Album review: LEAPFROGTOWN – Dreaming In Public

LEAPFROGTOWN - Dreaming In Public

Coffee Jingle Records [Release date 25.01.16]

Leapfrogtown – a vehicle for London duo Chris Guard and Stuart Walton – is proof, if it were ever needed, that you’re never old to [start to] rock ‘n’ roll, with their debut a mash-up of much that was good about the ’70s and ’80s.

A youthful 62, lead singer and songwriter Chris Guard is a familiar face on screen having appeared in countless movies and TV shows  including Dixon Of Dock Green, Z Cars, I Claudius, The Professionals, and Dr Who.

His compatriot in crime Stuart Walton was a founder member of cult 80s synth band Indians in Moscow, who managed 3 independent chart singles, an album, and a UK tour before imploding.  He then embarked on a career as a theatre lighting designer alongside performing, recording and producing.

For the pair, Leapfrogtown – a venture spawned in 2013 – was a labour of love: unfinished business as regards their musical aspirations. And despite very publicly flaunting their influences, Dreaming In Public is a very credible release that sounds both fresh and original.

‘Fear’ kicks proceedings off with a mashed Eurythmics ‘Love Is A Stranger’/'Sex Crime’ riff topped with Jim Kerr style vocals and 70′s style sax, before fading to a T. Rex style boogie replete with Bolan warble.  The single ‘Seven’ has a big glam rock beat, an Alvin Stardust sneer, more Bowie/Roxy style sax and angular piano playing.  If ever there was a case of ‘back to the future’, Dreaming In Public is it.

‘Enough Is Enough’ has a bassline that would have done the Stranglers proud, and shades of Ultravox, Simple Minds, The Rats, Dire Straits, and Roxy abound, but wearing a fresh new wardrobe of songs.  ‘Out of time’ perhaps, but undeniably great, toe tapping, fun.  Which is exactly what ‘pop’ should be.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 10 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)

Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)

THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)

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