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Peter Hammill - Nadir's Big Chance CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill


Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 291 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Here we go with the great VDGG line-up again. The whole of the four are back in business, for my biggest pleasure. If I would have been Peter, I would have called this album "Zenith's Big Chance".

The opening song sounds truly punkish avant la lettre. But Hammill (as Marc Bolan) will have an enormous aura (believe it or not) amongst many punk bands (of which the Pistols are not the least important). A wild and dynamic start. I have never heard the Graaf nor Hammill with such a hard attack. Special, to say the least.It might have been a source of inspiration for "X-Ray Spex" (Oh Bondage, Up Yours").

This album is quite different from his previous "solo" work. To imagine that it was recorded the same year as "Godbluff" is quite amazing. Nothing to do with each other of course. And in terms of popularity, when I see the very few commented reviews about this work, it also shows some indications.

Still, this album needs to be discovered. Of course, the harder approach might trouble lots of progheads, but even so, Peter is still able to be touchy and melodic. "Open Your Eyes" is just an example to highlight this. A fantastic sax play and heavy keys for a very sustained piece of music.

This album is highly rocking. Never the sound of any Hammill nor VDGG has been so wild. Maybe what the man felt in this particular moment of his live. Difficult to apprehend for a long time fan. The British punk scene was of course non-existing at this time, but needless to say that the new wave movement was already very present in New-York (Television, Talking Heads, Patti Smith etc.). So maybe that this wall of energy touched Peter.

There are still some more traditional songs as the beautiful "Been Alone So Long". The sweetest song from "Nadir". Full of poetry and melancholic. What a contrast with most of the songs featured here. But I guess that this can be called talent. At least it is how I feel in these circumstances.

There are no weak songs on "Nadir" but no masterpieces either. It is all pleasant and enjoyable music (except maybe "People You Were Going To"). "Shingle" and "Airport" are the most classic ones and should appeal to any Hammill fans. As a wink, another punkish song is featured at the end of this album: Birthday Place. Another funny moment. Totally out of the traditional repertoire. But so amazing...

Another huge track is the closing Two Or Three Spectres. Maybe the most VDGG oriented one and therefore my fave. One can appreciate the great and inspired sax play (this man is really great).

All in all, this is a good album. Surprising during several tracks, it gets back to the roots during some other ones. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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