Market Square [Release date 25.08.17] Website
1967: one notably exotic, if delicate, bloom amidst the flower power trademarking the nascent psych-pop scene of London’s Summer of Love was the enigmatic Nirvana. The loose-limbed, multinational collective’s debut was the launch release for the Island label and the following year’s phasing-drenched summer charter, “Rainbow Chaser”, as well as others from the band’s sumptuous if brief repertoire of symphonic pop have become staples in TV and movie synchronisation.
At the helm, ex-pats Greek Alex Spyropoulos and Irishman Campbell Lyons; post-the band’s 1971 demise amidst sky-high costs and an A&R swerve at Island, the duo went their separate ways, the former back to writing in Athens, the latter to production and solo work and much travelling.
This 50th anniversary of that summer and that debut are marked by reissues of the band’s catalogue and this brand new gem from a reinvigorated Campbell Lyons, now residing in Athens himself and clearly taken again by the ‘muse’.
Recorded in Greece, this comet of a record brims with vitality counterpointed by pools of still self-reflection in a 11-song set ranging from quirky ditties (“Only Heavens Knows”) to slow-build ballads (“A River And a Day”, “Now”) via the jaunty likes of “Honeyman” and melancholic (“I Want you back”), much of which resonates tonally and thematically with his former band’s material. “Different Day” stands out, tackling gender reassignment with strident celebration, and catchy closer “The World Is A Beautiful Place” is likely to be 2017’s number one ‘earworm’.
Alex is on board amidst a complementary 20-strong Anglo-Greek line-up of Hammond, piano, synths, horns, acoustic guitar and much chorusing, providing some well-rounded heft to the gentler material and Campbell Lyons’ keening vocal.
His solo career, much like his life, has been restlessly erratic, but the Greek sun and overall vibe have worked wonders for Patrick Campbell Lyons in this late-blooming return to form. ****
Review by Rob Peters
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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