Productive Guy Manning (4 albums in as many years) delivers once more a
sample-card of his manifold skills with "The Ragged Curtain".
Accompanied by old campaigners like Laura Fowles on saxophone and Andy Tillison-Diskdrive, known from Parallel or 90 Degrees,
we rather get served up a singer-songwriter with prog adorations.
"Tightrope" sounds damned delicious as a warmed up Pink Floyd completed with orchestral sound tapestries.
Manning broaches every possible style to create the ultimate atmosphere. So, you'll find a delicious flowing reggae rhythm in "Where Do All The Madmen Go" in which Manning has no scruples to steal the main theme from Mott The Hoople's "All The Young Dudes".
The most important piece on this album is "Ragged Curtain" (over 25 minutes), that starts of with an authentic Jethro Tull feeling. Nice spun out passages, with a guest appearance by Angela Goldthorpe from Mostly Autumn on the flute, change this epic track into a powerful musical journey with lots of variation.
The material from Guy Manning isn't the sort of music you would kill for, but I venture to say that this "The Ragged Curtain" floats beautifully on the surface as the oil near our coast, not so long ago!
Prog-Nose (July 2003)
reviewed by John 'BOBO' Bollenberg