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KATY LIED Late Arival (2008)

Katy Lied

With a Steely Dan derived name and a 1970's Southern Californian sound (albeit with a Northern England twist), Katy Lied are the coming together of guitarist / songwriter Duncan Hamilton and vocalist / guitarist Dan Britton.

Two years after a chance meeting and having recruited drummer Paul Burgess (10cc, Icicle Works, Joan Armatrading) on drums and Ian Thompson (Lindisfarne) on bass, they persuaded Nigel Stonier to warm the production chair (and also get involved in the writing) with the result that their debut album is now finally about to see the light of day.

The album opens with the single and title track Late Arrival. It's country rock has already found favour with Radio 2 and it's easy to see why - Byrds style harmonies over a driving soft rock beat with and distinct Tom Petty overtones to the lead vocal lines. But it's easier to imagine to imagine crusin' down the highway, than it is as a backdrop to a rainy Madchester or Leeds.

The Petty references points abound - the excellent Crash and Burn with it's almost dark funk and backing vocals from Cindy Bullens, while elsewhere there's plenty of acoustic and harmonica, with Al Perkins (Gram Parsons), Thea Gilmore and Beeb Birtles (Little River Band) all making valuable contributions. There's also some subtle Take It To The Limits period Eagles influences on display - for example, on the excellent Further.

Recorded in Liverpool, the album really is a throwback to better days. A 'real' record, if you will. Proper songs, great hooks, and no trickery. Just good, wholesome (soft) rock. It's a rarity these days and probably likely to have wider appeal on the other side of the pond. But there's no doubting the quality and it's very, very refreshing.


Review by Pete Whalley

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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