Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Adrian Fitz-Simon - 'The Band That Wasn't There'

Adrian Fitz-Simon, 'It's Not What It Was Like (In The 70s)'

Info: Imagine a concoction of Billy Joel's The Stranger, Elton John's self-titled 1970 album, pretty much anything by Queen and a dash of White Album Beatles and you'll have a fair idea what's shaping Dublin multi-instrumentalist, Adrian Fitz-Simons' album, The Band That Wasn't There. Piano rock would probably most accurately describe Fitz-Simons' sound, and the album swings from mellow to upbeat in the blink of an eye, there's light-hearted sincerity and extravagant drama in abundance which make it, ultimately, an album that would bring a level of happiness to even the hardest heart. In many ways it feels like an homage to the classic pop songs of the 1970's and the protagonist certainly pastes his personality all over the album. 

Among my favourite tracks are 'The Ballad Of Eva & Emil' which is the strongest Beatles nod, but also has a strange country feel perhaps brought on by the harmonica solos. Unsurprisingly 'Fred's Last Waltz' is an unashamed but upfront Queen tribute, or more specifically, Freddie Mercury, vocally Fitz-Simons accurately imitates one of his heroes and you're almost waiting for the chorus of 'Somebody To Love'. Other highlights are 'To A House Of Tin & Timber' and the edging towards funky 'The Random Nature of Life' (below). While there were one or two tracks that didn't resonate as much with me as others, overall I enjoyed this album and it's refreshing to come across an Irish artist who is immersed in a genre that seems to be forgotten and is much neglected around these parts, and I have to doff my cap to Adrian Fitz-Simons for trying to bring these sounds back to our ears. And how cool is that album cover.

Adrian Fitz-Simons, 'The Random Nature of Life' 

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