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September 13th – The Chapel Arts Centre, Bath
November 28th – Peaky Blinders, Paignton
December 1st – Danfest (at The Musician in Leicester) with Martin Solomon and friends from Red Jasper
…now, once again, the music has been made available for all to hear…thanks to the folks at Great Britain’s Angel Air label. With the continued interest in early electronic pop music, Data just might be a band that’s ripe for a resurgence.
babysue (January 2018)
If the band’s debut was a trade-off of catchiness against electronica, so 2-Time again tried to marry the two not always ready bedfellows. Even with both Kajanus and Frankie combining on vocals, the reduced role of Phil proves a key difference as Data’s sound evolved, the brightness of before cashed in for a more stark, serious attack that verges into austere. In many ways it makes this second outing feel much more grown up, especially when combined with less dazzling and bright synth sounds.
Sea Of Tranquility (October 2017)
…repetitive patterns rarely produce a groove but they perfectly convey the period’s stifling atmosphere, its madness captured in the well-concealed rock ‘n’ roll of “Cuckooland” whose deadpan vocal theatrics and electronica-stricken beats point to the ultimate blackness…In this context, “I Want To Know” sounds more like demand rather than inquiry, and the belligerent, if flat, “Fallout” would be the only possible answer to such a statement – lightened by a lucid, lysergic even, middle section that leads into “Fever Of Love” where a swirl is truly infectious. It can serve as an entrance to the DATA world – unwelcoming and arresting at the same time.
DMME.net (February 2018)
Many of these tracks sound like they could easily be twenty-first century hits. The persistent beats and instantly catchy vocal melodies should appeal to a wide range of listeners. The music has been compared to Abba and Giorgio Moroder, both of whom should give you a good idea of what this music sounds like…Strange how current and relevant these songs sound in 2018 (!).
babysue (January 2018)
The sound of DATA exudes joy and liveliness (sometimes even hyperkinetic) more than the then current sterile new wave. Daring, headstrong and perhaps even too accessible because of a hidden urge to score that one big hit. Although, the theatrical ‘Life On Video’ and the nice ‘Armageddon’ enforces respect. The film industry also liked it and used the title track for the movie ‘Towers Of Babel’.
Keys and Chords (Translated – November 2017)
…with “Armageddon” a prime example of how to deal with tough issues in a cleverly flippant style and the opera based title track illustrating just how daring Data were attempting to be, there’s still a lot to admire. The latter blending styles in a way that maybe isn’t so readily illustrated elsewhere…For fans of Kajanus’s wide and hugely varied catalogue, this reissue will be most welcome, while for followers of burgeoning electronica, there will also be rewards aplenty.
Sea Of Tranquility (October 2017)
The lyrics are all out of the ’60s – “That’s What You Do To Me “and “You’ve Got The Love That Matters” are typical titles. Warren plays all the backing tracks, leaving the decoration to his guests and he proves to be a very efficient drummer along with everything else he does…an enjoyable album of pop nostalgia.
RnR Magazine (March 2018)
The orchestrations are of top quality…James does not forget his roots with ‘That’s What You Do To Me’, very influenced by SPENCER DAVIS GROUP. We are back in the sixties, the organ hums with happiness as well as the brass. He reaches the summits of pop with the wonderful ‘You’ve Got The Love That Matters’…This album was co-produced by David Lord having worked with Peter Gabriel, XTC, ICEHOUSE, TEARS FOR FEARS – which explains the excellence of the record.
Highlands Magazine (Translated – January 2018)
Subtle twists and turns aplenty, Warren plays mind, and heart, games with the listener. He renders “Set Me Free” transparent and romantic…until it’s turned inside out with the “one for the money, two for the show” line to trade a maudlin violin for a well-orchestrated carousel of elegant rock moves and the caress of slide guitar. Elsewhere, “That’s How I’m Loving You” is cut from the same delicately fascinating fiber as “All The Love In The World” demonstrated, and this is, perhaps, the only thing which could be expected from James. He may claim he’s an innocent bystander, but he’s complicit in the crime of love. 4/5 stars
DMME.net (January 2018)
One track from “Jim’s Easy Listening Album”, the Beach-Boys tinged “You’ve Got The Love That Matters”, reappears here and stands out amongst the Motown pastiches. Other highlights are the Beatlesque “Have You Seen The Colours”, one of two songs co-written with Andy Davis in more harmonious times, and simply performed closer “I Just Want You To Tell Me”. Hopefully Simon Cowell has been mailed a copy, since the songs themselves are individually worthy and could well chart in the right hands.
