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Friday, 22 June 2012

Record Review - Syd Arthur

Syd Arthur
On An On
Dawn Chorus CD

Hate to admit it, but my dear old ma was right when she tried to stop me ditching an entire season’s-worth of teenage wardrobe with her tedious mantra “wait long enough, and everything comes back into fashion.”

Suddenly we’re awash with young turks who’ve discovered the, ahem, delights of prog at its most hallucinogenic. You’ll probably be hearing quite a bit about Canterbury-based four piece Syd Arthur over the next few months because they’re astonishingly self-assured and sound like an established long-haired ’70s band hitting a mid-career high. Instead, this is their debut album, and it’s eye-wateringly dynamic from start to finish. But their instrumental virtuosity – which is often spookily reminiscent of their Canterbury fore-fathers Caravan (although no relation, as far as I can tell) – can’t disguise one major irritant: they appear so committed to their cause that singer Liam Magill has even adopted one of those funny, affected accents favoured by many a mystical folkie in days of yore, as a means of reminding us they’re away with the faeries.

Chris Twomey

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