Author Archives: admin

AFTER THE FIRE Live At The Greenbelt Plus

FacebookEmailShare

This live set from 2004 features the band on good form, with a welcoming and enthusiastic audience present. The instrumental intro, with some outstanding work from pianist Peter Banks, is an excellent start. Influences from ELP and Genesis mix in well with the straight 70s rock/pop sound.

A couple of bonus tracks and some informative sleevenotes make for the usual Angel Air top notch packaging. Will certainly please fans and a good place to start for others too. ***

www.getreadytorock.com ( April 2006)


Now, more than 20 years later, we get to watch this reunion show, that goes through both periods of the band. Well filmed and recorded, the band performs quite well and the crowd is very enthusiastic. It’s the kind of show that makes you say to yourself ‘I would have liked to have been there’. Well Live At Greenbelt makes it almost possible. Recommended indeed!

Proggnosis (April 2006)


Two unplugged bonus tracks are included on the CD, Forged From Faith and Who’s Gonna Love You, both of which are given the full electric sound in the live recording.

Classic Rock Society (June 2006)


…a pile of fast catchy songs that perfectly captured the cooler side of punk as typified by bands like Blondie and the Police…This record is ample proof that After The Fire are back with a bang!

www.crossrhythms.co.uk (June 2006)


This is a band having fun in front of a crowd doing the same…The ‘plus’ part of the CD are two acoustic versions of ‘Forged From Faith’ and ‘Who’s Gonna Love You’.

Feedback (July 2006)


…as this recording from the Greenbelt Festival of 2005 proves they had lost none of their ability to produce wonderfully memorable music

Hartlepool Mail (July 2006)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in AFTER THE FIRE, Live At The Greenbelt Plus | Leave a comment

AFTER THE FIRE Radio Sessions 1979-81

FacebookEmailShare

Angel Air have brought the usual care and attention to the release of a live compilation set by After The Fire as they have with other artists’ releases. Commonly known as ATF, their style of music is a peculiar yet catchy style of pop and rock with nods to seventies prog which was the era they formed in…This set documents three radio sessions – 1979, 1980 and 1980 – over the course of 19 tracks on one single disc. The sound quality is surprisingly consistent and the songs are hugely likeable with lots of pomp and nifty keyboard riffs. It is a welcome release to any fans collection. ***/5

Neil Daniels, www.getreadytorock.com (June 2009)


A career spanning over 30 years…a useful album which is very poppy and original in nature. Well worth a listen.

Classic Rock Society (August 2009)


While they might not have been a household name on these shores this collection is very solid indeed and definitely worth checking out. If you’re already a fan you’ve probably got this one on your CD rack, but if you’re new to the band I honestly couldn’t think of a better place to start than right here.

Ryan Sparks, http://www.classicrockrevisited.com (August 2009)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in AFTER THE FIRE, Radio Sessions 1979-1981 | Leave a comment

AFTER THE FIRE Signs Of Change

FacebookEmailShare

‘Signs Of Change’, their debut album, is a prime example of progressive rock, Peter Banks’ keyboards propelling the music into the retro future…There’s much, indeed: three additional tracks from the album’s period…plus a demo, to make ‘Signs’ last deservedly longer.

DME Music Site (September 2011)


‘Signs Of Change’ was the band’s 1978 debut set…now remastered and reissued with the addition of four bonus tracks in the then spectacularly unfashionable keyboard driven prog rock style which dominated their early output.

Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser (October 2011)


Excellent liner notes courtesy of the band members and four fantastic early demo bonus tracks combine with the excellent album itself to create a package that is just too good to miss out on!

Fireworks Magazine (January/February 2012)


All in all a pleasant listen, with ‘Back To The Light’, ‘Signs Of Change’ and ‘Pilgrim’ (an epic 11 minutes) are the stand-out tracks for me. The four bonus tracks sound a bit rough around the edges but are still worth a listen.

Classic Rock Society (January/February 2012)


…this album in particular has now become a highly sought after collector’s item in its original vinyl form…now remastered and re-issued with the addition of four bonus tracks in the then spectacularly unfashionable keyboard driven prog rock style which dominated their early output.

