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On Saturday 3rd March 2018, at Chinnerys in Southend-On-Sea, a very special event took place, the first Tamarisk gig in more than 30 years. Joining Andy and Steve were Chris Davies (bass), Luke Rayner (guitar) and Marc Cecil (drums), and although I don’t think any of them were involved first time around, they certainly sound as if they belong. Of the six songs on offer, five are from the two demo tapes (as would be expected), plus “Bandana In Chains” which is one of the additional songs on the ‘Breaking The Chains’ album. Andy’s vocals and his style remind me a great deal of Mark Colton, which makes me wonder if Mark was inspired by the original Tamarisk at all. I remember him playing me countless tapes in the car on the way to gigs, and distinctly remember Comedy of Errors and Liaison and wonder if Tamarisk was among them as well. The interaction between Steve and Luke is superb, supporting each other or soloing, intertwining the notes while the rhythm section is rock solid. Listening to this collection reminds me of oh so many gigs I attended more than 25 years ago, where the audience all knew each other, and we would all go from pub venue to pub venue to see whoever was in town that night. The big difference here is the quality of the sound, as the production is superb for a live recording. Andy has lost none of the power and emotion in his vocals, while Steve has always been an incredible keyboard player and here he is relishing visiting older numbers, with some beautiful piano alongside the banks of keyboards. The only real question is what next? The old tapes have been remastered and reissued, at least one gig has been played and recorded with a new line-up. I guess that means only one thing, when do we get the next album guys? Hopefully Tamarisk are back, and neo prog fans can’t afford to miss out.
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