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(38:43; Sound Practices)
Last year I came across the debut Fuchsia album, from 1971, which had just been reissued and given lots of love by the wonderful Fruits de Mer Records. I fell in love with it, wrote a review, but never expected to hear any more. I mean, this was a band who released just one album more than 40 years ago. Imagine my surprise when I was contacted a few months ago by singer, guitarist, bassist and composer Tony Durant, who wondered if I might like to hear the follow-up? Yes there was a second album, subtitled ‘From Psychedelia To A Distant Place’, which was released on CD in 2013 and then in vinyl by F de M in 2017. Tony was the only survivor from the early days, and he now lives in Australia so is nearly a neighbour to me, but in many ways, this is very much a sequel. The feel of Canterbury is still there, strings very much a key part of the overall sound, elements of ISB, loads of acoustic guitar but also enough electric to provide cut through at the right times, but at front and centre is Tony’s voice and some wonderful tunes. It took me a long time to work out exactly who Tony was reminding me of, apart from his own work of course, and that is the mighty Ashley Hutchings. Like Ashley he is a master of whatever genre or style he is playing, and whatever song I am listening to is the one I favour most – which makes it really hard to write a review I can tell you! I don’t know how long Tony has been in Sydney, but this is a fully idiosyncratic English album, and if someone told you that this was recorded straight after the first one then it wouldn’t take much persuasion. That the songs are also new as opposed to ones being dusted off which were written all those years earlier shows that Tony has lost none of his skills over the years. At the end I only really have one question, and that is given this was originally came out in 2013 and would have been boosted by the vinyl reissue a few years ago, can we have the third now please? This is class music, which drips with quality and substance, full rich oak as opposed to the plasticity and false nature of so much music in the world today. For lovers of prog folk, who wish for the psychedelic naivety, which is often missing these days, and also for anyone who just wants to relax into something very special indeed.
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