Kevin Bryan

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in AFTER THE FIRE, Signs Of Change | Leave a comment

AL ATKINS Demon Deceiver…Plus

FacebookEmailShare

Atkins frazzled delivery combines with some consistently solid riffs to make for a decent old school metal album that will appeal to fans of both Priest and NWOBHM.

Sea of Tranquility (August 2009)


…it’s the ‘Holy Rage’ stuff that really puts what Al has done into perspective. The two tracks are thunderous Metal at its very best…

The Mayfair Mall Zine (August 2009)


…finally sees Al taking his place up on the pedestal of great heavy metal vocalists.

Jeff Perkins (Eurorock), www.blogcritics.org (August 2009)


it’s relentlessly, effortlessly good and tuneful and Atkins demonstrates a great form throughout. More so, with the heartbreaking seriousness of “Sentenced”, and “Blood, Demons And Whiskey” featuring a multi-tracked vocals on coda he gives his former colleagues and run for their money, while “God Help Me” feels much tastier than PRIEST’s recent cuts. The “Plus” part, two tracks from the veteran’s new band, HOLY RAGE, including “A Void To Avoid” with Bernie Torme on guitar, only add weight to this impressive work. ***3/4

Let It Rock (August 2009)


The music does nod at classic metal – Judas Priest and Iron Maiden – with Atkins’ vocals a lot rougher than Halfords. If early Priest had had Ripper Owens on vocals it wouldn’t be far off this.

Worth noting that ‘Blood Demons And Whiskey’ features guitarist Brian Tattler, and there is of course the obligatory cover of ‘Victim Of Changes’. Here it is much heavier and rawer than the original, the vocals suit the heavier angle but lack the finesse or range.

Well worth a listen, but Al will always have the Priest shadow. ***/5

Joe Geesin, www.getreadytorock.com (August 2009)


…a thoroughly respectable, melodic metal album with obvious links to his old band…a perfectly tasty collection suited to the nostalgic headbanger in your life.

Record Collector (October 2009)


He has a voice that sounds like it was honed by 60 Navy Cut and a gargle with meths every day…

Classic Rock (October 2009)


…If you’ve never had the opportunity to hear Al’s music then this excellent reissue…is a great place to start…
classicrockrevisited.com (October 2009)
…a fine heavy re-release

Classic Rock Society (September 2009)


…Atkins proves himself a capable metal frontman, sounding like a crossover of Rob Halford and Dave Mustaine…catchy yet powerful songs that should please just about any classic heavy metal fan

www.maelstrom.nu (October 2009)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in AL ATKINS, Demon Deceiver…Plus | Leave a comment

ALBERT COLLINS Alive And Cool Plus

FacebookEmailShare

…the inclusion of half a dozen studio cuts from a decade or so earlier offers a much clearer insight into the unique qualities which made him such an influential figure in blues circles.

Kevin Bryan


…This CD catches him delivering some rather blistering guitar work surrounded by some corking Hammond Organ.

This is particularly apparent on the glorious and free-flowing Thaw Out where a mystery keyboard player almost steals the limelight.

Stewart Dennis, Southern Daily Echo


It has all the live hums and clicks you get at a gig, but the music and the band are rugged, uplifting. There’s a long introductory instrumental, a great version of Mustang Sally, Baby What You Want Me To Do, and among the bonus tracks are Collins favourites such as Freeze, Defrost and Albert’s Alley. Sadly, there’s no information about who’s playing the superb Jimmy Smith -style organ, or the punchy, honking brass – that’s because, as Nick Dalton tells us in the liner notes “Nobody knows …” LSD has a lot to answer for.

Still, if you want to hear a fine, skilled bluesman at his guitar-pickin’ peak, this live set is all you could ask for.

Roy Bainton, Blues Matters


Apparently no information exists on who actually were a part of Collins’ band that night, but in the end it’s all about his stinging blues licks, of which there are a multitude here. A good chunk of the songs are instrumental, allowing for plenty of furious interplay between Collins’ scalding Fender Telecaster and Hammond organ, with the rhythm section locked in tight underneath all the firepower.

