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Album review

Keith Cross & Peter Ross 

Bored Civilians

added: 8 May 2014 // release date: 28 Apr 2014 // label: Esoteric
reviewer: Andy Snipper

Keith Cross & Peter Ross - Bored Civilians - Printable version
It’s actually quite amazing to realise that this was released originally in 1972. Simply gorgeous harmonies and some sublime playing but it feels completely contemporary as well.

Keith Cross was originally a member of the legendary T2 who were completely mishandled by their record label and whose only album now sells for megabucks and Peter Ross was originally with Hookfoot and then part of Richard Thompson’s band pre Richard & Linda Thompson. They only hooked up for this one album but it is a gem.

The harmonies are a delight and the two are both accomplished songwriters but their cast of supporting musicians – including a very young Nick Lowe & BJ Cole as well as Caravan’s Jimmy Hastings – take the songs to a place of high art.

The title track has a haunting melody with the feel of an ‘Eleanor Rigby-esque’ wistfulness. Simple guitars and gentle production really works to make the song a little special while ‘The Dead Salute’ is stronger and winds metal-bodied guitar alongside the pedal-steel and Andy Sneddon’s fine bassline. ‘Peace In The End’ stands out as the most evocative song on the album and would have made a great live closer for the pair with its huge chorus and folky footstomping rhythm.

Considering the music that was around at the time, this should have been a massive album but somehow it was one that just missed the spotlight. The two singer/songwriters never worked together after this but at least they left this album as a memento – very fine indeed.


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4 stars

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