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Hatfield And The North - The Rotters' Club CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.20 | 505 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars THE ROTTERS CLUB is one of the most highly respected albums in the Cantebury catalogue. Who could resist grabbing an album that boasts an all-star lineup including Richard Sinclair (Caravan), Dave Stewart (Egg), Pip Pyle (Gong) and other Cantebury stalwarts. It's tantalising enough that a twenty minute thing called ''Mumps'' exists here as well as the amusing titles running around (''Fitter Stoke Has a Bath'' for example).

THE ROTTERS CLUB has much more of a jazz act than other noted Cantebury acts, but the jazz has this ''lounge'' feel to it that at times confuses me, other times nauseates, occasionally makes me smile, but always impresses thanks to the skills of the musicians involved. The keyboard and guitar solos are plenty with lots of melody, but the underpinning sound makes me think cheap Vegas hotel, not necessarily Cantebury.

Some of the softer moments like ''Didn't Matter Anyway'' and the beginning of ''Mumps'' work. Most of the vocal-centric parts are where the strength of the album lies, even if the vocals sound dry (this is coming from a guy who respects Sinclair and Caravan). ''Share It'' is my pick for the best song on the album as it doesn't plow headlong into a morass of stale fusion. Some of the bits when the Northettes sing during ''Mumps'' entice me to search for the fast- forward option. The fusion is sleazy, but soporific. U.K. pulled the sleazy fusion better on their debut.

Many CD versions today have a few bonus tracks, but only ''Halfway Between Heaven and Earth'' is worth remembering for the nice vocal melodies, even if the track itself sounds like hotel lobby music. Even with the star talent, great playing and my general love for jazz fusion and Cantebury, THE ROTTERS CLUB is lost on me.

Sinusoid | 2/5 |


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