From Shadow to Shadow

Review John Bobin [UK]

When From Shadow to Shadow arrived through my letterbox I took the opportunity to remind myself of the huge variety of musicians who had participated on this magnificent double CD and their different nationalities. There were many contributors, from widespread countries and they were all bound together by a love of music and in particular the varied songs and moods of Procoldom!

There is a wealth of material on From S2S and the treatments of the songs vary from loving recreation of the originals to sometimes eccentric rearrangements, which bear little or no relation to the versions with which you and I have become familiar.

There are two Whisky Trains, one fairly faithful and the other completely different. Or how about a Sergio Mendes flavoured rendition of Lime Street Blues from the delicious and cool-sounding Fran Glendining?

The Wreck of the Hesperus from Ethan Reilly is a testament to the original version and an immensely talented revisit. Ethan himself says, "The challenge was to come as close as possible to the original workÖ"

Another regal rendition is Luiz de Boniís zonophonic Magdalene. And how about The Worm and the Tree? George Bertokís one-man reading of this surprising choice is simply splendid.

A Salty Dog is a brave choice and giving it a different feel is even braver but Sev Lewkowicz gives us a new and successful slant on the most emotive and ethereal song in the entire Procol Harum canon.

Peter Skorpik contributes a beautiful instrumental version of The Emperorís New Clothes.

The second CD opens with a Latin flavoured and especially effective treatment of Conquistador from Conjunto Jardín, complete with a Venezuelan cuatro (whatever that might be!)

Roger Ilott and Penny Davies give us a lovely new version of The Angler and another triumph for a single performer (aided by meticulous programming skills) is Fellow Travellers from Les Franklin.

For Glimpses of Nirvana look no further than the recreated Sam Cameron version of a Procol Harum classic, followed swiftly by 'Twas Teatime at the Circus (what else?) from John Edgar, which captures the essential humour and fanciful nature of the original.

If you havenít listened to Hulluuteni Syksy, do so immediately and you recognise the song even if like me you are well into the autumn of your madness!

One contributor deserves a special mention: multi-instrumentalist Roland Clare, who gently cajoled us all (like a particularly benevolent dictator!) into recording our own tracks and lovingly assembled them: obviously a mammoth task.

So much good material is crammed on to S2S that it is impossible to describe the huge range of styles and musical leanings properly in one short review. If you have not bought From Shadow to Shadow yet, treat yourself and do so now.

John Bobin, near Southend-on-Sea, UK; 31 May 2004

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