Album review: PHIL SAATCHI – Sun Come Up


Jobbing Brighton musician , singer, and writer Phil Saatchi’s main claim to fame seem to be collaborations with Sam Brown on her 1990 debut Stop!, and with Phil Manzanera on And The Beat Goes On in 1991. Oh, and a solo album – Stripped – on A&M Records way back in 1987, and more recently Serenity Songs (2006) – a chill out/relaxation album of acoustic guitar and flute, and Eden (2017) – an hour and 20 mins of psychedelic ambient and electronic chill.

Probably the least said about Serenity Songs and Eden the better and, dig a little, and it transpires he only provided backing vocals on the track ‘Walking Back To Me’ on Stop! , and the Manzanera track is some rare/obscure 12” (Italian?) single. Still, how many can genuinely put such names on their CV?

The funny thing is, the first thing that struck me on pressing ‘play’ was Tenderhooks – another Brighton artist/outfit that I’ve reviewed with varying degrees of enthusiasm over the years. And, lo and behold, according to Saatchi’s website he has indeed collaborated with Tenderhooks.

Anyway back to Sun Come Up. It’s actually a decent album. It opens with ‘Time Bomb’ – one of three co-writes with Ian Sugar and one that featured on Sam Brown’s album ReBoot (2000). No wonder I thought it sounded familiar!

‘You Gave Me Gospel’ and ‘Song For A Survivor’ are steeped in Plastic Ono Band / Double Fantasy-era Lennon (perhaps little surprise as Saatchi was the winner of a ‘John Lennon Song Writing Competition’ in 2012), and ‘Not For Sale’ is an undisguised tribute to Cream.

Which just goes to signpost the diversity of the album. But most of the material falls somewhere in between easy-on-the- ear pop/rock. If the mugshot on the back of the sleeve is anything to go by, Saatchi is something of a ‘geezer’, and while it’s best not to pretend he’s on the leading edge of any new wave, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a half decent, well played, tune. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)

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

Featured Albums w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HARTMANN 15 Pearls And Gems (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. II (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 GRAHAM GOULDMAN Modesty Forbids (Lojinx)

Power Plays w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

LOUISE LEMON Devil (Icons Creating Evil Art )
BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE Winter Keeps Us Warm (indie)
ONE DESIRE Shadowman (Frontiers)
CRYSTAL IGNITE Black Mamba (indie)
PICTURESQUE ATTN: (Rude Records/Equal Vision Records)
SKARLETT RIOT Human (indie)

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