The King of Wishful Thinking.”

babysue (August 2016)


Playing live was and still is the core to this band’s continuing existence and this release, on a combined CD and DVD package, captures the band playing live in a sold out show at the Robin 2 in Bilston during 2003. The set list that night included their hits ‘Don’t Look Down’, ‘Faithful’, ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’, ‘Goodbye Girl’, ‘Call Me’, ‘We Close Are Eyes’, ‘Tracks Of My Tears’ and ‘The King Of Wishful Thinking’.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (July 2016)


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)

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DEL BROMHAM/STRAY LIVE DATES!

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2017
12th March – LEGENDS OF ROCK – Great Yarmouth STRAY
27th May – DAGENHAM ROUNDHOUSE – with Dr Feelgood – Del Bromham solo
25th – 27th August – A NEW DAY FESTIVAL – Faversham – Kent – Del Bromham’s Blues Devils (actual show date to be confirmed)

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THE ORIGINAL CAST & FRIENDS The Ones That Got Away

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Tony Burrows, David Martin and Sue & Sunny formed The Original Cast in the mid-70s, all were well-known in their own right…There are 19 tracks from the ’70s on this album plus a bonus track, recorded this year, featuring Ron Dante, who was lead singer on The Archies’ number one hit ‘Sugar Sugar’.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (November 2016)


…the hour-long collection, featuring some lesser known recordings that heavily enlist a ‘revolving’ team of stalwart recording studio denizens (also including backing-singer sisters Sue & Sunny), is largely made up of catchy sunshine pop – not least the late-70′s original ‘Summertime’ by ‘the West End Boys’, which is very reminiscent of the aforementioned ‘Beach Baby’.

The Beat (August 2016)


For those of you whose collections proudly boast entries by Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, Brotherhood Of Man and Butterscotch, there are just enough fresh thrills here to encourage you to get out and grab the original 45s of Burrows’ solo outings like the funky, driving ‘Have You Had A Little Happiness Lately’…

Shindig Magazine (August 2016)


…this album was created to shed light on the music created by Tony, David, Sue, and Sunny. If you love the light and sunny 1970′s pop sound that can be found on the Rhino Records Have A Nice Day various artists collection, The Ones That Got Away will be right up your alley. These nineteen tracks are sure to take you back to another time and place when music was simpler and folks weren’t quite so sarcastic and jaded about everything. To bring things full circle, the album closes with a new track recorded in 2016 that includes vocals by Ron Dante (of The Archies). A fascinating journey into the music of four exceedingly talented artists.

babysue (August 2016)


…Just as sincere, Sue’s delicate “Solo” and soulful “All So Different Now” from Sunny are prime examples of understated balladry, while “Ain’t That Tellin’ You People” finds the sisters in boisterous mood. Burrows managed to combine the two aspects in “Better Fly Butterfly” and rock it with a certain defiance, and THE NAIMZ’ “Golden Yearz” from 2016 may serve as a bottom line to this dewy-eyed compilation. Sometimes it’s so sweetly ’70s that there’s a risk of toothache; sometimes it’s conventionally adventurous; altogether, it’s a good reminded of the musical-minded landscape that’s long gone. ***

DMME.net (August 2016)


I can tell you that a lot of the tracks on this new 20 track CD are rare and hard to find and if you enjoy pure pop put together impeccably there is a lot to enjoy, its perfect summer time sunny day listening. And the final track ‘Golden Yearz’ is a little stroke of genius, recorded this year and featuring Tony B, David M and the USA’s ‘equivalent’ of Tony Burrows in the shape of Ron Dante the ‘voice’ behind The Archies ‘Sugar Sugar’, The Cufflinks ‘Tracy’, ‘When Julie Comes Around’ and a host of others. An inspired idea, a hell of a catchy song, and proof (if it was needed) that these guys have lost none of their vocal prowess 4 decades on, love it!

ninebattles.com (August 2016)


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)

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JERUSALEM Cooler Than Antarctica

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…’Northern Lights’ has a breakneck rhythm! We can hear the violin of Rachel Hall at its best, with the rumbling bass of Ashley Cutler and sparkling keyboards by Geoff Downes…the album finishes in style with ‘Cry’, starting with a sweet, soaring violin by Rachel. The acceleration continues in a muscular vein, with violin soon resuming its duties with a great solo…This album is a must-have, full of sap, it’s a progressive heavy monument, a powder keg with which you are charged to light the fuse. 5 Stars

Highlands Magazine (September 2016 – translated)


If 2014′s “Black Horses” saw the ensemble trying to locate light moments in a bleak environment, its follow-up nails current situation on the head, what with Lynden Williams’ adoption of declarative delivery. Such stance is used to great effect in opener “Snake” whose riffs vigorously bite into philosophical and political comments, but the key to the piece’s proud position would be the “when you were younger” line, the past being a recurring theme here.

In this context, the glorious “Simple Man” – written around the time of the group’s 1972 debut and restored for eventual recording now – has an air of nostalgia about it, while “Drums, Bass And Guitar” serves up a romp through rock ‘n’ roll era, listing each decade’s attributes, on a harmonica-enhanced slab of rhythm-and-blues.

