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QUICKSAND Home Is Where I Belong Esoteric (2011)


A fecund geography for prog rock, the Welsh hills and valleys tipped bands over the border like puppies, many spinning out of premier leaguers, Man - or, as here, at least opening for them back in 1973 by which time, the genre was already beginning to wane.

What keeps this 1974-recorded sole set from the ominously-titled Quicksand still fresh today is, as booklet note writer Michael Heatley for this ever rendition to CD observes, the fact the band's material was song-based and relatively short, sharp and sweet for the time.

Bolt to the progressive flourishes some fine vocal harmonising within West Coast country stylings, in the best spirit of period Taff Rock, and you have here a really rather good album that merits the attention of a wider circle than fans of Man and perhaps more specifically, its Neutrons offshoot, also song-based with cominant keyboards.

Compositions are tightly structured and meticulously played, measuring an overall high level of competence musically, only marred by poor commercial judgement (wrong label - Pye again, duff manager etc etc) which sank the band by 1975 when a 36-date European tour supporting Dr Hook was cancelled as guitarist Jimmy Davies recalls, "because one of them died and another had to go into a clinic," adding ruefully, "that would have been incredible for us." Quite.

Dispersed band members found later careers shored up with the likes of Eric Clapton, Elvic Costello and Mark Knopfler, reassuring their early credentials in this likeable excursion.


Review by Peter Muir

Peter presents 'Progressive Fusion' on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 19:00 GMT


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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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