Highlights are many, but for pure blues thunder, check out “Thaw Out”, “How Blue Can You Get”, “Funky”, “Deep Freeze”, a groove laden and rockin’ “Mustang Sally”, and a smoldering version of “Backstroke”. As an added bonus, Angel Air has included a few studio singles here as well, and though they are not as electric and supercharged as the live cuts, look for some sizzling guitar leads and shuffling rhythms on “Albert’s Alley”, “Freeze”, Defrost”, and “Collins Shuffle”.

As far as vintage live electric blues recordings go, this is as good as it gets.

Sea of Tranquility

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in ALBERT COLLINS, Alive And Cool Plus | Leave a comment

AMMO Can’t Smile Without You 1966-1977

FacebookEmailShare

… the mellifluous flow of cabaret-smelling “I Believe In You” and the choir surge in “Theme From Arethuza Dustin” is irresistible. Their ’60s works feel like perfect pop creations with deliberate naivete, adorably crooned in “I’ve Said It All Before” and the childish “World I Love You”, whereas the ’70s brought an orchestral sleaze, very much of its era with a guilty pleasure tinge in the unplugged swagger of “Nice To Be Home”.

Still, 1968′s “Another Day Goes By” arrestingly anticipates the next decade’s easy listening, if moving, approach which reach a soulful silkiness in “Is It Yes Or No” and harks back to THE PLATTERS with “Three Wishes”. One may wish AMMO continued as a unit longer than they did, but they did enough to be praised as genuine masters of their craft: here’s the proof.

DME


…if you think this album is all centered around a ‘one hit wonder’ theme think again…these two discs present a mind-boggling assortment of songs that many folks probably will have never heard before now…If you dig 1960′s bubblegum and 1970′s FM radio fluff, there’s a good chance you’ll go apeshit over this one. We certainly did!

babysue


This 2-CD set includes original versions of songs that became worldwide hits, as well as unreleased demos and tracks that the band released under the names Butterscotch and Arnold, Martin, Morrow from their most creative years of 1966 to 1977.

Predictably enough, the forty (!) songs are less rock but instead much more radio-friendly pop, occasionally drifting into a category that nowadays would be described as ‘light entertainment’. It’s definitely a product of its time and not all of the tracks included can be considered timeless or have stood the test of time. Nonetheless, this is a lovely trip down memory lane for those who remember all these hits but also for collectors of 60′s pop.

Music-News – January 2012


Much of it comes as a result of a recently discovered cache of recordings – and there are some previously unreleased tracks amid the A and B-sides of singles and other cuts. The running time of two hours encompasses both effervescently breezy and reflectively maudlin songs mostly written and performed by themselves under their own names, or as the group Butterscotch. Two of the tracks also feature Tony Burrows, the king of session singers during the late 60s and early 70s.

The Beat (February 2012)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in AMMO, Can’t Smile Without You 1966-1977 | Leave a comment

ANCIENT GREASE Women And Children First

FacebookEmailShare

A short lived project, this is not the squalling effort of clueless stoners you may think but the work of pedigree members of Wales’s music ‘Tafia’, the core being future Racing Cars covers act Strawberry Dust (renamed hardly for the better by Lou Reizner of Mercury Records).

Penned largely by future Man drummer John Weathers, replete with the distinctive rasp of Graham ‘Morty’ Mortimer, it’s a sub-Free period turn in meaty hard blues guitar-snarling rock from opener ‘Freedom Train’ to the concluding title track (with churning Hammond courtesy of Man’s Phil Ryan) counterpointed by well-conceived melodies and even a singalong moment in the Lindisfarne-like ‘Mystic Mountain’.

Released in 1970 on Mercury, the band was to succumb to the familiar tale of bust-luck but find better fortune elsewhere in the world of Rhondda rock

Peter Muir, www.getreadytorock.com (March 2008)


With powerful groove and charm in spades, ‘Women and Children First’, both the track and the album, come as buried treasure timely discovered for all to relish.

www.dmme.net (March 2008)


It’s a heady mixture of pub rock, hard-rocking R&B, blues, psychedelia, and San Francisco prog rock, with nods to the British hard rock scene along the way.

www.allmusic.com (March 2008)


The album is enormously diverse…The gritty voice of Morty, the dirty guitar of Graham Williams and the heavy organ of guest musician Phil Ryan (Man) determined the rough and ready and (for the time) very heavy sound of the band. But the band also proved to be very good at the more mellow stuff…

An obscure record, finally on CD. A must have for fans of the psychedelic blues of the time

Rock Advice (www.rockadvice.org), March 2008


…gritty blues-rock outings tempered by the occasional slice of mellow soul…

Kevin Bryan, Mid-Sussex Chronicle (March 2008)


This 60s West Coast Americana influenced album is decent enough rock and roll/psych fare with definite reminders of Welsh counterparts Man in the sound.

Classic Rock Society, April 2008


…a solid blend of tough blues-rock complemented by the versatile voice of frontman Graham Mortimer, sometimes adding Beefheart-style ballsiness and, elsewhere, an assured soulfulness…

RocknReel, April/May 2008


A great example of what was happening in the UK heavy rock scene of 1970. If you’ve even half an interest in good raunchy rock mixed with a healthy dose of hippy stylings it’s worth checking out.

Feedback (April 2008)


A well informed booklet…the spirit of the 70s…

Odymetal, www.myspace.com (May 2008)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in ANCIENT GREASE, Women And Child First | Leave a comment

ANDROMEDA Beginnings 1967-68

FacebookEmailShare

This release…turns the clock back a little further and actually captures the earliest sessions of Andromeda’and it has to be said that the quality of the tapes unearthed are excellent…

Bill Leslie, www.getreadytorock.com (August 2007)


…it’s surprising how fully-formed the songs including the prog epic ‘Return to Sanity’ were before taken to the real studio.

www.dmme.net (August 2007)


DuCann is still a member of The Attack, and their exhuberant pop sensibilities continued to infect DuCann’s songwriting…fans won’t want to miss a minute of this fascinating bedroom set.

Allmusic.com (July 2007)


…this is an essential purchase if you seriously believe, as the sleevenotes writer does, that Andromeda…should have been as big as Cream…

Classic Rock Society (July-August 2007)


…it’s surprising how fully-formed the songs, including the prog epic ‘Return To sanity’, were before taken to the real studio…It’s all down to Du Cann’s ability to work on the two melodic levels…

www.dmme.net (September 2007)


Angel Air is to be commended for ensuring that the work of an undervalued band receives a fresh hearing

Record Collector (September 2007)


…a collection of previously unheard demos culled from old acetates…one for devotees

Danny Moore, RocknReel (November 2007)


…Without a doubt, this release is something that Andromeda aficionados should get, especially if they are interested to dig into the process that led to the remarkable 1969 album.

Maelstrom (November 2007)


…16 performances…that set the stage for how the band itself originally viewed its music…- fiery psychedelia, crashing choruses…dramatic and demanding, and as heavy as you could hope for.

Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (November 2007)


…Without a doubt, this release is something that Andromeda aficionados should get, especially if they are interested to dig into the process that led to the remarkable 1969 album.

Maelstrom (November 2007)


…mixes 60s beat-group stomp with frilly-bloused psychedelia

Classic Rock (November 2007)


Angel Air is to be commended for ensuring that the work of an undervalued band receives a fresh hearing.

Record Collector (November 2007)


..it’s surprising how fully-formed the songs were before taken to the real studio…

www.dmme.net (September 2007)


Without doubt, this release is something that Andromeda aficionados should get, especially if they are interested to dig into the process that led to the remarkable 1969 album.

www.maelstrom.nu (November 2007)


…16 performances…that set the stage for how the band itself originally viewed its music…- fiery psychedelia, crashing choruses…dramatic and demanding, and as heavy as you could hope for.

Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (November 2007)


…a collection of previously unheard demos culled from old acetates…one for devotees

Danny Moore, RocknReel (November 2007)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in ANDROMEDA, Beginnings 1967-68 | Leave a comment

ANDROMEDA Definitive Collection

FacebookEmailShare

Regular readers of Wondrous Stories should recognise the name of former Atomic Rooster, John Du Cann…As you would expect with the era and the technology available some of the material is quite basic but considering these restrictions Andromeda come across extremely well. Some of the guitar is so cool and laid back you could close your eyes and dream of all the good music you’ve missed over the years. Well there’s no need with record companies like Angel Air around, so willing to put their necks on the block and reproduce so much good rock that was all too often destined for dusty shelves.

