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LIVES AND TIMES

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Lives and Times biography
UK band LIVES AND TIMES revolved around the talents of composer and multi-instrumentalist Richard Wileman and vocalist Lorna Cumberland, with various musicians employed for supporting roles. The project was formed in 1988, and for the first few years they released various cassette only productions prior to the release of their proper debut album "Rattlebone" in 1992. "The Pull of a Tide" followed in 1993, and in 1994 they released two albums on Dutch label SI Records - "Waiting For The Parade" and "The Great Sad Happy Ending". Two years later "There And Back Again Lane" appeared, the final album featuring the talents of vocalist Cumberland. Ileesha Bailey replaced her in 1996, and she appeared on "Hoarse" in 1997, the final production to be released by Lives & Times. Wileman and Bailey reappeared the following year in a new band, Karda Estra, which of 2013 is still an active band entity.

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LIVES AND TIMES discography


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LIVES AND TIMES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Rattlebones
1992
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Pull of a Tide
1993
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Great Sad Happy Ending
1994
3.95 | 2 ratings
Waiting for the Parade
1994
5.00 | 1 ratings
There and Back Again Lane
1995
4.00 | 1 ratings
Hoarse
1997

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LIVES AND TIMES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hoarse by LIVES AND TIMES album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Hoarse
Lives and Times Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars After two CDs on their own No Image label, two more on SI and another on Cyclops, L&T released their sixth (and final) album back on their own label. Richard Wileman is still there of course, along with Andy Skittrall on bass (his third album for the band) and Phil Legende who guested on drums on their third album 'Waiting For The Parade', but the most important aspect to note is that vocalist Lorna Cumberland was no longer with the band! Her place was taken by Ileesha Bailey, who heralded a slight musical shift for the band. This is now a more forthright songs-based outfit producing songs that wouldn't sound out of palce either in the charts or on any singer-songwriter connoisseur's playlist. There is far more emphasis on guitars and much less on keyboards. Some of the songs such as 'Let The Clouds All Melt Away' are commercial with only a few (such as 'Landmarks') sounding rocky and more challenging.

The result is the most immediate album to date from the Swindon swingers and it is one that will definitely appeal not only to die hard fans but also who to many others who like female vocals and most importantly damn good songs. Of course, what no-one realized at this point was that this was going to be the final album from Lives and Times as Richard decided to follow a different musical direction and formed a new project, Karda Estra. Of course, Richard and Ileesha still work together in that project, but her voice is used in a very different way indeed, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who looks back at these albums and wonders why they were never well- known, as it was certainly deserved.

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 Waiting for the Parade by LIVES AND TIMES album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Waiting for the Parade
Lives and Times Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Waiting For The Parade' was the third album from L&T, and saw them sign with the Dutch label SI Music, who at the time was certainly one of the most important progressive labels in Europe. Phile Legende (of Lorien) is the only external musician, providing acoustic percussion on five of the nine tracks. Bass is provided this time by Richard himself. Right from the off the hallmarks of the earlier L&T albums are there, but for some reason they appear more accessible. The 'live' drumming definitely helps as well as it adds something to the songs. However, the most beautiful song on the album is "Deadline" where Richard on classical acoustic guitar provides the perfect backdrop for Lorna's haunting voice. Mind you, "Divide" comes a very close second as it gradually builds and builds while "Corners" again hints at the future, while also bringing in loads of influences from Steve Hackett and IQ. www.kardaestra.co.uk

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 The Pull of a Tide by LIVES AND TIMES album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.00 | 1 ratings

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The Pull of a Tide
Lives and Times Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars 'The Pull of a Tide' came out in 1993, with Chris Brown now the resident bassist (although Teresa Griffin did play on a few tracks). The songwriting had improved and broadened into new directions. "Who Do YOU Live For" starts with classical guitar but then turns very nearly into a rock song. Strong guitarwork and harmony vocals work well to create a standout track. "Kicking Against Nothing" is another example of the harder edge of L&T with a strong riff and chorus. That being said, this album is just as experimental as the first but songs such as these serve to really emphasis the point. Yet again there are some songs here that point to Richard's later (and current) work with Karda Estra, with "Evolution" being a fine example of his more classical style, albeit with synths and piano. Lorna's angelic vocals and Richard's fine accompaniment making this a real joy. If you enjoy good singing and don't want crashing guitars or complicated prog then L&T provided well structured songs that showed Lorna's voice off to best effect.

