As the autumn begins to take a hold, the temperatures drop and the evenings start to draw in, it feels like 2021 is already beginning to bid us goodbye somewhat prematurely. Much like a fraught 2020, the year hasn’t always felt entirely positive, but here’s some good news from the Twelfth Night camp.
‘Heaven & Earth’, the twenty first studio album from Yes, seemed to spend most of its natural life lurking under a cloud of negativity. The last recording to feature founding member Chris Squire and the first to feature vocalist Jon Davison, it was criticised for “not being proggy enough”, “sounding like a lightweight Yes tribute band” and worse. None of the criticism was especially warranted. ‘Heaven & Earth’ featured some lovely sounds; tunes that featured lots of Yes hallmarks blending with a few poppy flourishes to create an almost spiritual and reflective piece.
When Ritchie Blackmore announced his intentions to return to rock music with a reformed Rainbow in 2015, understandably, the press and the fans got excited. At that time, it had been a couple of decades since the legendary guitarist had recorded anything resembling the hard rock music that had given him worldwide fame. Since calling time on a new version of Rainbow in the mid 90s, he’d been more interested in medieval and folk styles – something which brought him cult success with his partner Candace Night, resulting in eight albums under the Blackmore’s Night banner. Some fans enjoyed this new phase in his career; others hoped he’d return to his roots. With each passing year, that seemed unlikely, so it’s no wonder the decision to resurrect Rainbow got almost everyone all agog.
The past year has been pretty kind to Miss Georgia Peach. Her early work with The Short Fuses gained a reissue, the 2018 EP from Beebe Gallini reached a new audience thanks to being picked up by the folks at Rum Bar Records, and she’s also found time to record a new full length with the band (the equally excellent ‘Pandemos’).
On top of that, she’s also dipped back into the archives for a couple of solo tunes which are now being offered as a download on a “pay what you want basis” (which, obviously, can be a free download if you’re that way inclined). Genre-wise, they’re not in the same ball park as Beebe Gallini, but both tracks serve up a familiar vocal and that will certainly be enough for a lot of people to (re)approach these recordings with a keen interest.
A 90 minute running time might seem short for one his live shows compared to the regular standard that’s been set by Bruce Springsteen over the years, but for the 1979 ‘No Nukes’ concert, performed at Madison Square Garden in front of a packed house, it’s very much a case of quality over quantity.
Although it has spent many years on the shelf, the show is an important one, in that it showcases the classic line-up of the E Street Band at the peak of their powers, somewhere between the well documented ‘Darkness’ shows and the release of the well-loved double LP ‘The River’.