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It’s Sarstedt’s voice that leads the way, smooth and poignant, a bit like the Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot. Where Do You Go To My Lovely is not here but there’s a similar waltz sound on Biarritz, while Altogether Now is a rocking country tune with Lee’s trademark licks. The title track has a bluesy feel, and warms up nicely. As a whole, the album reminds us of Gordon Haskell’s gentle Harry’s Bar.

The Chronicle (July 2016)

After listening to England’s Lane it is easy to see why Angel Air decided to bring this album out of the vaults. It is a fine album of folksy rock and pop, very nicely recorded with excellent musicianship and Sarstedt’s silky smooth vocals. The title track begins the disc featuring soulful harmonica and bluesy/folky guitar. Other highlights include; the ultra-catchy folk pop gem that is “British Museum”, the poignant beautiful folk of “Horses”, the Latin tinged acoustic guitar in “You Crazy Fool” and the gorgeous accordion melody in “Biarritz”, another tune in the folk tradition.

When I want something a little lighter and poignant in a folkier vein I will certainly reach for England’s Lane again. I suggest you do the same.

Sea Of Tranquility (March 2016)

“England’s Lane” is one of the veteran’s most solid offerings. Instigated and produced by Brian Hodgson, an original Rutle, it finds Peter reconnecting his past and the present en route from UK to France and across the Pyrenees with the same lyricism and attention to detail he demonstrated on that Number One hit. There would be no Ivor Novello Award for tapping into a similar tune on the accordion-adorned “Biarritz” yet it’s difficult not to become fascinated with “The Horses” and its air of freedom.

It’s also hard not to recognize Peter’s “ancient features” in the “Empty Pages” melodrama, whereas the pictures in “British Museum” come painted with a skank and a smile. And while some nostalgia is inescapable in such a context – an exquisite acoustic weave in “You Crazy Fool” is a dewy-eyed delight – the singer’s recollections are mostly sweet, his two brothers – each a charts-denting musicians – joining in for the skiffle-spiced “All Together Now” in which Albert Lee pitches filigree flurries.

At the same time, plaintive harmonica and steel guitar give “I Need Her” and the title track a bluesy tinge, but the unhurried stanzas of “Spanish Made Easy” harbor a genuine passion. So if Sarstedt felt out-of-fashion when delivering “The Last Of The Breed,” he certainly wasn’t – and isn’t now, when Peter’s memories faded due to deteriorating health.

Where do you go to when you’re down and out? Down your memory lane. 4/5 Stars (February 2016)

Recorded in 1997, England’s Lane has long since been out-of-print. But now, nearly twenty years later, it is once again available for all to hear. The album was recorded and produced with Sarstedt’s friend Brian Hodgson who many will remember as a member of The Rutles and Hogan’s Heroes. Eleven smooth listener-friendly soft pop tunes here with a heavy emphasis on lyrics and vocal melodies. Warm, inviting cuts include “British Museum,” “All Together Now,” “Castles In Spain,” and “The Last of the Breed.”

babysue (January 2016)

Right from the opening title track the unique vocal could not be mistaken for anybody other than Peter. His phrasing, wit, humour, emotion and ability to paint pictures and take you to places are truly art. Listening to ‘Biarritz’, ‘British Museum’, ‘Castles in Spain’ and the glorious ‘Spanish Made Easy’ are virtually cinematic experiences. Ray Davies is the only other singer I can think of that masters that ability (Village Preservation Society being a prime example). Peter’s wistful warm honey coated voice seeps into your conscience, stays there and makes the world a better place for 45 minutes and these days we could all do with that.

Whether tackling his skiffle roots on ‘All Together Now’ (with Albert Lee on guitar) or revisiting Marie-Claire on the closing track ‘The Last Of The Breed’ this remains, for me, one of his finest albums. And as a closing thought get a copy of his debut album which contains the wonderful ‘I Am A Cathedral’ and the FULL version of WDYGTML which they NEVER play on the radio! (January 2016)

Rampant eclecticism reigned supreme as Peter recaptures the spirit of his late sixties hit with ‘Biarritz’ before joining forces with his bothers Eden Kane and Clive Sarstedt for an engaging country romp entitled ‘All Together Now’ featuring the great Albert Lee on guitar.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (December 2015)

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Catch The Reform Club live in 2016!