If you enjoy that late 60′s early ’70s rock you’ll not go wrong here…

Martin Hudson, Wondrous Stories, (February 2000)


1969 was a pivotal year for rock, with psychedelia trailing off, prog-rock gathering speed and classical music – mainly via The Nice – also making its presence felt. Cult trio Andromeda, regulars on John Peel’s radio show, were at the apex of all three styles with their only LP…turned into one of the great “lost” albums of the 60s.

Colin Shearman, Q, (March 2000)


Put together by band leader John Du Cann…and featuring a lavishly designed 12-page booklet, The Definitive Collection is a must-have for anybody interested in exploring the deeper roots of prog rock as it moved out of the London psychedelic underground…

Jo-Ann Green, Goldmine, (April 2000)


The group’s sole, self-titled album and attendant non-LP single for RCA are collected along with various contemporaneous demos and out-takes, live recordings and a fine November 1968 session for John Peel’s Top Gear radio show…the RCA album and single muscular, inventive hard rock performances that deserve their stellar reputation among fans of the late psychedelic crossover sound.

John Sturdy, Record Collector, (April 2000)


If prog/psyche is what you want then look no further as the authentic stuff is here.
A goody.

Feedback (April 2000)


This fine double set from a band of late-1960s heavy progressives…shows exactly how the re-issue job should be done to best effect…this is superior stuff…Especially if you relish having your music reproduced in such a carefully crafted manner.

Michael Heatley, Feedback (May 2000)


…one of the most fascinating achievements of the progressive era.

Fists In Pockets (Poland) (April/May 2000)


…the be all and end all of what’s what, and who’s who with regard to Andromeda…What’s amazing about this album is the sound the band had. Very much prog…a lot of the material was highly original and very much heading towards where Zep were to go in later years…on the whole it’s quite an education, and very surprising.

Modern Dance Issue 32 (December 2000)


…Honestly, some of these UK imports make some U.S. releases look like a joke. Angel Air’s packaging convinces you, the purchaser, that you’re getting something special, and you are…This is one of the better releases I’ve heard in some time…A true psychedleic heaven with plenty of brilliant guitar work. Includes a nifty 12-page booklet where Du Cann speaks of touring with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Oooooh, those were the days, I’m sure.

Mike Reed, Banzai (USA, October 2002)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in ANDROMEDA, Definitive Collection | Leave a comment

ANDROMEDA Originals

FacebookEmailShare

Presented in the usual top way by Angel Air, and remastered from the 1969 acetates, we get a strong mix of psych, pop, hard rock and prog, with Du Cann’s guitar in fine form.

The music is suitably atmospheric and the hard rock edge makes the psych thankfully less whimsical than much of the era.

More than a curio, it’s well worth checking out if you’re a fan of the era, or of Atomic Rooster, who Du Cann went on to. ***

Joe Geesin, www.getreadytorock.com
(October 2005)


…this is a true slice of 60s avant garde rock music…

Classic Rock Society (November 2005)


Although some people are going to seek this CD out just because of the rarity value, it should be sought out because this is actually a strong collection of songs in its own right…They run through Hendrix-inspired romps to things far more delicate, even bringing in layered harmony vocals as if they were The Moody Blues…a great collection of songs that fans of the era would do well to seek out.

Feedback (November 2005)


…the holy grail for their fans…There’s fun to be had, too, in spotting instrumental quotes such as the Holst-via-Zappa riff on the fade of bitty Return to Sanity…

Record Collector (March 2006)


Originals captures the boundary-breaking nature of its decade, whether the music marks the passing of psychedelia, the early stages of progressive, or the expansive expression of power trio heaviness.

Joseph Tortelli, Discoveries magazine,
(February 2006)


…this 10-tracker really does rock…Despite the passing years, the songs still retain a raw freshness and appeal.

Hartlepool Mail (March 2006)

FacebookEmailShare
Posted in ANDROMEDA, Originals | Leave a comment