Esoteric Antenna [Release date 17.03.14]
Chris Thompson was very much “the voice” of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band during their most successful period in the late-1970s/early-1980s. In the past decade he decamped to Germany, gigging on the continent and with the Norwegian Mads Eriksen, and has retained a relatively low solo profile although continuing as a successful songwriter and a featured vocalist in the touring version of ‘War Of The Worlds’. Why he never achieved the post-seventies solo success of someone like Paul Carrack we can only ponder.
In 2012 there was the release of a somewhat patchy and badly presented live CD/DVD set and a set of big band jazz. Now, over a decade after his previous “rock” solo offering (2001′s ‘Won’t Lie Down’), he re-emerges with an album that should hit the mark with his core fanbase. If there are perhaps one or two too many fairly ordinary workouts, ‘Toys & Dishes’ is lifted by Thompson’s still distinctive vocals and a sprinkling of decent tunes.
Listeners will hear echoes of his earlier incarnation on ‘Dark Side’ whilst ‘Millie Christine’, ‘Hey You!’ and ‘Talk To Me’ repay repeated listens. And apart from ‘We Run’, when Thompson seems to have suddenly moved things up a notch with just one track to go, it’s safe and not too demanding. ***1/2
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)
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