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Paradise 9 - 20th Anniversary: 1997 - 2017 Live CD (album) cover

20TH ANNIVERSARY: 1997 - 2017 LIVE

Paradise 9

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 1 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars

Here we have an album that pretty much does exactly what the title suggests, namely that it is an album comprised of live recordings taken from the band's 20-year career to date. The first CD is subtitled 'These Days' and includes tracks recorded in 2016 at the Blind Cat and Kozfest Festivals with the current line-up of Gregg McKella (vocals, guitar and synth FX), Tyrone Thomas (lead guitar, backing vocals), Neil Matthars (bass) and Wayne Collyer (drums). The second disc is "Those Days" and includes ex-members Andy McDonald, Steve Teers Mufa, Carl Sampson, Jonas Golland, and Jaki Windmill plus special guests the legendary Nik 'ThunderRider' Turner, Jeanette Murphy, Tracey Morais, Mike Mishra and Kev Ellis. The CD also comes with a tour poster and family tree, to help make sense of the comings and goings. But at the heart of this band is Gregg McKella, who has been the driving force from the very beginning when he formed Paradise 9 in 1997 at the Acoustic Revolution songwriter's nights with bassist Andy Macdonald.

Although we don't have any recordings from the very first year, we do have one from 1998, which shows that Paradise 9 have been following the same path of psychedelic space punk rock for a long time now. That they have been influenced by Hawkwind is never in doubt, but it is a more punk-influenced 'Wind than the standard space rock copyists. They have worked with Judge Trev and Nik Turner alike, and have a great deal of punk and edginess in their music, almost as if they were coming to it twenty years earlier than when they did. This is independent underground music that will never hit the charts, but the refusal to conform is one of its strengths. I first saw Neil play bass with the Casuals some twenty-five years ago, and I did smile when I realised that not only was Carl Sampson on the album, but that Mike Mishra also guests on one song from the Nineties.

Paradise 9 are now a staple on the underground and festival circuit, and one of the delights of this collection is the diversity of the songs on show, as well as the way they were arranged with the different line-ups and guests. This is undoubtedly the best way to discover one of the hidden gems of the British music scene

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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