Record Collector (December 2017)
This album offers nine slick hummable songs, some of which remind us in many ways of music by The Pearlfishers. Our favourite cuts include “The First Time,” “You’ve Got the Love That Matters,” and “I Just Want You to Tell Me.” The cover bears a curious resemblance to Sparks’ Kimono My House album (!).
babysue (November 2017)
Warren’s enduring passion for the infectious delights of pure melodic pop informed several excellent albums for The Korgis during the late seventies and early eighties ,along with a major singles success in the shape of the softly beguiling “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometimes.” The former Stackridge stalwart’s subsequent solo career has been a much more low-key affair but Warren’s tuneful musical exploits always repay closer investigation nonetheless , and “Innocent Bystander” is thankfully no exception to the rule. “That’s What You Do To Me” and “Have You Seen The Colours?” are the best of a catchy bunch.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2017)
As well as founding The Korgis he also co-founded Stackridge…now 65 years old, he has written and produced this album of unashamedly catchy tunes and sing-a-long choruses, decidedly retro in flavour…
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (October 2017)
CATHÉDRALE should have taken flight and had some success, it’s simple but it all goes pretty well and the gimmick of Japanese music with keyboards on the opening title is to good effect. It’s very well sung by Jon, a real success. Jon’s huge bass opens ‘The Price’ with a sound worthy of Chris Squire for a progressive atmosphere, very PALLAS…A collection of beautiful tracks, always with supportive guitar, ubiquitous keyboards and never pompous. CATHÉDRALE leave no imperishable trace for this activity, which makes it a curiosity today, a missing link in the story of progressive music.
Highlands Magazine (Translated – November 2017)
Yet another obscure album retrieved from the vaults from the folks at Great Britain’s Angel Air label. And this time it’s from a band that we never even knew existed. Cathedrale was formed in the late 1980s by Jon Camp after he decided to part ways with the band Renaissance. Also in the band were John Young (who had previously played in Asia, Greenslade, and Scorpions), Brett Wilde, and Tony Bodene. In the beginning the band came very close to being signed by Atlantic Records in the United States, but things didn’t work out. They recorded their debut album in the United Kingdom, but it was never released…until now. If you like the sound of 1980′s progressive techno pop, you will find a lot to appreciate here. This is yet another example of bands who should’ve been successful but–for various reasons–they were not. Twelve carefully constructed tracks including “One By One,” “Paris Is Calling,” “It’s Really Up To You,” and “Crying.”
babysue (November 2017)
With their extravagantly blow-dried, highlighted bouffant hairdos, it isn’t very hard to guess that Cathédrale were a band from the 1980s. The music – airy, lightweight, super-polite pop rock with musician-friendly airs and graces – serves only to confirm this theory. What’s rather more shocking to note is the presence of two prog staples in the group’s midst – step forwards ex-Renaissance bass player Jon Camp and current Lifesigns keyboard maestro John Young, both looking suitably moody on the front cover. Previously unreleased until now, these 12 songs date back to varying stages of the band’s short existence, some conceived as a four-piece and fronted by Camp, others recorded after the realisation that a full-time lead singer and a lot more keyboards were going to be necessary. Save for the audio quality which is what you’d expect from a cassette discovered under somebody’s bed, the results are largely inoffensive. One By One, Calling Out For You and the jumbled white boy funk of Element Of Surprise all tip their hats at Mr Mister, Cutting Crew and Silent Running…
Dave Ling, Team Rock (October 2017)
…There’s a slightly alien, J-pop vibe to “One By One” whose plastic veneer is punctured with a four-string scratch and shattered with splashes from ivories whose collective surge brings on a riveting chorus, whereas “Kasaar” wraps its memorable refrain in honeyed heaviness, and “It’s Really Up To You” is a showcase for Mark Goddard-Parker’s supple voice. There’s a lot of contrast here, the anthemic “Crying” coming across as hackneyed but moving piece, and the reggae undercurrent of “Any Time At All” deliberately ruining the number’s drama without voiding its vigor; still, for all the record’s sonic flaws, there’s also an emotional balance – as reflected in the album’s titular equation. Maybe, it’s time for the ensemble to scale their talents one more time? 4/5 Stars
DMME.net (October 2017)
The combination of seventies band Renaissance with earlier Asia-work, provides excellent prog rock that rises as a cathedral.
Keys and Chords (September 2017)
Complex in structure but hugely accessible in execution, the results could easily have seen Cathedrale share stages with the likes of Hipsway or Hue & Cry, although there’s an undeniably progressive edge also in play. “Element Of Surprise” walks that tightrope confidently, while the more keyboard heavy “A Trick Of The Light” adds a more obvious (if hardly dominant) 70s edge, a small window into the world of Yes opened onto what was undoubtedly an 80s vista.
Sea Of Tranquility (September 2017)
Before his death, after a long illness, he finally completed his solo album that he had been promising to deliver to his fans for the past decade…as a bonus track for fans Overend provided his own demo of his song “Born Late ’58″, which he sang on the 7th and final album from Mott The Hoople back in 1974.
Bev Bevan, LIVE24SEVEN (December 2017)
Reading comments from those who knew Overend Watts that He’s Real Gone absolutely captures the spirit of the man who created it means that this solo album succeeds in a way that many, if not most, certainly don’t. For those not quite so acquainted with him the journey to discovery is a tougher one, an initially impenetrable set of songs only slowly revealing their charms. Still for an artist famed for his humour and uncompromising nature, should we have expected any else?
Sea Of Tranquility (November 2017)
Constructing a crazy raga in the mostly instrumental “Prawn Fire On Uncle Sheep Funnel” to let his four strings on the prowl, and conjuring “Mad Shadows” in “The Legend Of Redmire Pool” whose jangle and dewdrops effects are so catchy – and that’s not the only angling-referencing song on offer to hint at what Watts’ “private life” presumably included – he wills a weird world into existence. And though the optimism of “Rise Up” feels rather dry, “The Search” offers a spiritual uplift possessed of orchestral potential…the record’s quirk, the songs’ common denominator, has an irresistible charm to it. That’s quite an exit, that’s the grace to be remembered for.
