Album review: TIM BOWNESS – Flowers At The Scene

Inside Out [Release date 01.03.19]

‘Flowers At The Scene’ is Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson’s first joint production in over a decade – they have been working as a duo under the no-man name since 1987 – although it is a Tim Bowness solo album. It is also a guest heavy album including Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator), Andy Partridge (XTC), Kevin Godley (10cc), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning/OSI), David Longdon (Big Big Train) and Dylan Howe.

Tim Bowness has a wonderfully mellow, dreamy vocal that sits atop the intricate music. There are many highlights including ‘Borderline’ which features Dylan Howe on drums and Big Big Train’s David Langdon on flute, added to the trumpet of Ian Dixon. Dixon appears on ‘Rainmark’, where his trumpet solo is as impressive as the guitar solo from Fair Warning’s Jim Matheos. The work and thought that has gone into each song, every note even, is simply stunning.

‘Not Married Anymore’ is a poignant piece, again the vocals lead the listener on and the dreamy soundscape adds to the song’s overall appeal.

The sound and production is spot on as you would expect given Steve Wilson’s involvement, with mastering by Steve Kitch (The Pineapple Thief). Of particular note is the percussion and drums throughout, never overpowering yet a key element to the album’s overall sound.

The real treat for this reviewer is the album’s final song ‘What Lies Here’, as it features a rare appearance by both Kevin Godley and XTC’s Andy Partridge. Both their vocals drift in and out of the song, which features a particularly fine performance from Tim Bowness and the keyboards/effects are mesmerising.

Tim Bowness is loved within prog rock circles for his solo albums and ‘Flowers At The Scene’ should see wider acclaim outside of the scene. It is an album that needs your full listening attention, background music this is not. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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