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Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso

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Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso Fiddling Meanly album cover
3.03 | 7 ratings | 4 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Abendrot (1:19)
2. The Bells, THE BELLS! (1:47)
3. Deceivers All (5:46)
4. Has To Be A Reason (5:49)
5. In Search Of England (4:29)
6. The Iron Maiden (3:26)
7. Sunday Bells (2:52)
8. Poor Wages (4:27)
9. The Poet/After The Day (11:08)
10. The Will To Fly (4:19)
11. A Prospect Of Whitby (3:43)
12. Harbour (3:56)
13. Early Morning (3:21)
14. Big Organ End (0:57)

Total Time 57:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Woolly Wolstenholme / voice, Mellotron, keyboards, 12-string guitar
- Craig Fletcher / voice, bass
- Kim Turner / drums, percussion
- Steve Broomhead / voice, electric and acoustic guitars
- Jeff Leach - keyboards

Releases information

CD Eclectic ECLCD 1019, 2005

Thanks to Joolz for the addition
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WOOLLY WOLSTENHOLME'S MAESTOSO Fiddling Meanly ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (57%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Live albums are great, aren't they! They may not be honed to technical perfection, nor as expansively realised as studio recordings, but they draw you closer to an artist through atmosphere and a sense of occasion, enhanced by artists' asides and banter, audience reactions, and any other little quirks or glitches that may have occurred to make it unique. Fiddling Meanly has it all - recorded direct to stereo DAT at the Mean Fiddler [London], it transports the listener into a small but enthusiastic audience enjoying the first, and last, night of Męstoso's 'World Tour' 2004!

What you hear is what you would have heard on the night - no overdubs and no re-recordings. Inevitably there are errors, but they are part of its charm: the guitar gets swamped during In Search Of England and generally I find the drums are fractionally too forward; there is a little ambient hum on quiet passages but nothing much to worry about; and a couple of minor missed notes are barely noticeable. The performance is spirited and authoritative with all members pulling their weight. Woolly's voice occasionally betrays his age but otherwise sounds good, and special mention must once again be made of the underrated Steve Broomhead who pulls off a couple of scintillating guitar licks.

Material is an interesting and varied choice, spanning Woolly's entire career with a few surprises. Inevitably, highlights are the 2 big-production numbers. Deceivers All, a classic from 1981, opens the show, Woolly and the band launching into a thrilling rendition with Mellotron and guitar properly to the fore. But The Poet/After The Day steals the show with a breathtaking delivery of this old favourite from the early 1970s, here presented with a belting extended bridge section replete with a brilliant solo from Broomhead. Play this loud and the central transition section cannot fail to have you thumping the table with pleasure. A veritable 'Wow!' moment.

After that it calms down a trifle, but there are a couple of little gems harking back to the dawn of Woolly's career with Barclay James Harvest. The first live recording of Poor Wages, originally a single B-side from 1969, is an excellent rocking song with some nice guitar work, while the gentler Early Morning, dedicated to late BJH drummer Mel Pritchard, closes the album on a high. Both are performed by the full band with gusto, contrasting nicely with some quieter passages with Woolly seemingly handling an acoustic guitar as often as keyboards.

Overall? Yep, definitely one to get if you are a Woolly or BJH fan

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars If the fantastic "Live 74" from BJH belongs to one of your favourite prog live albums, you will be absolutely stunned by this one. It is a marvelous voyage into ancient times. Not that you'll get the "Mockin Bird", "The Great Mining Disaster", "Negative Earth" etc. Nothing as such here (well almost not...).

The track list is rather bizarre since Woolly and his band "Maestoso" decided to play very old BJH songs featured on their first release, back to ...1970. And rather obscure ones since they will only be featured on the remastered version of this album as bonus tracks. It's the case for "Poor Wages" and "Early Morning". Only "The Iron Maiden" was featured on the original album.

Four songs come out "The black Box" which was a compilation effort combining the first "Maestoso" album and unreleased songs from what should have been "Maestoso" second album and that never saw the light. These are : "Deceivers All", "Has To Be A Reason", "Sunday Bells" and "The Will To Fly".

From their debut album only "A Prospect Of Whitby" is present.

Two songs come out the last album of Woolly with BJH. "In Search Of England" and "Harbour" come from "XII". Two weird interpretations are sitting here as well : a shortened version of "Abendrot" (from "Grim" which is "Maestoso" last studio release) and "The Bells, The Bells!" from "One Drop...".

I would have liked to get "Patriots", "American Excess", "Maestoso, "A Hymn In The Roof Of The World", "2 A.M.", "One Drop..." or the beautiful "Carpet". Instead, the listener will be very pleased with "The Poet - After The Day" from "Other Short Stories".

The extraordinary fact here, is that most of these songs will be marvelously played with lots of superb keyboards, some great mellotron of course and so much emotion. Woolly has lots of humour when talking to the audience (this is rather a big change when you compare this with the stifness of John Lees or Les Holroyd). These interpretations fully reminds me of these form their magnificent "BJH Live '74".

This album deserves three stars (I could maybe upgrade it to seven out of ten, but not to four stars). Do listen to it if, as I am, you are an orphan of the magical "Live '74".

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is actually Maestoso's first album, recorded live before either of their two studio albums "One Drop in a Dry World" and "Grim": the songs performed at this gig come from Woolly's solo period following his departure from Barclay James Harvest, as well as from his time with that group. ... (read more)

Report this review (#105139) | Posted by alextorres | Monday, January 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars It's great that Woolly is back. His spirit and good humour have been too long missed in music in general and in Barclay James Harvest in particular. And since his return he has shown a remarkable ability to produce good songs and good albums (both 'One drop in a dry world' and 'Grim' are quite ... (read more)

Report this review (#95328) | Posted by Theo Verstrael | Saturday, October 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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