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Matty Grooves MGCD056 

The first album by FC since its big anniversary (50 years young in 2017), the band has delivered probably the strongest album by this, its longest standing line-up (22 years and counting). Chris Leslie has matured into one of the most respected on the scene currently, and contributes five new titles including two space themed (The Year Of Fifty Nine and Moondust And Solitude, about a UFO sighting and the Apollo missions respectively), although the opener – Don’t Reveal My Name - is the perfect introduction to the album, drawing the listener in and signposting the goodies to follow. Ric Sanders contributes two potential classic tunes – the fun Steampunkery and Precious Time - the latter closing the album on a contemplative note… brilliant.

Other highlights include a James Taylor song, Jolly Springtime, which confusingly is the most traditional sounding song on the album (the song first appeared on JT’s Before This World album – but this is a perfect take on it).

Dave Pegg is on top form throughout on bass and uke, and together with Gerry Conway they are the tightest rhythm section in their class. Simon Nicol only takes five lead vocals, although is on the best of form. The overall impression is of a fruitful partnership that has signalled a true return to form. Thumbs up from me.

Grem Devlin


This review appeared in Issue 133 of The Living Tradition magazine