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CLIVE GREGSON & LIZ SIMCOCK - Underwater Dancing

CLIVE GREGSON & LIZ SIMCOCK - Underwater Dancing
Gregsongs CGCD1701

Returning with his first album in four years with his occasional singing partner, Liz Simcock, Clive Gregson demonstrates again his finely-honed talent at writing contemporary songs that are direct and compelling, and which are capable of tearing at the emotions of the listener. The songs vary from the delicate Instead Of The Rain, which harks back to his earlier partnership with Christine Collister, via Raining All Over The World, which could have fitted snugly into Any Trouble’s latter set lists, to The Place, which is classic solo CG. In between are totally gripping offerings such as One Big Mess and One In A Million.

The musicianship is faultless throughout – from the stunning lead guitar licks from Mark Griffiths, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Andy Seward (bass) and Simon Whitbread (drums), with special atmosphere provided by Fiona Lander on various wind instruments. Couple all this with Gregson’s own high production values and the bottom line is that this is the front runner for my album of 2017 – by a mile. The title is extracted from the opening track, the aforementioned Raining All Over The World, and significantly reminds us of CG’s subtle sense of fun with words, which I can only compare with Elvis Costello – “So many umbrellas, green wellington boots, Never thought I’d be jealous of a diving suit”. The tracks where Liz Simcock sings lead vocals demonstrate her tonal depth, and she is a perfect balancing force to Clive Gregson’s mature but plaintive singing. This is brilliant stuff.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 121 of The Living Tradition magazine.