Fireworks

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Strong and thoroughly enjoyable.

The term ‘Supergroup’ is bandied about fairly extensively these days but the pedigree of the protagonists in this band probably means this particular epithet is rightly deployed for them. The names of Trevor Horn (The Buggles, Yes and producer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, amongst others) and Lol Creme (10CC, Godley & Creme) will no doubt be familiar whereas Steve Lipson (guitar) and Ash Soan (drums) may be less so. For the record, the former was a recording engineer for The Rolling Stones before becoming a protégé of Horn’s at ZTT Records. His producing credits are generally in the Pop field but he can also add Jeff Beck and Ultravox to that list. The latter had stints with Tom Robinson, Del Amitri and Squeeze and numerous sessions with a diverse range of acts.

They formed in 2006 as a vehicle to get them out of the studio and playing live, which they appear to have done fairly regularly. I’m not sure quite what I expected from this album but it’s fair to say the finished article doesn’t fit the vague image in my mind, but it’s nonetheless excellent listening and certainly lives up to the quality one would expect from such seasoned musicians. There’s a pleasing diversity in the ten tracks on the standard version of the album and most importantly lots of melody and great choruses. Needless to say the vocal arrangements and harmonies are top notch throughout.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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‘Freeway’ opens proceedings in initially gentle fashion before bursting into a vibrant, jaunty tune that makes me think of 10CC for the modern era. The chorus is huge and infectious. After many plays it suddenly occurred to me who else this reminds me of, Frost*, albeit a less complex version. ‘Waiting For The Right Time’ has a delightful low-slung Bluesy swing on the verses while ‘Your Life’ starts out in almost Pink Floyd fashion before the tempo increases into Frost* territory for the bridge and chorus. Horn’s vocals are compelling on the verses. ‘Man On The Moon’ has Creme taking on the lead vocals and it features a sublime solo from Lipson where he lets the notes breathe. ‘Every Single Night In Jamaica’ ups the tempo as the song builds to another splendid melody and chorus, a superb song. ‘Stay Elaine’ reminds me of Venice: acoustic guitar and a sublime vocal melody. ‘Barking Up The Right Tree’ maintains that feel particularly on the chorus where fantastic vocal harmonies make their presence felt. ‘Garden Of Flowers’ picks up the pace in a neo-Prog style. ‘Watching You Out There’ is another track that bounces along rather nicely before the album closes with ‘You & I’ which takes a little time to get going and therefore, for me, is the weakest song on the album. That’s forgivable when the rest of the set is so strong and thoroughly enjoyable.

Very classy, and was a wonderful addition to the collection, when I finally got a copy.

Gary Marshall

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