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Paradise 9 - Take Me To The Future CD (album) cover


Paradise 9


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 3 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars So there I was one day perusing the latest issue of Gonzo, and at the very end there were some photos of a band called Paradise 9. I had never heard of the band before, but then noticed that the photos had been taken by the wife of the bassist, whose surname was Matthars. That got me wondering, surely this couldn't be Neil Matthars who used to be in the mighty Casual Affair with that nice man Mark Colton? A quick search of the internet later and I had discovered that not only was it the same person, but fellow ex-Casual Carl Sampson was the drummer. That was more than enough for me to start swapping emails with band leader Gregg McKella and grabbing a copy of the CD (I paid by giving him photos of Neil from 20+ years ago..)

It is of no surprise, given the artwork and the title, that this is psychedelic space rock. But, to my ears it is more than 'just' that. There is a real punk element to this, combined with reggae and loads of different styles all coming into space rock to make something that belongs in the Seventies but is also timeless. Nik Turner became involved in the proceedings, as did Judge Trev and other guests, and the feeling is of an album that is the underground personified in one shiny disc. As well as those already mentioned, the band is completed by Tyrone Thomas (Olympic Clamp Down/ex-Alternative TV) on lead guitar and Jaki Windmill (Mick Farren's Deviants /ex-Space Ritual/ex-Whimwise) on djembe, percussion and backing vocals, and it is the very different backgrounds of those involved that make it such a melting pot. For those who don't know, Casual Affair were probably the most important prog band to come out of West London in the early Nineties, and regularly sold out haunts such as the Red Lion at Brentford, before singer Mark Colton and guitarist Mike Mishra formed Freewill. Carl was later in Rook, another prog band, before he and Neil were involved in some one-off Casual gigs, yet this band has a very organic sound and one would never guess that the rhythm section cut their teeth playing a quite different form of prog.

"Ocean Rise" is probably the favourite, with clarinet, wonderfully bass and guitar lines, all complemented with swathes of space rock and different rhythms. All spacerock bands are going to be compared to Hawkwind at some point, but these far more in common with Inner City Unit and it is no surprise that they often gig together. If you enjoy this style of music, then this is a keeper.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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