Album review: BLACK SEDAN – Adventure Lit Their Star

 BLACK SEDAN - Adventure Lit Their Star

[Release 15.06.18]

A ‘collective’ project ‘orchestrated’ by journalist/author/publisher Mark Hodkinson, sees him bring together five vocalists and upwards of 30 contributing musicians to create an eclectic and challenging record.  A bit like walking into an indie record shop and going on a blindfold shopping spree.

With Hodkinson pulling the strings, writing, and producing you might expect a themed project but Adventured Lit Their Star is a wide and varied beast.  Perhaps most surprisingly is its ambient content.

Narration/spoken word also features prominently, which is never a great repeat listening selling point, although it does work superbly well on the opener ‘Love On Love’ which borrows from Charlie Chaplin’s powerful anti-fascism speech from the film The Great Dictator (1940), with a chorus from Nada Surf’s Blonde On Blonde, delivered with suitable vulnerability by Kellie While (better known for her work in folk circles with the likes of Thea Gilmore, Fairport, and Richard Thompson), the perfect counterpoint.

‘If I Could Be Where You Are’ bears many Gallagher/Madchester hallmarks (opening somewhat bizarrely with a Roxy’s Love Is The Drug bass line), ‘Americans In England’ revisits the World War theme (with more narration) and wouldn’t be out of place on an Enigma release, ‘How Do The Dead Come Back, Mother?’ has shades of Frankie / ZTT, and ‘Nurture The Heart (You Say)’ could easily be an early Blue Oyster Cult demo.

A melodic take on Robert Calvert’s ‘The Right Stuff’, and ‘This Is Your Captain Speaking:  Your Captain Is Alive’ (with yet more narration and a Bowie Heroes vibe) close this incredibly diverse set.  In bygone days you would only have found such an eclectic collection on a ‘sampler’ – remember those?

But there’s no denying Adventure Lit Their Star takes the listener on ‘an adventure’.  Now how many records can you say that about these days?  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

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Featured Albums w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 RADAR Lost In The Atlantic (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 DURBIN The Beast Awakens (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN – The Darkest Days Are The Brightest (InsideOut Music)

Power Plays w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ALESTI Voices
DEAD REYNOLDS Bright Lights

ALLY VENABLE Road To Nowhere
JASON SWEENEY She’s A Fighter
RAINBREAKERS Ashes



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