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Issue 1090

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Review

All hail the mighty Sceptres (Ubiquity Records)

All hail the mighty Sceptres! (Ubiquity Records)

8

6.2

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UK release date 24.02.2015

The cool sultriness of singer Angeline Morrison shines through on this gorgeous slice of retro 50's & 60's bouncy, jazz blues blessedness. Full of great tunes peppered with doo wop, boogaloo, melodrama and a whole heap of soul. In an age where lots of female vocalists fall into the trap of sounding like Amy or Adele, Angeline comes up with a voice like no other, she effuses a good dose of originality that will stand her in good stead as the Mighty Sceptres begin their assault on the realms of our senses. Bring it on!

Partner Nick Radford adorns these little gems with his extremely tasteful guitar, and gets let off the leash on the groovy potboiler "Jerk Chicken". This album is all about the songs all very strong sounding rooted in the past, but what a golden era it that was! Opening track "Siren Call" sounds like a lost Peggy Lee classic, as for the fantastically arranged "You're Nothing But A Pack Of Cards", it could easily have been a Patsy Cline evergreen! However with Ms Morrison's distinctive golden larynx, these tunes firmly belong to the Mighty Sceptres with flashes of greatness that has gone before, but the tradition continues...

There are lots of soultastic tunes here, the summery "Gentle Refrain", the breezy "Land Of Green Ginger", or the nola groove of "That Ol Feelin'". Suffice to say if you like hot sax, swinging drums and tight arrangements that fit in to the 3 or 4 minute bracket, then these 45 inspired ditties are for you.

Stand out track "Shy As Butterfly" replete with floaty jazz flute, heavy baritone sax and a strident string arrangement coupled with Angeline's soaring vocals really cuts the mustard. Production duties are ably taken care of courtesy of Chris Pedders (The Baker Brothers) and that analogue sound comes straight out of FishMarket Studios, who apparently have some of Hi Records (Al Green, Anne Peebles) outboard gear, well if they do it's being put to good use on this rather sterling debut album!
Words Emrys Baird

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