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Colin Bass - Planetarium (with Józef Skrzek) CD (album) cover


Colin Bass


Crossover Prog

3.06 | 10 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars It's probably because I really like Colin Bass and his "An Outcast to the Island" as some of the songs of that album are played in this live, also Jozef Skrzek is the keyboardist of the Polish S.B.B. that's a band that I like. I think this is a great live.

It sounds like an unplugged, because there are only Skrzek and Bass on stage and Bass is often playing acoustic guitar.

The gig is opened by "Star Ouverture". A keyboard's carpet with Colin playing what I think is an "ovation" as it sounds like a classical guitar amplified. Then the keyboards volume raises up giving the track more than a touch of Krautrock. Here Bass demonstrates a quite good guitar skill.

Same instruments for "Eli", but this time Colin sings. "Baby I love you" is not a great example of poetry. Imagine a Jon Anderson's song of the kind of the A side of Jon and Vangelis' Private Collection.

"Goodbye To Albion" is a simple song, but one that I really love. I have listened to it tons of times, probably since when I have left "Albion". In this version it looses something of the good original arrangement because it's just played by a duo, but Jozef makes great things with his keyboards while Colin is just playing rhythm guitar and singing.

"Singer, Oh Singer" starts very melodic with some dissonances, more similar to "errors", on a live it can happen. This song is too mellow and musically trivial, maybe with a different arrangement it could sound better. I'm used to skip this song. It can cause diabetes.

"Freedom With Us" is more interesting. Everything would be, effectively. However the guitar makes a lot of work while the keyboard provides the bass and the background. This is Krautrock...a very hypnotic sequence of echoes and major chords with a hammering bass behind. Sometimes reminding of the instrumental part of "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", I mean the part with nothing frying. Colin starts singing after about 5 fantastic minutes, then some minor chords enter in the sequence. Listening better, the chords are the same of Prince's "Purple Rain", but this song appears to be more intense. Great vocal work.

Then it comes "As Far As I Can See", another song from An Outcast To The Island. Being a song largely based on acoustic guitar it's not so different from the original. Initially it's only Colin with his guitar and voice. Jozef adds background vocals on the chorus, then some keyboard background work that's his personal touch to the song. Very melodic but non- trivial. This live version of the song is at least as good as the original if not better.

"The Golden Harp" is a great song. I don't know if it's an SBB track or a Skrzek solo effort. It's a very good song, still melodic, with good passages but I can't compare it with the original version if any.

"Denpasar Moon" is again from Outcast, but it's from an Indonesian author: Sabah Habas Mustapha. If you have ever been on the island of Bali you can understand it better.

"Wish" makes me think to "Pete Bardens" on Seen One Earth. There's along section, maybe a bit too long, made of two keyboard's chords (A- / E) that are very useful to jam on, since Santana. Just a long jam. The two should have had some fun playing it. Not sure about the public.

"I Bid You Goodnight" is a country song. I don't know if it's a traditional or they just wanted to make a western song. The piano part is very good and the song is funny.

Finally a nice version of a Camel's classic. At least classic of the Bass era. From Stationary Traveller, a song that played in Poland is more significant. The keyboard part is totally different, but effectively Ton Scherpenzeel has played it in the early 80s.

I think I can forgive the duo for a creamy song and a country joke. The rest of the songs are good. It's a very good live that sounds like an unplugged. To be not missed by Camel's fans, an excellent addition for all the others.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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