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 Rattlebones by LIVES AND TIMES album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Rattlebones
Lives and Times Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Lives & Times were formed in 1988 by Richard Wileman (guitars, keys, percussion) and Lorna Cumberland (vocals). For the next three years they recorded demos, wrote songs and played gigs with various line-ups but never succeeded in getting a record deal. In January 1991 they split through frustration and later that year Richard formed the No Image label with musician friend Nick Weaver. The first release was a compilation of material by Nick and Richard and Richard then contacted Lorna and they recorded four old Lives & Times songs. As it went so well Nick decided to start a new project, Eternal Energy, and Richard and Lorna resurrected Lives & Times.

'Rattlebones' was released in 1992, with Teresa Griffin joining on bass while Richard provides the rest of the instrumentation. Lorna's voice is clear and pure, immediately bringing forward thoughts of Kate Bush and Maryen Cairns. The music itself moves between straight pop, classical and even New Age, truly a Crossover band if ever there was one. The vocals and music combine well together, but it is the voice to which the listener is really drawn. All of the songs here are good, but nothing really stands out, and while enjoyable is probably the weakest album they released. But given the scarcity of all of their material if you see it, then grab it! www.kardaestra.co.uk

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 There and Back Again Lane by LIVES AND TIMES album cover Studio Album, 1995
5.00 | 1 ratings

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There and Back Again Lane
Lives and Times Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
5 stars This is L&T's fifth album, and at the time I said that I felt that it was their most complete work to date, and I see no reason at all to change that opinion now. As with the previous album Andy Skittrall provides bass, Lorna Cumberland vocals and Richard Wileman everything else. Released in 1995 this was very different indeed to the rest of the British underground prog scene at the time (and yes, it was very much underground with only fanzines daring to write about prog at all, totally different to today), but they never felt that they needed to follow anyone else and indeed followed their own path. The album opens with an air of menace on 'Why Do I Watch?' which leads into a characteristically atmospheric number. The tempo is increased along with the volume and menace but Lorna's voice still rises like a soaring angel above it all. Classical guitar plays an important part in this song, adding little touches here and there which manage to emphasise the electric riffing guitar. The music is often complex but never wanders into realms of self indulgence.

'Darker' shows a totally different side to their music, with overlaid vocals and a musical background that switches themes and style, yet with the melody underpinning it all. Again, this is a portent of things to come with Karda Estra, combining loads of different musical elements with vocals being just part of that. Hackett is again a main influence, and overall this is a superb piece of work. www.kardaestra.co.uk

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 The Great Sad Happy Ending by LIVES AND TIMES album cover Studio Album, 1994
5.00 | 1 ratings

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The Great Sad Happy Ending
Lives and Times Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
5 stars This was the fourth album under the L&T banner, with multi-instrumentalist Richard Wileman again joined by singer Lorna Cumberland, with Andy Kittral providing bass. Lorna's vocals are reminiscent of Kate Bush and Maryen Cairns, and the music is the perfect foil as moods and atmosphere are created with seeming ease. It is this atmospheric interpretation that is the basis of their music: there is no room here for crashing guitars or pounding drums, but rather well thought out material of extremely high quality. Listening again to this album after so many years one thing I find interesting is that there are some non-vocal numbers and passages that show that Richard was already starting to musically spread his wings, which of course would eventually lead to the demise of this band and the commencement of Karda Estra. In fact, "Wired to the Moon" could indeed be a KE number as opposed to L&T with it's long orchestral filmscape feel.

Much of the album is devoted to providing superb accompaniment to Lorna's vocals, often with as little intervention and intrusion as possible, letting her really shine. It is an album full of space, depth and complexity, with the guitars often sounding quite frenetic but as they are kept low in the mix they don't take over. There are definite Hackett-ish qualities to much of this and the result is an album that I have fallen in love with all over again, the best part of twenty years since I first heard it.

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