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Comedy Of Errors - Fanfare & Fantasy CD (album) cover

FANFARE & FANTASY

Comedy Of Errors

 

Neo-Prog

4.12 | 364 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I purchased this early last year, mainly because some of the reviewers I most respected on the site were positively raving about it, and compared this Scottish outfit to a certain Mr Dick era Marillion. However, owing to a combination of factors, it found itself after a couple of listens consigned to the cd shelf, not to be heard again until the last week, or so. I picked it up again to remind myself of the reason it went away, unreviewed.

Firstly, let me say I do not really get the Marillion comparison. Indeed, on parts of the (overly) lengthy opener, Fanfare for the Broken Hearted, Joe Cairney reminds me far more of Ian Broudie, he of Lightning Seeds fame, and this is not meant disrespectfully, either. For most of the remainder, the Pendragon influence is so abundant, I had to remind myself that I hadn't put on an old copy of The Jewel or Kowtow by mistake.The opener reminds me as to one of the main reasons this cd was put back on the shelf. It is well played, suitably moody, and bombastic in parts, but awfully formulaic as well.

Something She Said wears its early 70's influences on its sleeves, and is noteworthy for Banks-esque keys a la Trespass, but also, and mainly, a rather beautiful lead guitar by Mark Spalding. My interest began to be slightly more piqued by this track, because it did rather take me back to those halcyon days in the 1980's when first hearing Pendragon and IQ.

Indeed, that is really what I take from the remainder of the album. It is most clearly a work of passion, well performed, and well produced, from a band who take as their lead the artists we now call neo-prog, but were, at the time, merely at the vanguard of a prog rock revival. I was there, and loved every second of it. What I feel with Comedy of Errors is that they have merely put out better produced stuff, not surprisingly given the 30 year gap, but there is absolutely nothing here which inspires or moves me. It is neo prog by numbers, albeit well filled in numbers. Take The Cause, a track which opens with huge promise lyrically and musically with a heavy hint of Celtic imagination and atmosphere, which, sadly, descends into something that can only be described as the noise of a band trying to out Trespass Trespass. When that passage morphs into a gorgeous lead guitar burst, I really found myself wishing as to what this band would sound like as a truly original outfit, because the nucleus is most certainly there, and this track proves it. Oh well, it took Pendragon a good three albums, I suppose.

Back on the shelf, I am afraid. Three stars for this, a perfectly good album, which you will find yourself thoroughly enjoying when playing, but a masterpiece? An album which is going to take the genre to ever new heights? No, not a bit of it.

lazland | 3/5 |

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