DMME.net (November 2017)
…you might object on principle to the mathematical exactitudes of drum programming employed throughout ‘He’s Real Gone’, but this frequently works surprisingly well on, say, the rataplan-driven sections of semi-instrumental ‘Prawn Fire On Uncle Sheep Funnel’, which appears just short of midway through a fourteen track exercise that is vaguely a game of two halves. Chiefly straightforward songs (and an exhumed demo of a latter-day Mott The Hoople single) follow the more adventurous items, including an arrangement of The Bevis Frond’s ‘He’d Be A Diamond’, one of two non-originals, on a worthy artistic epitaph that many fans of its creator’s old group might never have imagined him delivering.
R2 Magazine (November 2017)
On this disc, the title is sung and played by the man himself. We find a little bit of everything in this album, proof of the eclecticism of this musician, a jazz number called ‘The Dinosaur Market’, a sound close to Syd Barrett with ‘Caribbean Hate Song’, ‘Endless Night’ is also very psychedelic. His passion for fishing is not forgotten on ‘The Legend Of Redmire Pool’. Overend Watts was an endearing character.
Highlands Magazine (Translated – November 2017)
There are bands that made a difference but were never canonized. There are band members that made a difference but do not live in most people’s memories because they were too busy as artists. Singer, bass-player, guitarist and songwriter Peter Overend Watts (1948-2017)belongs to this category, being a founder-member of Mott The Hoople and Mott, before teaming up with John Fiddler of Medicine Head to form British Lions.
This is the solo album he worked on for years and succeeded in completing shortly before his death in January 2017 at the age of 69 – with a rare sense of humour changing the original title ‘She’s Real Gone’ (the opening track) into ‘He’s Real Gone’. Here, Overend Watts the rocker (he also produced bands like Hanoi Rocks) has stepped down for Overend Watts the song-writer and we like it like that. With its jangling guitar parts, ‘He’d Be A Diamond’ remind me of sixties folk-rock, whereas the slide of ‘Prawn Fire’ sets the tone for what turns it out to be a weird succession of sounds.
‘The Magic Garden’ is a dreamy song beginning and ending with the banjo. The album covers a wide range of styles, with Overend Watts’ humour and Englishness all over the place. All in all, it’s an album for patient and open-minded listeners who appreciate a good song when they hear one. Overend Watts sings all the parts and plays all the instruments, except for extra vocals and guitars by his friend Phil Hendriks.
Keys and Chords (October 2017)
The album was originally intended to be called She’s Real Gone (the title of the lead track). But when Watts realized the album would be released after his passing, he opted to go with He’s Real Gone. So obviously this talented man’s sense of humor remained intact. Real nice that this release sees the light of day now, because it puts Overend’s contributions to the world of music in perspective. Yes, he is mainly known for his work with Mott The Hoople. But he was obviously much more than that. He was a songwriter in his own right. And he was also a friend and mentor to lots of people. Interestingly, this does not sound like a batch of tunes recorded by someone so late in their career. These tracks are upbeat, melodic, catchy, and bright. Hearing these songs with so much hit potential, we can’t help but think what could have happened if Mr. Watts had recorded more material while he was here on earth. Hats off to the fine folks at Angel Air for releasing this album. Thirteen cool tracks plus one bonus track (the original demo of “Born Late 58″). Rest in peace, Mr. Watts.
babysue (September 2017)
Recorded over a long period and indeed his only solo release Overend sticks to no genre but just gives us a lyrically light hearted, witty and humorous look inside his head, just look at a sample of titles ‘The Dinosaur Market’, ‘Prawn Fire On Uncle Sheep Funnel’, ‘Caribbean Hate Song’ and my personal favourite, so far, ‘Belle Of The Boot’ which just brings a smile to my face, listen to it we’ve all been there! But this is no comedic album ‘Belle’ has a hook many songwriters would envy. Indeed all thirteen tracks are well crafted and Overend played (or programmed) all the instruments. Its in retrospect a crying shame it took him 40 years to make a solo album because based on this he had so much to offer outside of his fundamental contribution to MTH.
Like labelmates Stackridge I reviewed recently, Overend is a one-off defying putting in a ‘box’ quirky, delightful and yes heart-warming. Echos of glam, punk, jilted John tease thru the 60 odd minutes running time but in the end its a unique album from a unique artist who may have physically left us but whose musical legacy will live on to delight his many fans. If I have a down day I’ll be slapping this in the disc drawer without fail.
Ninebattles (September 2017)
Mott The Hoople bassist Overend Watts died in January, but he mocks mortality with a high-spirited posthumous album full of upbeat tunes and silly jokes. He even insisted that its name be changed from She’s Real Gone to He’s Real Gone. Determined to have a good time, he writes and plays almost everything himself, singing in a voice that welds Ray Davies, Syd Barrett and John Otway and penning rhymes that lead you to believe he’s about to say a filthy word, which he then swerves like a guitar-slinging Benny Hill.
‘Overend’s just a rock ‘n’ roll star’, Ian Hunter sang in Ballad Of Mott The Hoople, and there’s no arguing with that lore as he rips through cheeky riffs and rhythms. By the time he’s chanting ‘Prawn fire!’ repeatedly, you’re won over by the surrealism and resilient humour. His original demo of Mott’s Born Late ’58 is a bittersweet bonus.