1st October – Hurst Festival, Hurstpierpoint
28th October – King’s Head, Lewes (9pm)

Click here to order your copy of ‘Never Yesterday’ now!

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‘Teapot Lane’ is included on The Reform Club’s latest album ‘Never Yesterday’, available now from Angel Air Records.

Click here to order your copy of ‘Never Yesterday’!

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STRAIGHT EIGHT No Noise From Here / Shuffle’n'Cut / Straight To The Heart


The band’s first album (No Noise From Here) is a real rockin’ kinda affair while the follow-up (Shuffle’n'Cut) finds them in a more power pop vein (similar to The Cars). While we kinda like the debut album best, in all honesty all three albums have their great moments. The second disc includes four bonus cuts, most importantly the hard-to-find single “Spread It Around.” We love the packaging here…each disc looks like an eight ball (one red, one blue).

babysue (November 2015)

…if the power riffs of ‘I Idolise You’ chimed in more with American AOR of the day than UK’s post-punk, ‘Nicotine Boys’ taps right into it – with gusto, while Boot Kingsman’s bluesy licks spice up the organ-oiled ‘Take It All Back’ and ‘Power Cut,’ the latter – a Winter of Discontent snapshot – sitting in the heart of 1980′s ‘Shuffle ‘n’ Cut,’ a rather different proposition. No ‘duplication of yesterday’ as stated in one of the pieces here, it starts with the bubbling ‘I’m Sorry’ baring the band’s new pop agenda and takes ‘On The Rebound’ to the dancefloor in fine fashion, whereas ‘I Can’t Stop’ are ‘Satisfied’ are channelling the CLASH sort of twang and vocal chops.

John Burns’ sympathetic production, honed on prog, makes pieces like the anthemic ‘Only You’ or the elegant rocker ‘Heartbreaker’ sound modern even now… (November 2015)

Now, after three decades, their three albums are collected on two CDs, plus some bonus tracks. I must confess that I’ve never heard of this band and their songs are not familiar to me. It’s American-inspired, melodic rock. The bonus tracks include ‘Spread It Around’, which was produced by Pete Townshend…

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

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JENNY DARREN Heartbreaker-Best Of 1977-1980


…In fact there is much to enjoy here. Jenny Darren has the sort of raunchy rock voice that made Janis Joplin a star and the tracks on display here show her to be very much at home with the late ’70s mainstream rock sound. Her version of Heartbreaker is as good as Benatar’s and makes you wonder what might have been if things had worked out differently. The magnificently titled ‘Grand Canyon Of My Dreams’ could have slipped off a Heart album and is one of three tracks to feature a certain Nicko McBrain on drums. An interesting discovery for me and well worth checking out.

Classic Rock Society (January/February 2016)

Opener ‘Heartbreaker’ is the song which…yep, you read the story before. Only that this time it’s Jenny Darren’s version and performed as intended…Those good souls at Angel Air Records really do have a knack for ‘resurrecting’ either almost forgotten or underrated artists! There is a fair mix across the 19 tracks we get, incorporating rock, funky blues, bluesy rock and softer fare. Tracks 3, 7, and 17 even features Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain on drums!

….It get’s very bluesy and full-on raunchy on ‘Use What You Got’ and for sure Jenny uses best what she’s got, which is one hell of a voice. The unique ‘City Lights’ skilfully fuses snazzy 70′s disco-funk with truck-loads of soul, though it is the track ‘Skydiver’ which in my opinion stands out the most: a fabulous rock sound glides into softer pop terrain and back again to harder rhythms, all the while we can hear cool strings and some quirky sounds backing up this little gem.

A real treat this for all you Jenny Darren fans out there, and as for the uninitiated: get a copy and allow yourself to get seduced by her truly outstanding talent.

Music-News (January 2016)

Know that Jenny opened for AC/DC, Streetwalkers, Patti Smith, and performed at Reading and Knebworth festivals, proof of perfect talent, just as ‘Best Of’ demonstrates.

