Saturday, 19 February 2011

Louis Davey – Last Chance Of A Lifetime

To set the scene of this solo record from Gunslinger guitarist Louis Davey, he's the nephew of Alan Davey and has drawn on some of the same group of people who've been working on various projects with Alan since he left Hawkwind: the Pre-Med vocalist Danny Faulkner, Paul Cobbold who has ,as I understand it, recently been working with Alan on the mastering of a much anticipated Gunslinger live album, and Kevin Sommers who has produced some excellent artwork for Alan's own releases over the last few years. And, of course, Alan himself who plays bass and synths on all tracks here, with the exception of Cobbold popping up with Bowed bass on the title track, and adds his production skills to proceedings (and no doubt adds a valuable layer of experience to proceedings in general).

OK, look, that gives us the context of some of the contributors to this record but let's move straight on from that and give Louis the full credit he deserves in his own right for this vivid and muscular and very rocking collection of songs.

This is a record that has a real pace to it, lead guitars full of fire and vim supported but not overwhelmed by that rolling, driving bass that we're so familiar with give the music a dynamic and purposeful energy that's pretty exciting through-out the ten songs. If we want to give some sense of where this album lives then it's moving in the same area as some of the heavier elements of the two Pre-Med records, but it also has a really good juxtaposition of vocalists present because aside from Faulkner (whose delivery I'm such a big fan of and who pops up on two songs here) there's some very good work from Georgina Davey, Lindsey Wyborn, and Emma Mackenzie. If it's wrong to specifically pick one of these three ladies out then apologies to the other two, who both add sterling contributions, but Mackenzie's cool and sweet vocals on 'In Her Light', 'Higher Tax' and 'No Sense' are a fabulous contrast to the richness and depth of the music and work extremely well.

The title track, which actually plays the album out, is a moody and spacey instrumental with a dreamlike quality to it with what my musically untrained ears take to be Cobbold's bowed bass playing (booklet pictures suggest it's exactly that – a bass guitar being bowed) adding a extra melancholic dimension to the sound. To pick some others, 'Don't Hide Behind' has a psychedelic jam band quality to it that does have something of a Hawkwind feel, 'Free' starts with synths and strumming that leads into a vaguely middle-eastern moment before picking up some quirky electronics that give way to Louis's guitar work and Faulkner's vocals on a classic 'time has come / years have passed' lyric. 'In Her Light' is catchy and accessible while 'The Other Face' is intriguingly sci-fi in tone and atmosphere.

So, two ways of looking how to file this on the CD rack here. It sits very well next to the run of CDs by the more senior Mr. Davey and deservedly so because this is a high quality record. On the other hand it absolutely stands on its own merits as well.

Louis Davey Myspace Page
Last Chance Of A Lifetime Order Details

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