Team Rock (September 2017)
An up-front streak of humour colours the material throughout, from the opener (and near-title track) ‘She’s Real Gone’, ‘Dinosaur Market’ with its nursery rhyme playfulness and the psychedelic surrealism of ‘Prawn Fire On Uncle Sheep Funnel’. ‘Belle Of The Boot’, meanwhile, is a full-strength demonstration of glam-smeared rock ‘n’ roll firepower…Elsewhere Watts reveals a pronounced reflective side, as on ‘The Search’ or the penultimate cut ‘Miss Kingston’. A touching parting statement from one of British rock ‘n’ roll’s one-offs.
Vive Le Rock (September 2017)
The different, sometimes conflicting, aspects of this lovably eccentric man’s personality jostle throughout intricately-constructed classic pop, gentle prog-tainted rock and quirky widescreen ballads; all crafted like stained glass windows into his idiosyncratic soul, tempered with surreal humour and buoyed by the malapropism he turned into an art form…The set’s inevitable poignancy is enhanced by its photo booklet and bonus track of Watt’s original 1974 demo for Mott’s Born Late ’58, recorded with school friend drummer Buffin; sadly also real gone in 2016.
Record Collector Magazine (September 2017)
There’s a definite sense of humour about the whole album that is offset by Overend’s quite impressive vocals and arrangements. Some of the tracks like “Prawn Fire On Uncle Sheep Funnel” border on Python-esque humour, yet it’s played with sheer sonic accuracy. There’s plenty of Mott and Bowie inspired pop ditties and rave ups. Check out the Bowie-esque “There’s Berkeley Power Station”. Somewhere in pop heaven, Overend and Buffin are now jamming with Bowie and Ronno so keep the faith and crank up the volume. A stunning, ear-opening, posthumous pop-rock achievement, He’s Real Gone will long be viewed as a better late than never pop masterpiece from Mott The Hoople legend, Overend Watts.
MWE3 (September 2017)
Overend Watts’ solo album has been a long time coming. Something like eighteen years by my reckoning – he first talked about recording an album in issue 2 of Two Miles From Heaven magazine in November 1999…
Many of the songs are inspired by Overend’s varied life experiences, either from running his own shop (The Dinosaw Market, Belle Of The Boot) or pursuing his hobby of carp fishing (The Legend Of Redmire Pool). Overend plays all the instruments himself – normally my heart sinks when I read this, but here Overend acquits himself well. Even the drums are inventive rather than perfunctory, as are the keyboards. A true solo album but which sounds like a band – others should take note…
…Overend has said that when he started writing in earnest (for MOTT’s Drive On) he didn’t really know about hooks and choruses. I’m pleased to say he has got everything right here, with Rise Up being another strong track with a great hook and chorus. Rise up – before they shoot you down!
There’s a lot to like here. It took me two or three listens to “get it”, but get it I have. Recommended.
Hunter-mott .com (August 2017)
Recorded towards the end of his days, it would be lovely to report that He’s Real Gone captures everything that made Watts so unique, from the towering platforms and the silver hair, to the humor, artistry and vision that characterized his work way-back-when. Lovely, and true.
From start to finish, He’s Real Gone is a delight; lyrically light-hearted, buoyant as a balloon, and so determined not to take anything seriously that you almost overlook how magnificently constructed and exquisitely played the thirteen new tracks are.
The titles give a lot away – “The Legend of Redmire Pool”, “Prawn Fire on Uncle Sheep Funnel,” “There’s Berkeley Power Station”…there are few ruminations on life, the universe and everything here, and who’d have wanted them if they were? Watts’s onstage persona was almost cartoonish (how could it have been much else with that tailor?), and alone in the studio with a broad array of instruments, that’s the side that he indulges.
Yet it’s not an album you put on just for laughs. The songs are genuinely powerful (“Caribbean Hate Song” might be the best, but I’ve changed my time six times already), and the playing and production are spot on. Yes, there are certainly echoes of past friends and peers on display, including a touch of Roy Harper around the vocals, but it’s Watts’s album all the way through, still jammed with all the pleasures that were so much a part of his writing “back in the day,” and occasionally allowing them to shine through even louder than before.
“He’d Be a Diamond” has a hook and harmonies that the mid-sixties would have given their last pair of Beatle boots for; “Magic Garden” feels like a lost John Otway classic; “Belle of the Boot” is unadulterated punk rock. And the only regret, as the album comes to an end, is that Watts waited so long to make it. If this is the music he spent forty years bottling up, we lost out on some of the most extraordinarily enjoyable albums in history.
Goldmine Magazine (August 2017)
Bass player Pete “Overend” Watts is best remembered these days for his sterling exploits with glam rockers Mott the Hoople during the early seventies, and the Birmingham born musician did his best to keep the band’s name alive after creative mainstays Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs left the fold in 1974. His efforts were sadly doomed to failure however, and Watts took a back seat from performing to concentrate on record production, only completing “He’s Real Gone,” his first solo album shortly before his untimely death from throat cancer earlier this year. His musical epitaph is a typically quirky and unpredictable affair which should be required listening for MTH devotees everywhere.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (August 2017)
“He’s Real Gone” is the long-awaited CD by the much loved Overend Watts, the bassist and founding member of the mighty Mott The Hoople who sadly passed away earlier this year. The CD contains eleven brand new compositions by Overend together with two cover versions plus the original demo of “Born Late ’58″ which dates back to “The Hoople” LP.
