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MARTIN DARVILL & FRIENDS ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ (Mystic 2002)

This CD reads like a `Who's Who' of prog rock! The main vocalist is Ian Gould, with Martin Darvill playing guitar and keys. It is Darvill's band, Moon, who form the musical backbone on this release. Guests include former Who drummer Kenny Jones, John Wetton (Asia/Uriah Heep), Al Stewart (remember `Year of the Cat'?), David Kilminster (John Wetton), Don Airey (Deep Purple/Rainbow), Clive Nolan (IQ/Arena), Mick Pointer (Marillion/Arena), Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix) & more!

`Modern Man' gets the CD underway after the intro instrumental, a driving guitar riff and some top notch keyboards. `Ceremony' is a laid back number and really highlights Ian Gould's voice and the ballad `I Must Go' Gould's voice really comes into its own. He reminds me (in parts) of John Wetton or even the Scorpion's Klaus Maine. Throughout the CD highlights of the title track, `The Greatest Show on Earth' is interspersed as a teaser to the finale - a novel touch.

The funky bass of `Don't Touch the Marble' drives along this mid- tempo song. `Circus In The Sky' is possibly the weakest song on the album but `I am the Future' starts with a soothing keyboard intro `I am the Future' - a great slow building ballad, with some tasty guitar soloing. The pomp rock factor increases with a children's choir! Brings to mind prime era Styx/Kansas! `The Greatest Show on Earth (Parts 1-6)' rounds of the album in style. An epic eighteen minutes - built on a brooding melody and featuring the vocal talents of John Wetton as well.

A great CD for lovers of prog rock and anyone who likes mellower melodic rock. If you are an Asia and/or John Wetton fan then you will love this. The instrumentation throughout the album is of the highest quality, especially the keyboards and the guitar solos - right up in the mix and very clear.


Review by Jason Ritchie

Buy this CD

Overture/Modern Man
© 2002 Mystic Records. All rights reserved.

***** 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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