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Update August 2018


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August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

Syd Arthur: ‘Apricity’

Syd Arthur from Canterbury, UK.

A wonderful group, the members of Syd Arthur named the band after two of their major influences; Syd Barret of Pink Floyd and Arthur Lee of Love and this shines through in their music. Everybody has influences, and in musical terms these are two of the finest.

Formed in Canterbury, Kent, in 2003 by the brothers Liam and Joe Magill, the band soon added Fred Rother on drums and completing the line-up was one Raven Bush on violin, son of John Calder Bush, brother of Kate.

Gigging regularly in the south of England they released their self titled debut in 2006 and have since released “On an On” in 2012, and then “Sound Mirror” in 2014. Each album has been a significant step further along their musical journey and they have kept their growing group of fans happy by releasing several EP’s along the way.

Now we have “Apricity”, released in 2016 and the largest leap forward between albums. Sadly, after more than twelve years together, Fred Rother had to vacate the drum stool due to tinnitus, so filling the void on this album and keeping it in the family was Josh Magill. A very good job he does too, not missing a beat.

It is very hard to describe Syd Arthur’s sound except to say it’s very good. It’s psych-pop-rock with elements of jazz and although many of the songs are plaintive, some by contrast are very cheerful. There are influences of British progressive goup Van der Graf Generator plus some of Dave Gilmour’s solo material, all given the Syd Arthur’s positive stamp.

The album opens up with the title track, introducing us to Liam Magill’s hypnotic vocals and with the band following him strongly. It’s awash with keyboards, subtle but vibrant violin, militant drumming from newest family member Josh and pumping bass lines from Joe Magill.

Once you’re settled into the Syd Arthur sound, the band break off to deal with diverse topics such as happiness, sorrow, evolution, coal mining, science fiction, and the dangers of the sun, with the positive and negative emotions being doled out in equal portions. Perhaps listening a little bit too much to Nick Drake?

The music never fails to deliver the songs subject matter, although that can at times make it a little difficult to follow. The song “Seraphim”, however, serves up everything that is good in Syd Arthur lyrically and musically and I feel sure is destined to become a classic.

This marvelous band have been flying just under the musical radar for more than a decade but I’m sure that 2018 will see them get much more recognition. The world needs a new Pink Floyd.

Album Rating: 5 Stars

Syd Arthur:

Liam Magill - guitar & lead vocals

Joe Magill - bass guitar

Josh Magill - drums

Raven Bush – violin

Track List:

Apricity

Coal Mine

Evolution

Into Eternity

No Peace

Plane Crash in Kansas

Portal

Rebel Lands

Seraphim

Sun Rays

Note: Written By Mott The Dog, who can be found at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya.


August 4, 2018 - August 10, 2018

Scorpions: ‘Animal Magnetism’

The Scorpions were created in 1965 by Rudolph Schenker and have always been at the forefront of German rock music. Klaus Meine has been the lead singer on every Scorpions album and has one of the most distinctive voices in the game, handling the ballads equally well as the all-out rockers. At first, Rudolph’s brother Michael (Schenker) was the lead guitarist and focal point of the band, but his shining light got noticed by those British ruffians UFO and they soon stole him away. Next on lead six string was Uli Jon Roth, but then he got recalled to the planet of his origin, so since 1978 Matthias Jabs has made the position his own.

Klaus Miene of The Scorpions.

The classic era of Scorpions is thought to be from 1978-1992, with the line-up completed by Francis Bucholz and Herman Rareball. They were known primarily as a hard/heavy rock band, but their well crafted ballads also garnered them favorable recognition.

“Animal Magnetism” was the Scorpions seventh album and the first to feature Matthias Jabs as sole lead guitarist. The album comes from the beginning of that classic period and shows off a band ready to take on the world. The songwriting is pretty evenly shared out between the group, showing that they were all heading in the same direction. But that doesn’t mean the songs all sound the same, far from it.

The album opens up as it means to go on with a livewire rocker in the shape of “Make It Real”, with forceful lyrics, screaming guitars and a thunderous rhythm section.

The big ballad and centerpiece of the album, “Lady Starlight”, is an emotional lament and to this date (2018) is the only Scorpions song to be recorded with strings and orchestral winds. Klaus Meine’s vocals are obviously heartfelt and probably came from experience. Rudolph Schenker holds the musical reins on this one whilst Matthias Jabs puts in a sensational solo to bring the song to its close.

“The Zoo” is an early classic from the Scorpions that has probably been played at every one of their concerts since this album was released. It is a storming rocker that is guaranteed to get the crowds going in live surroundings. The sight of Rudolph Schenker windmilling his arm around while rushing to the front of the stage is one of the most symbolic sites of rock music.

The closing title track meanwhile is clearly influenced by Led Zeppelin, but then everybody has their influences so why not take from the best?

The Scorpions are still going strong today and Mickey Dee (ex-Motorhead) has found a nice little job on the drum stool, driving on the band from the back. All the while, rumors of the Scorpions being ready to call it a day continue to be rife every year. They have now released eighteen studio albums and countless live albums plus compilations and DVD’s. They have played over 5,000 concerts in over 80 different countries. Who knows what is next for them. With over  100 million sales behind them they already have a fantastic legacy.

The Scorpions (on Animal Magnetism)

Klaus Miene - vocals

Rudolph Schenker - guitar

Matthias Jabs - lead guitar

Francis Bucholtz - bass guitar

Herman Rareball - drums

Track List:

Make It Real

Don’t Make No Promises (Your Body Can’t Keep)

Hold Me Tight

Twentieth Century Man

Lady Starlight

Falling In love

Only A Man

The Zoo

Animal Magnetism

Note: Written By Mott The Dog, swooned over by Hells Bells, both of whom can be found at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Syd Arthur: ‘Apricity’

Scorpions: ‘Animal Magnetism’


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