Highlands Magazine (November 2015)

These songs have a late 70′s sound that is likely to appeal to lots of folks considering how influential the decade has become over time. Darren sure could belt out the tunes. She’s been compared to Janis Joplin, and the comparison is certainly justified. She also reminds us of Tina Turner at times. Nineteen classy rockers including “Heartbreaker,” “Too Many Lovers,” “So Many People,” and “Ladykiller.”

babysue (November 2015)

So thanks to reissue (and more) specialists Angel Air, ladies and gentlemen, here is a singer who could have rivalled Janis Joplin for power, handles a track which made Pat Benatar’s name, with ease and slides smoothly from rock to pop, funk to soul and so much more.

In fact Darren is now a more familiar face to followers of jazz, than she is the pointed rock this “best of” demonstrates so ably. Bringing together songs from her four albums between 1977 and 1980, this collection shows the talent and versatility of this lady to the full.

Sea Of Tranquility (November 2015)

…the fierce ‘Use What You Got’ could have come from Muscle Shoals, as there’s a triumphant roar blaring out, whereas ‘Skydiver’ off 1980′s ‘Jenny Darren’ – yes, the second named after the artist – rolls out a Nicko McBrain-propelled acoustically-laced epic drama which somehow predicted the singer’s vanishing from the public eye. Still, defiant as she is in the hard-rocking ‘Ladykiller’ – that should be renamed ‘Lady Killer’ – Jenny Darren’s returning with a vengeance. Watch out! (October 2015)

The 19 tracks on this anthology all date from the period 1977 to 1980. At the time, Jenny played the support act for AC / DC, stood at the festivals Reading and Knebworth and supported Streetwalker and Patti Smith on tour. The musicians on most of the tracks are Jenny as a singer, Cliff Wade on keyboards, Lee Patrick on guitar, Des Tong on bass and Geoff Gill on percussion. The title track opens the set on a floating rock rhythm. ‘Lay Me Like A Lady’ starts slow but then turns into rock. By contrast, ‘Grand Canyon Of My Dreams’ is rather quiet, and a little further on is ‘I Got The Feeling’ which features soul elements with strings. The other tracks all are situated in the same vein…Excellent for fans of retro rock.

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

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Steve Ellis is one of the great and unique British songwriters who has the capability to write good songs of his own and to pick winners from other composers. In 2004 Steve recorded this Best Of Days album, which is now released as a budget priced CD. Guest musicians include Roger Daltrey and Paul Weller…Standout tracks are ‘Brand New Start’, ‘Step Inside’, ‘Nu Clear Blues’, ‘Requiem For A Tyrant’, ‘Best Of Days’ and a laid back ‘Everlasting Love’.

Bev Bevan (December 2015)

…”Step Inside” (featuring Weller) is a groovy number that proves infectious. “Requiem For A Tyrant” pulling out a stunning acoustic guitar line and marrying it to eerie piano to allow Ellis’s voice to shine in a surprisingly fragile manner. The two tracks featuring Daltrey don’t disappoint either, “Nu Clear Blues” finding The Who frontman bringing his dirtiest harmonica licks to bare in fine style, while “Yellow Rose Of Texas” is a lovely throwaway moment that induces a little grin every time you hear its twenty-five seconds or so!

However, even with that guest power elsewhere, it’s the beautifully arranged “El Doomo” which seduces in a most melancholic manner and the irresistible “As The Crow Flies” which could easily have been taken to the top of the charts if David Gray had deemed it fit to record (ironically it’s not the same cut as the David Gray song of the same name). However with the album’s title track and “Modesty” proving almost as alluring, there’s much to enjoy here. One of the forgotten, classic voices the UK has produced over the years, there’s much reason to rejoice in the music of Steve Ellis and the aptly titled Best Of Days, reissued here by Angel Air, is definitely one of them.

Sea Of Tranquility (November 2015)

As a bonus you can enjoy a live version of ‘Everlasting Love’ where the singer is accompanied by PAUL WELLER and STEVE CRADDOCK (OCEAN COLOUR SCENE) on guitars. Recorded at the Fairfield Hall Croydon, it’s a beautiful way to finish and is as successful as any other track on the album.

