I pre-ordered the Boxset version of this release in February. In the set you get both version of the album on CD (I think otherwise the Band mix version is only available on vinyl) and a specially designed Tshirt from Hauptstadrocker, a clothing firm favoured by Rick in the last decade or so. The main CD comes in a digipak sleeve with a lyric booklet and the band mix (a more basic version of the tracks) is in a simpler card sleeve. And all of it is housed in a small, sturdy box.
But the packaging is less important than the musical content.
Twinkletoes featuring Brian May on guitar is a rocking opener, in a modern Quo style setting the standard for what is to come. And that is a selection of tracks that although largely familiar in style sound fresh and modern as far as classic rock goes. My favourite tracks are definitely classic Quo in flavour – Lonesome Road, Everybody Knows how to Fly and Lock Myself Away stand out the most for me.
The more plaintive tracks, Over and Out and Without You certain show a softer side to Rick, the latter may have evoked a tear on first listen.
Much like Twinkletoes, both Fight for Every Heartbeat and Long Distance Love are distilled from the essence of the more modern Quo sound. (And the latter gets extra points for using the words “electronic letter” in the lyrics!) while When I Was Falling In Love wouldn’t have been out of place on a Traveling Wilburys album.
The closing track Halloween was originally written for a mid-eighties solo album that never made it to an official release. It does sound pretty eighties too but that’s not a complaint.
The band mixes have a slightly edgier, more raw sound and make me sadder that this stuff won’t get a live airing. Both versions of this album are a worthy tribute to Rick and his lasting legacy in the world of rock music.
One of the best things about the International Pop Overthrow Liverpool event is the number of fab music people it has brought into my orbit over the years, so when one of these people get in touch asking if I want to hear a sneak preview of their latest project I’m going to jump at the chance.
The Ego Ritual is the latest band involving Jim Styring (The Popdogs and B-Leaguers) and the track, Chakra Maraca, doesn’t disappoint. It starts reasonably quietly and then pelts into a driving bass line littered with guitar hooks that instantly lodge themselves into your brain. Jim distinctive vocals are enhanced with harmonies and backing vocals reminiscent of sixties garage psych while the whole thing is gently garnished with an Indian theme which adds just enough essence of the East. Finally it leads into a mantra-like ending that will live in your head long after the song is over. Honestly, I played it about three times to make the notes for this article and it’s still dancing around in there the day afterwards.
If Chakra Maraca is anything to go by then the full album is going to be a real treat, and I can’t wait to hear more!
It’s nearly 30 years since I first saw Robert Plant (with Jimmy Page) at some distance at the Nordoff Robbins Silver Clef concert at Knebworth in 1990. I’ve seen him a few times since then and I have never been disappointed. This show was no different.
Some chattier members of the audience may have only been there for the handful of Led Zep songs, but some most of us had handed over our hard earned cash to hear a master ply his trade whatever he chose to sing.
I hadn’t had time to listen to the new album before the show but the songs from it sound fabulous so I shall be taking time out to give it a proper play. (So much new music so little time at the moment.)
Highlights for me were All The King’s Horses, House of Cards and Funny In My Mind (I Believe I’m Fixin’ To Die)