Reviews roundup – Voodoo Circle vs. Gothic Chicken vs. Brian Bennett

Whisky Fingers

Time for the fourth release from the super duper group, Voodoo Circle, which features guitarist Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear, Sinner, Silent Force etc), Pink Cream 69 singer, and all round Lancashire lad, David Readman, Mat Sinner (from, um, Sinner) and two new recruits, namely keyboards whizz Alessandro del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Eden’s Curse etc) and drummer Francesco Jovino (Primal Fear, ex-U.D.O.).

They’re still plying their eighties hard rock thing, which has always been good, but this might be their best album to date, largely due to the quality of the songs.  It’s the sort of thing that Whitesnake did post blues, pre 1987, mixed up with some seventies guitar lines and a hefty dose of melodic rock.

The production and performance is faultless from start to finish, and you can’t argue with tunes as powerful as ‘Trapped In Paradise’, ‘Heartbreaking Woman’ and ‘Heart Of Stone’.  It may be out of time, but it’s the kind of timeless rock that warms the cockles of my old heart.


Lift the Cobweb Veil
Pink Hedgehog

Folk in Pink Hedgehog land are very excited about this LP release.  Yes, you read that right.  An actual 12″ vinyl LP thing.  Although, if you buy it, they will send you a download links, just in case you’re one of those nutters who like to keep records shrinkwrapped.

Apparently, Gothic Chicken got together in the mid to late nineties, when three of them were in psych outfit The Lucky Bishops and two of them were in Cheese.  And I know that adds up to five, but just go with it.  The plan was to play some of their favourite psych tunes from the likes of Blossom Toes, Shy Limbs and Timebox, but as is their wont, they began to write original material, all of which lay about in various in drawers, while the assorted members drifted off in various directions.

Was it worth the wait?  Well, nothing is, bar the notion of Sandra Bullock chapping on the door, with a tupperware dish of Scotch broth, but the twelve tracks on offer do show that they were / are a band who know their way round a good tune.  In case you’re wondering the band comprises Marco Rossi – Guitars & Vocals, Alan Strawbridge – Bass & Vocals, Tom Hughes – Keyboards & Vocals, and Luke Adams – Drums & Vocals, are they all handle themselves well.

You won’t be surprised to learn, bearing in mind what went above, that it’s sixties psych with a nineties mindset and a superior production, especially when they throw their wah-wahs at the wall to see what it would sound like.  That’s ‘Overthrow’, that is.  It’s an excellent release, and one that lovers of psych should be snapping up.  And, for God’s sake, play it.

Shadowing John Barry

If you know Brian Bennett at all, it’s probably because you’re of a certain age and remember The Shadows at their peak, where he could be found drumming up a storm.  Me? I know him as the producer of two albums by music legend Dennis Waterman.  Happy days.

However, Mr Bennett has quite a pedigree, apart from that.  He was Cliff Richard’s musical director in the seventies, and ended up writing and arranging music for television and films.  He’s got three (3) Ivor Novello awards to his name, and this new CD rather neatly combines a number of the strings to his bow.

Film music, orchestral arrangements, and The Shadows.  And it’s a bit of a gem, as he takes us through the world of John Barry film scores and soundtracks.  You’re in for a rare treat, if Peter Frampton playing ‘Thunderball’, backed by an orchestra, sounds like your cup of tea.  Mark Knopfler puts in a sterling turn on ‘We have All The Time In The World’ and Shadows fans will go moist over ‘The Appointment’ which has Bennett, Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch.

As befits someone with his pedigree, the music is immaculately performed and produced, and it’s something that should reach well beyond The Shadows fanbase.