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Tamarisk biography
Coming from the Northeastern part of London, Tamarisk evolved around 1982 from the ashes of Chemical Alice (Mark Kelly of Marillion fame had spent time with this group). Originally founded by Steve Leigh on keyboards, Andy Grant on vocals and Richard Crichton on drums, they secured a solid line-up only when Crichton was replaced by Richard Harris along with Peter Munday on guitars and Mark Orbell on bass. The group went on to produce two very rare cassette E.P.'s, a self-titled in 1982 and ''Lost properties'' ta year later. Shortly after a line-up change occurred with Nick May taking over the bass duties and Brian Roberts being the drummer. In 1985 Tamarisk briefly performed as a trio of Leigh, Grant and May under the name of ''Corrupted by Toys'', before disbanding for good.

Leigh spent some time with Quasar before forming Landmarq, while May had a nice career, initially joining Dagaband, then for a short time Jadis, appeared for a while with The Enid, while his latest collaboration was with Karnataka around 2005. Almost 30 years after Tamarisk's demise the compilation album ''Frozen in time'' was released, containing the material of both the early E.P.'s of the group, thus giving the chance to prog fans to taste the band's unpolished, raw and underground Neo Prog sound.

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TAMARISK discography

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TAMARISK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.48 | 14 ratings
Breaking the Chains
0.00 | 0 ratings
Suspended Animation

TAMARISK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 2 ratings

TAMARISK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TAMARISK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 6 ratings
Frozen In Time

TAMARISK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
4.00 | 2 ratings
Lost Properties


Showing last 10 reviews only
 332018Live by TAMARISK album cover Live, 2018
4.05 | 2 ratings

Tamarisk Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars On Saturday 3rd March 2018, at Chinnerys in Southend-On-Sea, a very special event took place, the first Tamarisk gig in more than 30 years. Joining Andy and Steve were Chris Davies (bass), Luke Rayner (guitar) and Marc Cecil (drums), and although I don't think any of them were involved first time around, they certainly sound as if they belong. Of the six songs on offer, five are from the two demo tapes (as would be expected), plus "Bandana In Chains" which is one of the additional songs on the 'Breaking The Chains' album. Andy's vocals and his style remind me a great deal of Mark Colton, which makes me wonder if Mark was inspired by the original Tamarisk at all. I remember him playing me countless tapes in the car on the way to gigs, and distinctly remember Comedy of Errors and Liaison and wonder if Tamarisk was among them as well.

The interaction between Steve and Luke is superb, supporting each other or soloing, intertwining the notes while the rhythm section is rock solid. Listening to this collection reminds me of oh so many gigs I attended more than 25 years ago, where the audience all knew each other, and we would all go from pub venue to pub venue to see whoever was in town that night. The big difference here is the quality of the sound, as the production is superb for a live recording. Andy has lost none of the power and emotion in his vocals, while Steve has always been an incredible keyboard player and here he is relishing visiting older numbers, with some beautiful piano alongside the banks of keyboards. The only real question is what next? The old tapes have been remastered and reissued, at least one gig has been played and recorded with a new line-up. I guess that means only one thing, when do we get the next album guys? Hopefully Tamarisk are back, and neo prog fans can't afford to miss out.

 Breaking the Chains by TAMARISK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.48 | 14 ratings

Breaking the Chains
Tamarisk Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars We all have musical regrets in our lives I am sure, and one of mine is not knowing anything about the 80's progressive music scene until after the event. Yes, we all knew about Marillion, and I heard some Pallas, but that really was the sum total of it as far as I was concerned. Years later I became involved with keyboard player Steve Leigh after he formed Landmarq, and then I heard the Quasar album, and did also know he had been in a band called Tamarisk but that was the sum total of my knowledge of that band until now. Record label Cult Metal got in touch with singer Andy Grant and Steve, and the result is a compilation which features both demo tapes (1982's 'Tamarisk' and 1983's 'Lost Properties'), remastered from the original master tapes, along with some bonus numbers (and it is also available on vinyl!).

Andy and Steve had both been members of Chemical Alice prior to Tamarisk, a band now famous for Steve's replacement, Mark Kelly, then joining Marillion. Both demos also featured Richard Harris (drums), Peter Munday (guitar) and Mark Orbell (bass), but I am not sure if they are also on the additional tracks. For some reason the second demo is placed first on the CD, with the four songs in the same order, then the first demo (again same running order) with the additional tracks at the end. To say I was blown away is simply an understatement. If someone asked me to choose between this CD and anything from Marillion in the last 20 or so years then there really is no competition, this is way superior.

This is neo prog, genuine honest to god neo prog, not influenced by Marillion as such as they were very much in the same scene at the same time, but as they had the same influences there are bound to be some similarities. There is a naivety here, of musicians who had already been around and knew what they wanted to achieve but were also still very much at the beginning of their career. The result is a collection of songs which feel incredible genuine and great fun. When asked my favourite period of Marillion I will normally say I prefer the material prior to 'Script', and this is in the same musical ballpark. Great vocals, strong hooks, dynamic rhythm section, a guitarist and keyboard player who intertwine, or support each other, or go off on their own but always staying true to the form and style of the music. As the original tapes were both available and usable, the production is also much better than I expected which is a bonus.

This is a huge discovery for me, and I love it. The only question I guess is now that this album is out, what next? Please let there be a new album in the works, please!!!

Thanks to psarros for the artist addition.

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