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Clive Bunker - 1998 - "Awakening"

(49:36; Talking Elephant Records)


Back in the Sixties, drummer Clive Bunker and guitarist Mick Abrahams were in a band called McGregor's Engine, and when they came across John Evan Smash, he and Mick joined forces with Ian Anderson and Glenn Cornick to become Jethro Tull. Bunker left after ‘Aqualung’ so he could spend more time with his new wife, taking up a career as a session musician (I remember seeing him with MMEB some 30ish years ago). During the Eighties, the fanzine where I had my first ever piece of writing published, ‘A New Day’, became more and more important to anyone in the Tull scene and it was of no surprise to anyone that they started encouraging those connected with the band to release albums under their new label, and hence in 1998 Bunker released his solo debut. While Bunker provided drums and vocals, he also added other instruments, but there is no doubt that progheads were salivating at the though of Martin Barre and Ian Anderson appearing with Bunker for the first time in years, while it also includes Andy Glass (Solstice), Dave Lennox (Blodwyn Pig), Vikki Clayton and others. The album has been unavailable for many years until it was reissued last year by Talking Elephant. This is not what one would call an essential album in terms of pure listening pleasure, yet at the same time it should not be discounted solely as one which has been recorded by musicians famous for being in other bands. At one point I was a serious collector of all things Tull, and picked up many albums by luminaries such as Aviator (Bunker), Paris (Cornick), Wild Turkey (Cornick) and Blodwyn Pig (Abrahams) among others, and this falls very much in the middle of the pack in that it is enjoyable while being played, but there is not much to bring the listener back as it is a middle of the road Seventies rock album in every sense that means. It is one I have enjoyed, the production and musicianship is good, and Bunker is a better singer than one might imagine. One probably just for fans of Tull, but still a pleasant listen all the same.

Progtector: March 2023

Related Links:

Talking Elephant Records


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