…And then there’s “Cry” to take it all to “forever after” via folk dance and heroic moves, which may quite possibly be the band’s best epic. If this is an assessment of the route they are taking now, that’s the way to go. ***2/3

DMME.net (August 2016)


“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. Vocally Williams is skilled and honed, and yet for some his delivery might be just a little too polite for the hard hitting fare his band hope to recount. However with accordion, blues harp and violin all making an appearance, the eclecticism is assured…In a way it is hard to ignore the underlying feeling of frivolity that somehow permeates from much on this album; from its quirky cover to its individualistic word play…If you’re looking for an album that reverberates with a pop pulse, pushes with a prog beat and then weighs in with some unusual lyrics and characterful vocals, this may be for you…

Sea Of Tranquility (July 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)

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MR BIG Bitter Streets

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Not until the title track ‘Bitter Streets’ are we finally dealing with some guitar sounds embedded in a sublime song…’God Save Me From The Blues’ is one of the best tracks, featuring more energetic riffs, solos, staccato drums, and vocals…Two bonus tracks are included, the beautiful ‘Close My Eyes’ with a Dire Straits influence – great guitar playing too. The album’s concluded by ‘Dreamed’, with excellent keyboard work….This comeback release will please the fans, and those who enjoy well-composed pop melodies.

Highlands Magazine (September 2016 – translated)


This is pure melodic pop rock loaded with delicious melodies and strong lead vocals. The songs are lushly orchestrated and many fall into the mid-tempo ballad category. Addictive choruses and tasty but not very complex musicianship abound so if you are into melodic pop and rock music Bitter Streets will provide much enjoyment. Songs like the album opening “Come And Dance” and the pretty piano laced “Georgia” will certainly appeal to the pop rock crowd. The country tinged “My Sweet Medicine” is another tasty melodic pop rock morsel. The soaring vocal melodies are a high point throughout the album. Occasionally, the band rock out a bit as in the bluesy boogie of “God Save Me From The Blues”. Also included is a reworked version of “Romeo”, as catchy as anything on the disc.

Sea Of Tranquility (July 2016)


Best known for 1977′s top-five hit ‘Romeo’, Mr Big were probably denied continued chart success by the junk that was punk. The band loosely re-formed in 2010 to record the new album ‘Bitter Streets’ and this is technically a reissue of that album, with a couple of bonus tracks and a further updated version of ‘Romeo’. An album of pure Radio 2 pop-rock…if only they’d stop trying so hard to be trendy at that radio station and give it some airplay, it would probably break through. It’s that good.

Truck & Driver (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)

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SNIPS La Rocca

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‘Backs Of Millions’ evokes DEVO, ‘Happy Sometimes’ resembles SPARKS. This is unmistakably the guitar of Chris Spedding that can be heard on ‘Tight Shoes’, also powered by the bass of Jackie Badger. The last track of the original album: ‘What Is Pop?’, is ironic because I think Mr. Snips certainly knows what pop is! Following that, we have several unreleased tracks. The first is ‘You’re A Wonderful One’ with a tenacious swing, perfectly orchestrated with saxophone. ‘Tight Shoes’ is a single version but still delicious with lively guitar by Spedding. ‘Lolita’ revives the SPARKS sound and the last title evokes DEVO. The Bill Nelson synthesizer is judiciously used.

Highlands Magazine (September 2016 – translated)


Angel Air’s reissue spruces up the recording with a nifty remastering job along with a brace of bonus tracks, to shine a light on a ‘lost classic’ of its period. An accomplished album of slick Roxy-ish new wave pop, ‘La Rocca’ was sadly to prove Snip’s last fling as a pop performer, instead forging a successful career in soundtracks…

Vive Le Rock (September 2016)


An elegant bounce to the album’s title cut can push its clipped groove towards dub but still keep on the rockabilly side of the tracks, in the private heaven Parsons envisaged for Brian Jones. The Stone is also glorified in “Skies Of England” which has turned the anger of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” inside out to reach for his, and Snips’, romantic essence; that’s why, perhaps, the voice in the wilderness of “Backs Of Millions” doesn’t sound revolutionary and “Happy Sometimes” taps into the same soul vein as a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “You’re A Wonderful One” in the bountiful bonus section of this CD. So although the singer is asking “What Is Pop?” at the record’s finale, the answer is obvious: it’s the edge Snips could have ridden for ages if his ego was as big as his talent. Thankfully, he’s back with those big fish now. ***1/3

DMME.net (August 2016)


A sharp-rocking album that unites early 70′s pop, new wave and 80′s synth pop in glorious fashion. Steve ‘Snips’ Parsons had sung in pre-punk supergroup Sharks (alongside Free’s Andy Frazer and guitar hero Chris Spedding) as wells as, curiously, the Baker-Gurvitz Army…Six bonus B-sides and outtakes complete an album that so deserved to crack it…

Record Collector (August 2016)


Really, this album should have been much more popular than it probably was but it’s still not too late thanks to our friends at Angel Air Records. Hopefully, this rerelease will catch some well-deserved attention. Highly recommended for fans of pop and new wave music of the late ’70s/early ’80s.

Sea Of Tranquilty (July 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)

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ROBIN GEORGE & DANGEROUS MUSIC Painful Kiss

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…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)

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RED JASPER 777

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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)

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