Imbued with Overend’s eccentric, warm hearted personality, “He’s Real Gone” is by turn quirky, amusing and, at times, it must be said, somewhat slightly odd. But beneath all that is a fascinating collection of songs that give you an insight into the World of Watts with wry, humorous tales of Herefordshire life, Car Boot Sales, ghosts, fishing, cups of tea in Acton and attractive young ladies in Tesco.
Musically, the album covers a wide range of styles from psychedelia (“Prawn Fire on Uncle Sheep Funnel”) to pop, rock and folk. There’s even a bit of faux jazz (Nice!) thrown in on “The Dinosaw Market.” There’s a distinct Sixties vibe to some of the songs especially on the harmonies and the jangling Byrds-like guitars. “Caribbean Hate Song” recalls Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd while “Belle of the Boot” somehow manages to sound like the love child of The Who and The Kinks.
The two cover versions included here also reflect Overend’s wide ranging love of music and his championing of less well-known acts. “Endless Night” was originally recorded by one of Overend’s favourites, the US psychedelic rock outfit the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, while “He’d Be A Diamond” written by Nick Saloman from The Bevis Frond, was covered by Teenage Fanclub, another band on who Watts was particularly keen.
Keith Smith, editor TMFH (July 2017)
This is US-influenced blues-rock all the way, the opening cover of the Allman Borther’s ‘Don’t Keep Me Wondering’ being followed by ‘Long Gone’, a self-penned sound-alike of Little Feat’s ‘Spanish Moon’…the musicianship is tighter than tight, abetted by a class rhythm section in Colin Gibson and Terry Popple…This would have been a short show had the six live tracks been its sum, so four very much heavier efforts from Harrison’s later outfit Niagra round out the package.
Record Collector (January 2018)
This live recording from 1976 in Nottingham is a blessing with a group at the peak of their art, six titles of very good sound quality allowing us to relive the funky rock blues inspired by ALLMAN BROTHERS or LITTLE FEAT…Beginning the concert with ‘Don’t Keep Me Wondering’ and we get to know this rather unique sound, mixing rock with funk and it’s great. The husky voice of Bobby Harrison is up-front, there’s no question these are top level musicians. The group is led by the guitar of Micky Moody that’s like hot embers when combined with Tim Hinkley’s crazy electric piano. The rhythm section is impeccable, not to mention the percussion by Bobby Harrison.
Highlands Magazine (Translated – November 2017)
Snafu were nearing the end of their brief existence when this muscular performance was captured for posterity at Trent Polytechnic in January 1976. The outfit formed by one-time Procol Harum drummer Bobby Harrison had recorded three critically acclaimed albums by this stage but commercial success had largely eluded them and departure of slide guitarist Micky Moody for pastures new with Whitesnake effectively signalled the end of the road for Snafu’s robust fusion of blues, funk and country rock. ‘Highway’, and the soulful ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ are the best of the bunch.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (November 2017)
…Freestyle blues and call-and-response are added to the heady mix for “Big Legged Woman” which the group never took to the studio to expand on the piece’s fusion in a more disciplined way, leaving this version the testament to their ability to throw caution to the wind and cruise around the tune, but the cover of “Every Little Bit Hurts” is as soulful as it gets, without embellishments except for a filigree guitar figure on a solo…
…Rounding off the listening experience, in inferior sound quality, are four cuts from 1977 by Bobby’s next band, the short-lived NIAGRA: a much more polished proposition, filled with vocal harmonies on “Crossfire” and smearing AOR all over the punchy “Cold Eyes” whose surface is punctured with a sharp riff. Far from SNAFU’s rawness, these numbers only stress how special that quintet was – great while it lasted and coming alive now. 4/5 Stars.
DMME.net (October 2017)
Snafu’s blues rock inspired the legendary bands Little Feat and The Allman Brothers. The American blues with slide guitar and a funky rhythm also reminds us of Grand Funk Railroad. At the intro of this live album you can already hear the honest, pure sound of the group. Raw unpolished singing by Bobby Harrison and funky guitar by Micky Moody with Tim Hinkley at the Hammond organ. Bobby’s energy shatters his vocal cords, and Micky pulls excellent dirty sounds from his guitar. A few weeks later he switches from Snafu to David Coverdale’s Whitesnake. This also meant the end of Snafu. The recordings of Live Nottingham 1976 are beautifully honest, as pure as it was at the time – no technical gadgets or tricks, no, the music came directly from the heart and soul!
Keys and Chords (Translated – August 2017)
If you’re a Bobby Harrison, Micky Moody or SNAFU completist, then Live In Nottingham 1976 will prove a vital addition to your collection. For anyone else there’s undoubtedly a great hard blues rock act here to be discovered…
Sea Of Tranquility (August 2017)
Snafu were at the peak of their creative and live capabilities when they performed at the Refectory at Trent Polytechnic in 1976 with 3 albums already released and their stock high amongst both fans and fellow musicians…Tracks are ‘Don’t Keep Me Wondering’, ‘Long Gone’, ‘Big Legged Woman’, ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’, ‘Unsettled Dust’, ‘Highway’, ‘Crossfire’, ‘Victim Of Love’, ‘Cold Eyes’ and ‘Don’t Be A Fool’.