Highlands Magazine (November 2015)

No surprise to find Paul Weller (mod champion) featured and Steve’s old friend Roger Daltrey weighing in on ‘Nu Clear Blues’ with a great harmonica part. It’s (for me) songs like Steve’s ‘Little One’ and the title track ‘Best Of Days’ that stand out, the latter being genuinely uplifting. Elsewhere minor hit ‘El Doomo’ gets a reworking, again to great effect. Overall a class album that rewards and deserves multiple listens.

SMART – Seventies Music And Retro Talk (October 2015)

Down to earth, the prairie pining is what ‘Requiem For A Tyrant’ gets high on for Steve’s vocals to show their lucid transparency, but the drift gets warm in ‘Turn To Stone’ which fathoms the passing of years in the miles of intimate gratitude to life itself. That’s what the whole of this album is all about, the songs’ joie de vivre spilling over into its follow-up “Ten Commitments”: that’s the everlasting love. 4/5 Stars (October 2015)

‘Everlasting Love’ is simply sublime, it’s a far more acoustic version than the original. We also get a live version of this number which Paul Weller contributes. Furthermore, other songs that Steve now presents in a completely different way are “Requiem For A Tyrant”, “Modesty” and a very short version of the classic “Yellow Rose Of Texas”.

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

…this appealing 2008 package features not one but two fine versions of ‘Everlasting Love’ with an understated acoustic re-vamp rubbing shoulders with a much more heartfelt live rendition recorded with Paul Weller during the latter’s ‘Wings of Speed’ tour in 2001.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2015)

Several of the compositions carry ‘Ellis’ writing credits, and they include a re-working of his previously recorded ‘El Doomo’. Meanwhile, ‘Step Inside’ has Paul Weller on guitar and keyboards (with Ellis also covering the Jam man’s song ‘Brand New Star’). Roger Daltrey’s on another cut, and Ellis (sometimes sounding here like early Rod Stewart) is clearly respected by Daltrey and Weller – and not just for his ‘mod’ affiliations.

The Beat (October 2015)

…even with that guest power elsewhere, it’s the beautifully arranged “El Doomo” which seduces in a most melancholic manner and the irresistible “As The Crow Flies” which could easily have been taken to the top of the charts if David Gray had deemed it fit to record (ironically it’s not the same cut as the David Gray song of the same name). However with the album’s title track and “Modesty” proving almost as alluring, there’s much to enjoy here. One of the forgotten, classic voices the UK has produced over the years, there’s much reason to rejoice in the music of Steve Ellis and the aptly titled Best Of Days, reissued here by Angel Air, is definitely one of them.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2015)

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STONE THE CROWS Teenage Licks/Ontinuous Performance


Teenage Licks is a total success as it is filled with energy, thanks to the exceptional vocal parts by Maggie Bell but also the brilliant guitarist Leslie Harvey. Teenage Licks is considered the fans’ favourite album…

…Ontinuous Performance is their fourth album, substantially already finished when Leslie’s accident occurred. Therefore, we hardly hear the guitar of the new guitarist, only present on the track, ‘Sunset Cowboy’ – a tribute to Leslie, which is very emotional. For the rest we are in familiar territory: ‘King Tut’ is an all instrumental and boiling in swing, Leslie soaring with his instrument during a performance of unforgettable beauty, the title inspired by the Tutankhamen exhibition at the British Museum.

Highlands Magazine (November 2015)

There’s funky abandon to Les Harvey’s riffs and Colin Allen’s drumming that feel so relaxed in the brass-splashed paean to drugs ‘Mr. Wizard,’ yet their bluesy flow infuse ‘Faces’ and Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ with a spiritual uplift, whereas the live rendition of Freddie King’s ‘Going Down’ redresses the balance. But acoustic fibre of ‘Seven Lakes’ offers a perfect ride into the sunset, its jazzy gauze pointing to the band’s swan song: ‘Ontinuous Performance.’ It would always be blackened by Les’ untimely passing – the guitarist was electrocuted and died on-stage – yet his playing on ‘Niagara,’ where the ensemble interplay is at its tightest, and on ‘Penicillin Blues’ feels economic but fiery, while he delivers a stately, if understated, solo on the piano-driven ‘One More Chance.’

