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Caravan - Cunning Stunts CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.12 | 312 ratings

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Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I dug this out for this review after not having listened to it for over 20 years and the reasons I didn't like it then apply more than ever now. Caravan had gone through several line up changes since their masterpiece (In the Land of Grey and Pink), the charismatic and excellent bass/vocalist Richard Sinclair having left to be replaced by Mike Wedgewood and Geoff Richardson having come in to take the load off Dave Sinclair in the lead instrument role. He provides viola and electric guitar solos, largely because Pye Hastings seems unwilling or unable to solo. However, the problem does not lie with the musicians, all of whom play very competently.

Caravan are noted for quirky, very English songs with a distinct sense of humour. The material here is generally completely average and most of it is forgettable. The Show of our Lives is the best track on side 1 and escapes criticism, being a fine song in the true Caravan mould with some great choral singing. Stuck in a Hole was released as a single but flopped deservedly; the title describes the band's predicament well. Lover is horrible, slushy and slow with dreadful string arrangements and the last 2 tracks are entirely forgettable, Welcome the Day being decidely poppy and fairly horrible.

Side 2 is almost all taken up by The Dabsong Concerto which sounds like an attempt to revisit Nine Feet Underground. It is pretty good overall and has its moments of brilliance, but it's a bit self indulgent in parts and does not ignite in the way the earlier piece did.

So how to rate this mixed bag? Bearing in mind that I have owned this LP for 31 years and have probably played it less than 10 times (it's in pristine condition!), that must say something. It falls between 2 and 3* but, like the curate's egg, good in parts only merits 2*.

Tony Fisher | 2/5 |


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