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (July 2017)
It is a short set, only six songs, yet you get a good feel and sound of the band as they play blues rock set of covers and their own songs. Highlights include the slow blues burner ‘Every Little Bit Counts’ which highlights Bobby Harrison’s emotive singing and the rocking ‘Highway’, where Micky Moody plays up a storm.
Get Ready to ROCK! (July 2017)
There’s a timeless quality to his songs, anchored to Canada with a link that’s bound to stay unbroken: that’s what it’s all about for this artist. 4/5 stars
DMME.net (June 2017)
…This performance is exclusively confined to classic after classic spanning the whole Stackridge catalogue, all superbly delivered. Highlights abound, but the superlative versions of “God Speed The Plough”, “The Last Plimsoll” and Gordon Haskell’s wonderfully titled “No One’s More Important Than The Earthworm” take some beating. With former member Mutter Slater joining for a couple of tracks, there’s a special air to the evening and the finale of “Do The Stanley” will leave many a moist eye among the faithful. We may not see their like again. Get this if you’ve missed out on what the fuss is about!
Classic Rock Society (December 2017)
With a sound ranging from 60′s pop to blues, straight up rock to keyboard heavy prog and that of a string led, brass infused ensemble, there’s no doubt that Stackridge fit the billing ‘progressive’ much more succinctly than many out and out prog bands ever did. This set riding the gamut from the strings of “The Last Plimsoll” to the jaunt of “Fundamentally Yours”, which sounds like a less forceful Queen jamming with Yes. Along the way everything from “Something About The Beatles” to “Lummy Days”, via “Syracuse The Elephant” and “Dora The Female Explorer” confirm the stylistic about faces that occur throughout.
The crowd are involved and invigorated, if limited in size, while the sound across the show is excellent, although the fade outs in between songs do suck a little of the momentum out of proceedings; very little casual stage chatter making the cut. However with Davis, Warren and Lindley all in fine voice, whether leading from the front or combining to heighten the effect, and the overall performances as tight as you’d expect from a group of veterans who’ve run through these songs countless times, this really is a fitting tribute to a much loved band.
Coming with a booklet mixing a historical perspective with the thoughts and emotions of some of the band’s fans and which also pays respect to some of the more renowned former members, The Final Bow, Bristol 2015 is a wonderful two disc, twenty-two song strong celebration of a band who stuck to their guns and delighted many. It’s never too late to discover good music, and it has to be said that Stackridge’s final goodbye makes for just as strong an introduction to a vastly underrated group, as it is a fitting farewell.
Sea Of Tranquility (September 2017)
Although those who love the music really, really love it, Stackridge has always been criminally overlooked in the big scheme of things. They’ve written and recorded some of the most credible/incredible pop music and yet, for whatever reasons, they’ve never really received the attention they deserve. The 2015 band was comprised of Andy Davis, James Warren, Clare Lindley, Glenn Tommey, and Eddie John. And what a band they were. On this hefty double disc set, the band plays twenty-two selections for audiences who were obviously very familiar with the material. Highlights include “Over the Horizon,” “Fundamentally Yours,” “Something About the Beatles,” “Boots and Shoes,” and “Do The Stanley Aviator Brass (Plus Audience).” Sadly it’s farewell to Stackridge after so many years and so much wonderful music. But thankfully the tracks they recorded will always be around for future generations to admire and appreciate. Recommended. Top pick.
babysue (September 2017)
Stackridge in 2015 retained the spark of the early 70s when music was still expanding and they could add solid rock, whimsy and assorted oddness to witty lyrics and fine playing. Mutter Slater guests on two tracks and if you want proof of fine playing just listen to the flute composition, ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’, With Mutter soloing.
RnR Magazine (September 2017)
None of their albums unturned, the ensemble concentrate on deep tracks from both distant and recent past, and throw into the mix a couple of pieces that didn’t make it to a studio LP. The quirkiest numbers aren’t performed here, though, stressing the set list’s sentimentality: from the translucent welcome of “Over The Horizon” to “Do The Stanley” which is passed to a brass section and audience singalong, there’s dewy-eyed nostalgia fogging up the proceedings, what with Mutter Slater’s flute returning to the fold for “Slark” and “Purple Spaceships Over Yatton” to help Andy Davis and James Warren close the decades-wide circle…
…Observing the group’s route from the vantage point of today, it’s almost impossible to avoid the wondering at how many songs in their repertoire bid farewell to a moment the artists’ inhabited at any given time, because the latter-day title track is only a reflection of the “Teatime” delicacy, and there’s a firm logic in placing Davis’ extracurricular “All I Do Is Dream Of You” alongside collective creations like “Fish In A Glass” whose insistent irony wouldn’t be lost on the crowd cheering their exit – because charisma still surrounds them.
