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Fat Cat Records FATCD043 

The second studio album by the reformed female supergroup, which should have accompanied their 25th anniversary tour (rescheduled for 2021 due to coronavirus), is their strongest yet. The song writing is again roughly equally shared among the five members, which reflects the democratic nature of the five-piece. As can be seen live (when we eventually get to see them again) there is no evidence of a hierarchy – all are here on merit and contribute equally.

The album opens with Helen Watson’s Turn The Microphones Off, which straight away introduces the listener to the trademark five part harmonies. If anyone was wondering if the world needs another song about Amelia Earhart, Julie Matthews provides the answer here with the catchy Be Amelia. Chris While offers a co-write with Saturday With Mr Rameer, which is possibly the most commercial cut. Christine Collister hits the ground running with So Brave, which coalesces her feelings for her late father. Melanie Harrold soars with her This Woman Today, dedicated to this remarkable partnership. It seems woefully inadequate to describe this group as merely a ‘partnership’ – the sum of the parts is so much more than the individual constituents – although all five are consummate professionals with the best CVs in the business. Together they give us brilliant songs, tight musicianship, and oh those harmonies. If there’s any justice, this should cement their future as a collective. Just can’t wait to catch up with them again on next year’s tour. Perfect.

Grem Devlin


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine