Galahad - Other Crimes And Misdemeanours III

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Avalon Records
Catalog Number: GHCD07
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:22:00

Galahad is a band that has had many misfortunes along the way and it can be called a true miracle that the band is still around today. However, the ever-so-friendly lead singer Stuart Nicholson and his cohorts certainly merit being around much longer still, as they have released a nice selection of quality material over the years. Sadly, the gap in between full album releases is sometimes way too wide, a lengthy time that is filled with remixes and outtakes, as this third release in the series proves. Over the years I have had the pleasure of seeing the band live many times and I must say they are one of the rare breed that can deliver music which balances between the lengthy prog tradition and the commercially acceptable. Especially, their sense for strong melodies takes the upper hand time after time.

This "new" album is divided into four sections, each containing certain sessions. The first three songs date from 1993, and were recorded under the moniker of the "Radio sessions EP," released on Voiceprint as part of their mid-price radio sessions series. The arpeggios in the song's intro make "Aries" a "typical" Galahad song, yet it wasn't included on In A Moment Of Complete Madness, nor can it be found on Nothing Is Written. It certainly has to be a live favourite because of the fierce rhythm and the many synthsolos that are heard. One of my all-time favourites has to be the all instrumental "Learning Curve (Live And Learn Part Two)" which is a different version to what ended up on the Sleepers album. The superb piano leads the instruments towards a fine collection of dramatics, only to end with the fragile sounds of a musical box. Stunning!

The second part consists of three songs that were recorded for the BBC. Recorded at the national radio station's very own studio "5" in Maida Vale, London, in March 1991 and broadcast on the Friday Rock Show on 26th April 1991 and 20th September 1991, it illustrates that there was an interest for this kind of music after all. None other than the legendary Tommy Vance gave the guys a break on one of his famous shows, which no doubt was a nice piece of promotion for the lads after winning the station's Rock War competition. Listening closely to a track like "One For The Record" one clearly hears why as their sound gets very close to AOR, with names like Bronz and Asia coming to mind. No session could be complete without the band's best known track, "Room 801," which starts rather slowly in order to build and build in a similar style to early Marillion, with a bit of Fish's very own "Credo" thrown in for good measure.

On to the third section of rarities, this time regarding a live recording of "Exorcising Demons" as performed live on 22nd April 1995 during the band's gig for the Classic Rock Society. What you hear is a true one-off as keyboard player Karl Garrett forgot his sequencing disks, yet as this was to be recorded for a future release there was no other option than to play the drums live. So here is the first and only time that drummer Spencer Luckman actually played the intro live! The best bits can be found in the middle section where fierce breaks give way to quiet piano. The bombastic feel certainly points in the direction of Genesis.

I gather that the fourth and final part on this album will be the part that most people have been waiting to hear for a long time. Having worked closely alongside Twelfth Night and their main man, the late Geoff Mann, of course Galahad said yes when the now defunct SI label asked them if they wanted to contribute to the Mannerisms album way back in 1994. As a tribute to the music of Geoff Mann, Nicholson chose "The Ceiling Speaks," a song that has been a favourite of many a progfan over the years, and also a song which was once performed by Galahad, fronted by Geoff Mann himself. Sadly no recording of this unique event was ever made. It is known that the Italian Mellow label used to release expensive tribute albums that contained a weird selection of prog artists, hoping of course that diehard fans of all these bands would immediately go out and buy a copy. Galahad was included both on the Camel tribute and the Genesis tribute, released in '96 and '95 respectively. It is no longer necessary to fork out large sums of money for a copy, that is if you can find them, as both "Lady Fantasy" and "Chamber Of 32 Doors" are included here. "Lady Fantasy" has a slightly looser and rockier feel than the original, also it's a bit strange to hear Stuart's voice, which is higher in pitch than the mellow Latimer original we have come to know for well over twenty seven years now! Great organ solo towards the finale, getting close to the original Bardens effort! That same Karl Garrett effortlessly switches towards his Tony Banks sound alike spot when opening "The Chamber Of 32 Doors," which sees guitar player Roy Keyworth try his hand at copying Steve Hackett to the best of his abilities. Most of the cover versions, however, stay true to the original instead of putting a distinct Galahad stamp on the music.

Whilst waiting once again for the new studio album, apparently to be called Year Zero this nice collection of rarities once again proves the status of Galahad. To end with the wise words of Galahad themselves: "it's only a matter of persevering!"

Distributed through Voiceprint

Aries (10:25) / The Chase (4:18) / Learning Curve (4:26) / Face To The Sun (6:11) / One For The Record (4:53) / Room 801 (7:19) / Exorcising Demons (9:36) / The Ceiling Speaks (6:08) / Lady Fantasy (11:40) / The Chamber Of 32 Doors (5:21)

Stuart Nicholson - vocals
Roy Keyworth - guitars
Spencer Luckman - drums, percussion
Karl Garrett - keyboards
Neil Pepper - bass
Tim Ashton - bass

In A Moment of Complete Madness (1993)
Nothing Is Written (1991)
Other Crimes And Misdemeanours (1992, cass.)
Sleepers (1995)
Classic Rock Live (1996)
Other Crimes and Misdemeanours II (1995/1997)
Decade (Best of) (1997)
Following Ghosts (1998)
De-constructing Ghosts (1999)
Other Crimes and Misdemeanours III (2001)
Year Zero (2002)
Empires Never Last (2007)
Battle Scars (2012)
Beyond The Realms Of Euphoria (2012)

Resonance - Live In Poland (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 25th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1691
Language: english


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