Album review: SLIM CHANCE – New Cross Road

Fishpool Records [Release date 18.01.19]

Slim Chance were the backing band to former Small Faces and Faces member Ronnie Lane (who died aged only 51 in 1997), with three members in the current line-up of Slim Chance featured on those albums made in the 1970′s. The three are Steve Bingham (bass, vocals), Charlie Hart (vocals, fiddle, accordion, keys) and Steve Simpson (vocals, guitar, mandolin, fiddle), who are joined by drummer Brendan O’Neill (Rory Gallagher/Nine Below Zero), Billy Nicholls on vocals and acoustic guitar and keyboards player Geraint Watkins (Nick Lowe/Van Morrison).

‘New Cross Road’ is the band’s third album since reuniting 2010, and like the previous album Slim Chance have recorded a mix of new songs and ones penned by Ronnie Lane back in the 1970′s.

Opening with the Cajun boogie of ‘Let’s Go Home’, one of the five new songs on the album, it is a song to put a smile on your face sung by Geraint Watkins and sounding not unlike Ry Cooder on his ‘Get Rhythm’ album. ‘Flossie Lane’ is a tribute to the oldest pub landlady in England, again it has that boogie feel in the sound.

The band’s reworking of Ronnie Lane’s ‘Chicken Wired’ is great fun, from the singing of Steve Simpson and his chicken impressions(!), through to the chicken scratch guitar and organ playing of Geraint Watkins. The cover of the Who’s ‘Squeezebox’ is simply wonderful, with Simpson sounding uncannily like Roger Daltrey at times.

One of those albums that you play and it lifts your spirits, where you think the band must have had great fun making it. Slim Chance are helping keep the music of Ronnie Lane alive and giving it a little magic of their own. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie



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.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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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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