The end of the story, then? Time for the band to go? Given their whimsy, here’s hoping they’ll be back one day. ****1/3
DMME.net (August 2017)
Clare’s violin leads ‘The Road To Venezuela’ from THE MAN WITH IN THE BOWLER HAT, one of the most impressive tracks, we also recognize the intro from ‘The Last Plimsoll’ is very BEATLES with always wonderful violin. The famous ‘Syracuse The Elephant’ from the second album is very oriental and sung in a very convincing way with the violin being a true revelation illuminating the concert. The delicious ‘Teatime’ from the same album is also featured, played energetically. If the violin is king, the piano and keyboards also have their time to shine. ‘God Speed The Plough’ has solo piano which is quickly joined by the violin, the piece gains in amplitude with layered keyboards…
Highlands Magazine (Translated – August 2017)
…At the end of a moving farewell tour, they decided to give a final concert at the Fiddlers Club in Bristol on December 19, 2015. That evening they were accompanied by Glenn Tommey (keyboards, vocals), old acquaintance who once played on the first album of The Korgis in 1979, Eddie John (drums) and Clare Lindley (violin, guitar, vocals)…long-time friend Mutter Slater honours the group with his presence on two titles, ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’ and ‘Slark’. Still, with the same sense of derision, Stackridge offers a festive show where good mood is in order despite a palpable emotion…
Prog Female Voices (Translated – July 2017)
This new 2CD live set was recorded at Bristol and as the title says was their ‘Final Bow’ after 45 years the band have finally called it a day. I wish them a long and happy ‘retirement’. To those of you who are familiar with their output you will find, probably, a good few favourites here, remember ‘Do The Stanley’? If you are new to the band prepare to enjoy! I found myself repeatedly going back to CD2 tracks 4-6 and just smiling the tracks in question being ‘No Ones More Important Than The Earthworm’ ‘Lost And Found’ and ‘Boots And Shoes’. ‘Earthworm’ was in fact written by Gordon Haskell (Fleur-dy-lys, Ruperts People) Gordon never became a band member but had many connections, but that’s another story! It’s just a delight of a song and a title! Those three tracks just sum up the band for me. But then there’s ‘Slark’ and ‘Dora The Female Explorer’ and…well its all just so bloody enjoyable. Its fitting this should also be Angel Airs 500th release, half a grand, but a whole grand time to be had by all. Enjoy!
ninebattles.com (July 2017)
…Mutter Slater returns to add flute to signature tune ‘Slark’, and the expansive ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’ but there are newer numbers too. A sad, beautiful farewell – but, given their past, one’s never certain that Stackridge have ever split up for good.
Record Collector (July 2017)
Andy Davis shines on so many tracks but Red Squirrel and The Final Bow glow to my ears. Of course we mustn’t forget little James Warren, who many consider to be the band’s Paul McCartney to Andy Davis’s John Lennon. Here that likeness is reinforced with sweet vocals and Beatlesque harmonies and melodic bass lines, amply showcased on Fundamentally Yours and The Last Plimsol. (And yes you do recognise James Warren’s voice – he sang lead on The Korgis worldwide smash Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime.)
Both the two aforementioned songs though, first appeared on the George Martin produced The Man in the Bowler Hat, an album he held in much affection and is often considered to be one of the finest albums he produced outside of the Beatles.
In many ways the Beatles comparison is obvious and fitting, the constant need to develop and change, pulling in influences from disparate musical traditions but always remembering to write a killer tune. The difference of course is that no-one wonders why the Beatles are so under appreciated…
This parting gift is full of similar killer tunes, and after 46 years of loving them I am going to miss Stackridge live, but I have this wonderful memory of a wonderful day.
The Progressive Aspect (July 2017)
This 2-CD set captures the band at their final gig in front of a partisan and parochial audience just before Christmas 2015. Of course, we’ve had the previous live set ‘The Forbidden City’ in 2007 so this really is a gentle update as much as a poignant reminder of a great band…Fittingly, given Angel Air’s faith in the band’s more recent restoration, this is the label’s 500th release in its 20th year. Fan and manager reminiscences in the liner notes pad out an excellent souvenir. Stackridge may be history but their music lives on. ****
Get Ready to ROCK! (July 2017)
This recording of their final gig at Bristol’s Fiddlers Club marks Angel Air’s 500th album release and provides an appealing celebration of Stackridge’s quirkily melodic approach to music-making, with former frontman Mutter Slater rejoining their ranks for a couple of perennial crowd-pleasers, “Purple Spaceships Over Yatton” and the epic “Slark”.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (June 2017)
Stackridge are at the heart of Angel Air Records, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is now releasing their 500th album…The Final Bow was recorded at a packed Fiddlers Club in Bristol on December 19th 2015 as Andy Davis, James Warren, Clare Lindley, Glen Tommey and Eddie John were joined on stage by former member Mutter Slater. This double CD includes ‘Over The Horizon’, ‘Long Dark River’, ‘Fish In A Glass’, ‘Slark’, ‘Lummy Days’ and ‘Purple Spaceships Over Yatton’.
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (May 2017)
I have always enjoyed Davey’s vocals and the album certainly doesn’t give the impression that he has been away from the scene for so long, nor that he had to get himself a mandolin, as he is in full control, and it really was only yesterday that he was treading the boards (I commented that he didn’t seem to have changed much, and the response was “I have a painting in the attic”). This is a truly beautiful album, and credit must be given to Derek Aunger who has worked with Davey to capture an incredible sound…As to the album title, if you didn’t know, ‘Kernow’ is the Cornish name for Cornwall, so it is a play on that and ‘cornucopia’ (an abundant supply of good things). Even though I’m from Devon, I must admit it’s not just pasties and the A38 that are the only decent things coming out from Cornwall: I’ll add this album to that incredibly small list. I Love it.