Still, the punchiest tracks of the album were cut with Jimmy McCulloch, en route from THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN to WINGS, whose guitar ups the brass-spiked panache of ‘Good Time Girl’ and soars from the sublime harmonies of ‘Sunset Cowboy’ which pays homage to the CROWS’ fallen hero. It was also a fall for the group as Harvey’s demise sucked the soul of them and, as being cold couldn’t be an option for STC, the quintet broke up soon to never return. A sad story with a great soundtrack. (November 2015)

…Maggie Bell’s raucous vocals impress on originals like ‘Big Jim Slater’ and ‘Faces’. Guitarist Les Harvey, horrifyingly, was electrocuted on stage before Ontinuous Performance was completed with Jimmy McCulloch replacing him on two tracks, including a tribute to Harvey, ‘Sunset Cowboy’.

Blues In Britain (November 2015)

Teenage Licks, their third album, came quickly in 1971. Their sound had grown even stronger and more potent; vocalist Maggie Bell was quickly becoming one of the best female blues vocalists since Janis Joplin, and the music reflected that. The red-hot rockers of ‘Mr. Wizard’ and ‘Big Jim Salter’ were paired up with the powerful ballads of ‘Faces’ and ‘Seven Lakes,’ while a take on Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ brings a definite tenderness to the masterful lyrics…

…1972′s Ontinuous Performance is a fine record; McCulloch is an excellent replacement, and the songs are bigger, grander, and tougher. ‘Good Time Girl,’ ‘Niagra’ and ‘Penicillin Girl’ are their strongest numbers, showing that in spite of the losses, their continuation looked to be an admirable feat that couldn’t stop the band’s progression. The music buying audience agreed; Ontinuous Performance was their best selling record.

The Recoup (November 2015)

This double CD set features all the original tracks from the albums Teenage Licks and Ontinuous Performance…plus four additional live bonus tracks. Guitarist Les Harvey died during the recording of Ontinuous Performance and was replaced by McCulloch. But the band never really recovered from the loss and eventually abandoned ship. Because the popularity of Stone The Crows was somewhat geographically limited at the time, this reissue will hopefully make a whole new legion of fans aware of the band. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into here. Twenty tracks in all including “Don’t Think Twice,” “Seven Lakes,” “Let It Down,” “On The Highway,” “Sunset Cowboy,” and “Good Time Girl.”

babysue (October 2015)

…The band were fronted by Les Harvey guitar (Alex’s younger brother) and the incomparable Maggie Bell on vocals. And for me and I guess many others its Maggie’s vocal pyrotechnics that linger. I always thought of her as Britain’s own Janis Joplin as I’m sure many did. Essentially a blues/rock band I loved, and still do that ‘dirty’ guitar blend with Maggie’s abrasive vocal which blazes from the kick off on tracks like ‘Big Jim Salter’, ‘Faces’ and Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’, just three of the highlights of the eleven (2 live) tracks on Teenage Licks originally released in 1971.

SMART – Seventies Music And Retro Talk (October 2015)

Thanks must be made to Angel Air for making sure these recordings are once again available for fans to either discover for the first time or finally get a CD copy of their old vinyl versions. Though their first albums are the cream of the crop, there’s still plenty of exciting blues rock here to enjoy, featuring the amazing skills of one Maggie Bell.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2015)

‘Teenage Licks’ is the proof that this band knew how to make good music without falling into banality. Strong guitar riffs, backed by the powerful sounds of a Hammond organ, we immediately have to deal with both in the opener ‘Big Jim Salter’, and that a keyboard is still an instrument that generates added value is made clear in ‘Faces’.

