Galahad (rerLP005) “… an album of breathtaking ambition … ”

With “Battle Scars”, veteran English progsters Galahad have produced a thoroughly modern release that embraces a myriad of styles, veering into techno, ambient and dance territories at times.  Echoes of Riverside, Oceansize and even System Of A Down also resound in an album of breathtaking ambition. Continue Reading →

Beau (rerLP003) – “… Beau is back, as good as ever …”

Beau 12-String

The Way It Was”, the brand new studio recording by Beau, marks the famous folk troubadour’s return to the music scene after what seems like an eternity.  There was the recent expanded version of his classic “Creation”, this time aptly named “Creation Recreated”, but who could imagine this would spawn a full-fledged return by Beau, both in the studio and live!

This time round, Beau has decided to release his album with Ritual Echo Records, a brand new record company specialising in vinyl releases.  “The Way It Was” sounds really wonderful and the LP comes fully equipped with lyrics and background information on Beau.

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Beau (rerLP003) – “… there isn’t a weak song”

Beau must have storing up his best tracks over the years as there isn’t a weak song

To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the release of “Creation”, folk star Beau aka Trevor Midgley’s last studio album for John Peel’s Dandelion label, Cherry Red has released “The Way It Was”, a newly-recorded set of fifteen tracks.

To say he has rolled back the years would be an understatement.  Like his classic single “1917 Revolution” and accompanying 1969 self-titled album, Beau’s songs are stripped back to just vocals and Harmony twelve-string guitar.

There’s something about going back to basics and to their original muse that’s worked sensationally for artists such as Donovan (1996’s Sutras) and Johnny Cash.  In a similar way Beau does this with “The Way It Was”.

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Dec Burke (rerLP002) – “…as good a prog work as you’ll hear all year”

Dec Burke - Paradigms & Storylines - Inner (Swans)

You have to admire Dec Burke’s single minded pursuit of his visions.  In the admired Darwin’s Radio he oversaw the release of an excellent second album that comprised of a mere three songs.  For his own solo mission, following the failure of DR to capitalise on their forward momentum, he unleashed an even more solid set of tunes with last year’s “Destroy All Monsters” that would surely have made more of an impact had it not been somewhat derailed by a curious mix.  However, Burke’s talent for an infectious melody aligned with a dextrous flash of musicianship was there for all to hear, as it is again on “Paradigms & Storylines“.  This time however, the sound mix has been nailed.  So instead of sounding like you were hearing them underwater, the explosive opening trio of “Days Like These“, “March of the Androids“, and “A Price for Life” are razor sharp, mixing a modern techno edge to a harmonious classic rock sound.  Yet if it’s the modern slant that opens the album, Burke opts for no holds barred bombast with an epic closing triptych of “Yesterday’s Fool“, the emotive “December Sun” and the three-part title track.  It’s as good a prog work as you’ll hear all year.

Jerry Ewing (Editor)

Classic Rock Presents Prog, Issue 21, November 2011

Message to Bears (rerLP001) – Review

Message to Bears - Original Packaging

Message to Bears I know sod all about.  I remember hearing the last single and thought it was OK but I wasn’t particularly taken by it.  The new album “Departures” arrived early this week wrapped up in string and brown paper and I took it upon myself to check it out forthwith as it looked amazing.  The second time I heard it I was totally blown away.  I had the whole goose pimple bumpy arm thing which I rarely get with new music these days.  It’s gorgeous acoustic guitar music punctuated by some neo classical beauty.  There are some amazing tracks on here. Continue Reading →

Message to Bears (rerLP001) – Another Review

Message to Bears - Departures Front Cover

Jerome Alexander’s Message to Bears project provided Oxfordshire music with one of its finest records of 2008 in the shape of “EP1“, a collection of hushed, hypnotic instrumentals, dominated by dreamlike strings and translucent acoustic guitars with a dash of scratchy electronica.  Everyone I’ve played it to has loved it, whether they were seen-it-all-before music producers, professional scientists or Christmas party animals.  “Departures“, the full-length album that follows that first-rate debut, is every bit as wonderful as its predecessor. Continue Reading →