Harmony Factory www.catsinspaceband.com [Released 30.10.15]
Cats In Space are a new band who have a serious love of all things 1970′s soft rock/power pop. You can tell this from the band’s various members who are from bands with a 70′s link like the Sweet, where bassist Jeff Brown spent some years in the 90′s in the Andy Scott version.
Main man Greg Hart (Moritz), has spent many a year touring with the SuperSonic 70′s Show, who also features keyboards player Andy Stewart. The band are completed by guitarist Dean Howard (T’Pau/Ian Gillan) and drummer Steevi Bacon (who plays in TooREX). Finally, the vocalist comes from prog rockers Arena, namely Paul Manzi.
The single ‘Mr. Heartache’ is the best song ELO never wrote. A massive hook filled chorus and vocalist Paul Manzi just suits this sort of music down to the ground. This is one of the best songs I have heard all year. Andy Scott of the Sweet guests on this one.
More ELO approved sounds on the title track, another single and this band would be all over the radio if this was the 1970′s. It’s not all retro as the production is modern and a song like ‘Five Minute Celebrity’ is a take on the instant fame, gone tomorrow culture that prevails today.
The album’s epic piece ‘The Greatest Story Never Told’ has Mike Moran, famed for his work with Freddie Mercury, arranging the orchestra on this one. Mick Wilson, vocalist from 10cc also guests on this one. It reminds me of those 1970′s epics that John Miles would do, great listening.
The music is amazing on here as you discover little bits on each listen, from a backing vocal arrangement to a snazzy synth riff., then perhaps a Brian May-inspired guitar solo. I doubt you will have this much listening fun this year and if you like 70′s music from the aforementioned artists and others like Pilot, City Boy and Supertramp you’ll be in seventh heaven.
This is a fantastic album and hugely enjoyable to listen to. The 70′s power pop/rock revival starts here! ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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In this two hour special David Randall plays a selection of the GRTR! reviewer choices for ‘Best of 2019′ and announces the results of the popular poll. First broadcast Sunday 22 December 2019.
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09:00-12:00 AUTUMN’S CHILD Autumn’s Child (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE RAGGED SAINTS Sonic Playground Revisited (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 AMBERLY CHALBERG Hi-Line (indie)
Power Plays w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)
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