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AFFINITY 1971-1972 Angel Air SJPCD145 (2003)

Angel Air have well and truly plundered Affinity's back pages and to excellent effect. They were a superb band, and the music although redolent of its time is so well played that it stands up to the ravages of age.

This release mops up the band's later period when they had vocalist Vivienne McAuliffe on board replacing the great Linda Hoyle. Vivienne's style is very similar to that other super chanteuse Sonja Kristina although it also brings to mind - in the softer moments - Annie Haslam especially on the superb 'Sunshower'. Sadly Vivienne died in 1998 but - musically - this is a fitting tribute.

The opener "Moira's Hand" actually benefits from the superb songwriting hand of B.A Robertson (who also co-wrote two other tracks on this album) and gives Curved Air a run for their money, without the violin.

For those who have enjoyed the previous reissues, this collection is closer in spirit to the debut album and actually consists of outtakes and demos for a projected album that never was because the band eventually imploded in 1972. The sound quality is superb, though. Bassist Mo Foster, guitarist Mike Jopp and drummer Grant Serpell went on to join Michael D'Abo on tour and Foster had a subsequent career rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest industry names as a much-in-demand sessioner.

All credit to Peter Purnell at Angel Air, and to Mo Foster, for unearthing this superb archive piece. Investigate, if only for that growling Hammond on a medley of Hendrix and Miles Davis and the sublime instrumental 'Sarah's Wardrobe'! Wonderful stuff.



Review by David Randall

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© 2003 All rights reserved.

© 2003 Angel Air Records. All rights reserved.

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