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(7'' vinyl, Fruits de Mer Records)
Anyone into classic progressive folk will be well aware of the wonderful album released by Fuchsia back in 1971, followed up a mere 42 years later by the second (and Tony is currently working on the third which I am certainly looking forward to hearing). The Fuchsia of today is very different to the original band, but Tony Durant (vocals, guitars, keyboards, sound recordings) is still very much at the helm, although these days he can be found in Sydney as opposed to the UK. In his youth he was a frequent visitor to the Roundhouse, watching Syd Barrett at the helm of Pink Floyd, and when he was asked to contribute to Fruits de Mer’s excellent ‘A Band For All Seasons” set he recorded “See Emily Play”. In turn this was picked up by various radio stations so as Fuchsia were planning to fly to the UK to play at the 18th Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus Festival it was agreed they would also record “Bike”, and then make that available as a single. Of course, due to a certain pandemic the festival was cancelled, but due to the single selling out incredibly quickly a decision was made to make it commercially available and it is still possible to get this from the label. Like many my age, I grew up with Pink Floyd and the first album of theirs I purchased was ‘Relics’ and concentrated my listening energies on their early years (still love that album). So coming to these songs again is like revisiting old friends, but friends who have changed but are still incredibly familiar. It was important to Tony to stay true to the naivety and delight of the originals, but also make them such that they fitted within his own canon and that he is definitely achieved. Fans of the originals will delight in that he has made them his own, yet still they are still as magical as they ever were. By bringing in just a drummer, cello and violin (plus a recorded on “Bike”) and providing everything else himself he has managed to create something magical and special, taking us all back to those days when he used to see Syd in his element. This is not about updating the songs and bringing them into the 21st century but rather treating them with respect and making them part of Fuchsia. Superb.
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