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

They did bequeath a fine body of work to posterity during their short time together however, and newcomers to Stone The Crows’ gritty brand of bluesy rock would be well advised to lend and ear to tracks such as ‘Penicillin Blues’, ‘Big Jim Slater’ and the elegiac ‘Sunset Cowboy’.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2015)

The band were dealt a massive blow on May 3 1972 when Les was electrocuted onstage at the Swansea Top Rank club and died. The band elected to carry on and brought in Jimmy McCulloch from Thunderclap Newman to finish the recording of the Ontinuous Performance album.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (August 2015)

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Steve will be performing all over the UK as part of The Sensational 60′s Experience – see him live at the following dates:

March 2016
4th The Regent Ipswich 01473 433100
5th Alexandra Theatre Birmingham 0844 8713011
9th Belgrade Theatre Coventry 024 7655 3055
10th The Hexagon Reading 0118 9606060
11th Assembly Hall Worthing 01903 206206
12th The Concert Hall Stevenage 01438 363200
18th Westcliffe Theatre Clacton On Sea 01255 43 33 44
19th The Auditorium Grimsby 0844 8713016
27th The Spa Bridlington 01262 401400

April 2016
1st De Montfort Hall Leicester 0116 2333111
2nd Queens Theatre Barnstaple 01271 324242
8th The Forum Theatre Billingham 01642 552663
9th The Forum Theatre Billigham 01642 552663

June 2016
11th Central Theatre Chatham 01634 338338

*Herman’s Hermits to be replaced by The Fortunes

Click here to order your copy of the album ‘Best Of Days’ now!

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30th October Concorde, Eastleigh,
6th November Mercury Theatre, Colchester,
14th November Robin 2, Wolverhampton,
17th December Palace Theatre, Southend

Click here to order your copy of the new ‘Live At The Liverpool Philharmonic 2013′ DVD now!

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STAIRWAY Pearls Of The Deep – Best Of


We all, in truth, need a bit of ambient in our lives. Live in the fast lane forever and it will probably be a relatively short existence unless 27 is your yardstick. Jim McCarty (founder member of the Yardbirds) and Louis Cennamo know precisely where they are. This album represents absolutely first-rate ‘chill out’ music and every picture does tell a story. Is a music track not a story after all?

Music-News (December 2015)

Stairway released four albums before disbanding in 1995 but featured no less than Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) and Louis Cennamo (Renaissance, Colosseum). Originally billed as a New Age band , Stairway is mainly electronic and ambient. This is a best of the four albums and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed its calming, thoughtful and Tangerine Dream-esque journey. Long tracks and gentle keyboard, guitars and harmonies make for a very relaxing album.

Classic Rock Society (November/December 2015)

Stairway’s tenure may have been brief, but Pearls Of The Deep is a fabulous collection that serves its subject quite well. Considering the resurgence in this kind of music over the last two years, perhaps this release will be augmented with reissues of their back catalogue. There’s certainly enough evidence here that makes a strong case for such a thing…

The Recoup (October 2015)

In the album opening “The Lovers” Vangelis comes to mind with its gentle electronics or even a very subdued Alan Parsons. Jane Relf’s backing vocals are sublime. In “Light On A Dark Road” the peaceful acoustic guitar of Cennamo is some of the prettiest on the disc and on “Moonlight Skater” gentle flute and organ sounds accentuate an uplifting and beautiful melody. While the tunes do not differ greatly, this is one of those albums that would be perfect to drift off to. It is certainly music to ease the mind and soothe the soul.

Sea Of Tranquility (September 2015)

As dramatic swells and flamenco runs lull the strings-drenched ‘Beautiful Changes’ while baroque organ carries the flow of ‘Moonlight Skater’ – where the artists’ former colleague Jane Relf delivers a vocal – it’s up to Louis’ acoustic guitar to tell a story on the piano-led epic ‘Light On A Dark Road’ whose floating transparency is enchanting…The ebb and flow give even more prominent momentum to ‘Bird Of Paradise’ which, again with Relf’s voice, wouldn’t feel out of place on the veterans’ earlier work, yet ‘Aquamarine’ finds the eye of the hurricane in a pop song, and the buzz gets fleshed out in polyphonic fashion on the ‘Base Chakra’ chant from a platter the band laid down with psychologist Malcolm Stern. It’s as relaxing as the calm before the storm, then, and as captivating: in other words, a tranquil wonder. 4/5 Stars (September 2015)

The 14 tracks are very melodic, sometimes rhythmic, and sometimes floaty. Opener ‘The Lovers’ pleases me at once, as do ‘Looking Inside’, ‘Aquamarine’, and ‘Bird Of Paradise’. A pleasant introduction!

Keys and Chords (August 2015)

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