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Audience - Friend's Friend's Friend CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.65 | 76 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Audience are a band that I never heard of when they originally roamed the Earth back in the early seventies, yet they have a sound that is comfortably familiar thanks to their semblance to many bands of that period. On the opening track “Nothing You Do” for example the vocalist sounds quite a bit like David Bowie circa the same time period. “Right on their Side” could have been an Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath tune were it not for the flute. And before it turns jazzy “Priestess” comes off quite a bit like a Rainbow song, as does “Raid”.

This album was produced by the band themselves before they gave way to hired guns to produce their next two records. Probably thanks to their comparative inexperience the tracks lack much continuity, but all of them are pretty good when taken individually. Some like the humorous “Belladonna Moonshine” with its odd moral tale and banjo picking are even very good. The title track is another that presents a folksy tale, in this case with picking guitar (nylon-string electric I believe) and a wispy saxophone that’s both sad and beautiful.

“Raid” is both the longest and most interesting composition here. This is some sort of bizarre and not very historically accurate tale of Vikings and battles, and features some of the most creative work on a saxophone I’ve heard in quite a while. Keith Gemmell alternates between soft wailing, discordant choppy bleats, and some extended wails that are painful on first listen but really grow on you with repeated playing.

I’ve read the band’s next two albums are their better ones, but overall fame and fortune eluded the group and they disbanded in 1972. Most of the members continued in other groups including a short stint by the lead singer in a failed revival of the Doors, and a long run with Hot Chocolate by bassist/ keyboardist Trevor Williams. The band has recently reformed and released a new album (which I haven’t heard but may add to my wish list if I read some good reviews).

This is a band and an album that is largely forgotten but probably deserve some recognition for producing a handful of artistic and pretty decent albums. Three stars for this one and recommended to fans of heavier seventies art rock.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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