Amplifier Magazine (February 2018)
This is an album strongly infused with traditional and Celtic themes with the title track telling the story of poor Cornish folks trying the eke out a living whilst the rich Londoner lives high on the hog, but there’s hard edged social and political comment as well, notably on tracks like “Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye”, where he rails against fat-cat politicians and corporate greed, and he ramps up his electric guitar to put this message across forcibly on this which, at nine minutes, the longest track on what is, overall, a really good album.
Classic Rock Society (December 2017)
Often likened to Fish vocally, Dodds’ strong storytelling style comes through in this thoroughly stripped back setting where bodhran, mandolin, fiddle, tin whistle and even ‘bones’ are the backing for the vocalist to tell his tales – two of the musicians involved being Red Jasper men, Robin Harrison and David Clifford. The protagonist certainly hasn’t lost any of his acerbic edge, Dodds still turning a spotlight on what he views as social imbalances. The result is an album steeped in traditions, not just musically but also lyrically…an honest album that thrives on a clear love for the music and approach it employs…
Sea Of Tranquility (September 2017)
Where the Englishman’s erstwhile approach would be to weave his voice into a thick instrumental tapestry and tell a many-layered story, now Davey’s method is creating a threadbare, transparent, web-like experience of a song. It’s a cocoon of sorts, unravelling most impressively when the vocalist looks back on Dodd’s own classics such as “The Magpie” that THE UNTHANKS recently returned to the public attention: stripped of sonic assault and ensemble harmonies inherent to its “Sting In The Tale” original and left at the mercy of its writer’s a cappella choir that doesn’t require even the slightest strum, the tune is packing a mightier punch.
As only a couple cuts are given a group treatment, Davey’s ex-colleagues flocking in to adorn “Shoot The Gruffalo” and “Merlin’s Isle Of Gramarye” in an ethereal electric garb, most of the album numbers glimmer in the light reflected off Dodd’s mandolin and Martin Solomon’s fiddle and Celtic harp which make pieces like “Storm Cat Song” possessed with intrepid spirituality.
DMME.net (September 2017)
It is the harmonica of Kevin Taylor that stands out on ‘The Shaman’s Song’, it’s pretty serious music and full of mystery. ‘Shoot The Gruffalo’ is a sort of frenzied dance in the pure Celtic tradition, a successful way of finishing this beautiful album that at times reminds me of another English giant: JETHRO TULL, the influence can be heard in ‘Kick Off Your Shoes’. Unique music from an album with many traditional instruments – authenticity guaranteed.
Highlands Magazine (Translated – August 2017)
…The Magpie is a striking song because it’s all acapella. A full band version can be found on Red Jasper’s debut album in 1990. ‘The Shaman’s Song’ has harmonica in the arrangement, which makes a positive difference to the other songs of the album. Also remarkable is ‘Merlin’s Isle Of Gramarye’…The guitar and bass guitar are in the hands of Robin Harrison, while his Red Jasper mate David Clifford is on the drums…
ProgWereld (Translated – July 2017)
Davey admits that the prog-rock thing was self-indulgence on his part but some of Red Jasper’s music remains with him and several tracks are reworked on Kernowcopia. He’s also reunited with two members of the band…
RnR Magazine (July 2017)
Dodds enjoys revisiting some emblematic titles of the Red Jasper era. ‘The Magpie’ from Sting In The Tale (1990), recently released by the folk band The Unthanks on their 2015 Mount The Air album, ‘Jean’s Tune’ from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1993), ‘Ship On The Sea’ and ‘The Shaman’s Song’ from The Winter’s Tale (1994) are among them.
Located at the crossroads between Jethro Tull for music and Fish for voice, Davey Dodds returns to the front of the stage primarily for his own pleasure. And that’s fine!
Prog Female Voices (June 2017)
I have always enjoyed Davey’s vocals, and the album certainly doesn’t give the impression that he has been away from the scene for so long, nor that he had to get himself a mandolin, as he is in full control, and it really was only yesterday that he was treading the boards (I commented that he didn’t seem to have changed much, and the response was “I have a painting in the attic”).
This is a truly beautiful album, and credit must be given to Derek Aunger who has worked with Davey to capture an incredible sound. The only real issue with it is that I have been playing it so much that it stopped me from listening to other material that I should have been getting on with! As to the album title, if you didn’t know, ‘Kernow’ is the Cornish name for Cornwall, so it is a play on that and “cornucopia” (an abundant supply of good things). Even though I’m from Devon, I must admit it’s not just pasties and the A38 that are the only decent things coming out from Cornwall, I’ll add this album to that incredibly small list. I love it.
MLWZ.pl (June 2017)
Dodds’ album is primarily Folk…drummer David Clifford is there on two pieces; guitarist and bassist Robin Harrison even features on “Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye”…otherwise, the album is dominated by Dodds’ vocals and mandolin with Martin Solomon’s fiddle…
Musik An Sich (Translated – June 2017)
Magnificent Cornish storytelling songs from prog rocker Davey Dodds! The best folk release of the last decade!
Keys and Chords (June 2017)