guitarist with Parallel Or Ninety Degrees, and on his debut album he was joined
by PO90 keyboard player Andy Tillison, as well as bassist Jonathan Barrett,
Simon Baskind on drums, Pav Chana on tables and Jon Burr on harmonica. The album
is very impressive, and very mature in outlook. While there are many pieces that
would not sound out of place on a Pink Floyd album, for example, there are also
others which are far more reflective and Roy Harper in style. Three of the songs
are epics, but are sub-divided into smaller songs that can be accessed
separately. The vocals and music work so well together that the listener can
concentrate heavily on the lyrics.
The album was so well received that Guy Manning became Manning the band, and Guy, Andy, Jonathan and Simon went back into the studio. This time they were joined by Laura Fowles on sax, and Ian Tothill / Iain Fairbairn on violin. In many ways, this album is much deeper than the debut, and is far more intense. Again, they are harkening back to Floyd, but also Genesis and VDGG. There are long instrumental passages with some great guitar and keyboard interplay. It is not as immediate as the debut, but given time is the more rewarding.
Both albums show that it is still possible to discover artists who are not afraid to provide strong songs and musicianship, and donít need to use volume and effects. Both are worth investigation if you enjoy any of the aforementioned bands but in my mind, the second is the better.
Issue 59 Ė Jul 2000