DIZZY MIZZ LIZZY
SONY MUSIC JAPAN 20th March
My eyes lit up as the envelope in my postbox revealed its contents. Four years after their last album – the superb Forward In Reverse – we finally have the fourth studio album from Dizzy Mizz Lizzy. All over jobs were put on hold immediately and I popped the disc into my stereo, cranking the volume up to deafening hoping – but confidently knowing – that this would not disappoint me and I’m glad to say right at the start, it hasn’t and has in fact, exceeded my hopes and expectations.
The opening track is an agonizingly slow but beautifully recorded build that leads into the second track and then the album thumps in like a herd of elephants marching through your front room. The drums pound, the bass resonates and vibrates and the guitar has one of those addictive riffs so characteristic of this band. Needless to say, the vocal line is exquisitely delivered; melodic with expression and the whole track is underscored by a floating keyboard filling out the powerhouse trio sound. It is signature DML and with Tim Christensen once again producing we are in familiar and enjoyable territory.
For bands to survive, they have to move on in some way and DML have certainly progressed with their writing and arrangements on this album and I use that term in both senses of the word used in Rock. Yes folks, dare I say it, this is Prog Rock albeit blended with modern Metal and they have achieved something rather special, most noticeably in the five part suite titled Amelia which runs for 23 minutes or, for us older Rockers, in analogue terms, Side 2. The reference to analogue records is used here because in the notes accompanying the promo copy, it says the album was created on the premise of an LP. Suddenly I like it even more and as an aside, Tim has pulled a neat little trick of opening side 1 with the chords ending side 2 making it a continuous loop – classy.
Those of us that witnessed them at Loud Park in 2016 will never forget the sheer power that this trio produced onstage. Indeed, so overwhelming was their performance that they were immediately invited back for the following year, a feat which no other band has ever achieved in the history of Loud Park and those Japanese fans who saw either of those shows have four additional reasons to be happy with this. The first is that it is released here before anywhere else in the world; the second is that there is a bonus track; thirdly because of the upcoming show (see below) where no doubt a large selection will be performed and lastly because it is mastered in BS2CD which gives the sound extra clarity.
Now, having written that, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and listen to this again.
In The Blood
Amelia – Pt 1: Nothing They Do They Do For You
Amelia – Pt 2: The Path Of Least Existence
Amelia – Pt 3: Lights Out
Amelia – Pt 4: All Saints Are Sinners
Amelia – Pt 5: Alter Echo
Bonus Track for Japan
MORGAN'S SALON, TOKYOI
30th November 2019
50 Years: Thank you Mott the Hoople Concert
Growing up in England in the 1970s, my No. 1 band of the Glam Rock era was Mott the Hoople. I write that so you know that not only do I come at this review from a writer’s point of view but also as a big fan (I flew to the UK for the reunion in 2009) so please forgive any ravings although I will apply critical distance where I can. Having said that, there are things to rave about in this show and not just for big Mott fans; there’s plenty for the first time visitor to Morgan’s Salon – the venue, his home – and the most casual music lover to enjoy.
The scene is a suburban house in Daitabashi, ten minutes from Tokyo’s neon metropolis of Shinjuku. Odd Italian art-deco buildings intermingle with small traditional Japanese, shops, restaurants and bars and you couldn’t imagine a more non-gig place. After walking down an innocuous street, you enter the house, remove your shoes, are greeted warmly after which you are directed to the front room which is both the venue and Morgan’s studio. With forty chairs and an array of vintage equipment on display, the atmosphere is homely and inviting. Taking a seat, there is idle chatter between the guests which is suddenly broken by a blast from a kazoo, the man himself entering the room with a broad grin and hearty greeting: Morgan’s ready to play and we are eager to listen
He sits down amongst a bank of equipment, most of it pre-digital and introduces his accompaniment, an early 1970s Maestro Rhythm King drum machine, a piece of equipment that he informs us was favoured by Sly Stone and as used on Family Affair. Once programmed for the first song (correct button pressed and speed (tempo) knob turned), Morgan is off through a succession of Mott favourites, singing, playing and adjusting settings as he goes. He does a creditable vocal and his playing is delightful. Sometimes the gear goes wrong but it doesn’t faze him, happily stopping the show and cracking gags whilst he fixes it – it’s all part of the charm and whilst the Rhythm King has limited capabilities, Morgan and it are old friends and they pair well; the shuffle beat to Mott’s classic Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll is inspired and for this fan, the highlight of the night. The evening is split over two sets, namely sides 1 and 2 of the ‘The Hoople’ album (for which we are witnessing the complete live debut) with a smattering of other classics; a slideshow of Mott cuttings from vintage Rock newspapers acts as a backdrop. Morgan also plays host during the interval serving Hereford Cider, tea and Crisps to all. After the break it’s back to the music and at the end of the show, he sees every one of us out the door personally.
I can’t stress how enjoyable this night was. Morgan puts these gigs on every month with different themes and I highly recommend everybody to go. After all, where else in the world can you see a Rock great play in his front room? We are not worthy.
All The Way From Memphis
I Wish I Was Your Mother
THE HOOPLE SIDE A:
The Golden Age Of Rock 'N' Roll
Crash Street Kidds
Rest in Peace
THE HOOPLE SIDE B:
Born Late ‘58
Pearl 'N' Roy (England)
Through The Looking Glass
Roll Away The Stone
All The Young Dudes