Friday, 25 January 2013

Velvet Glove - The Last Day Of Summer / How Sweet Was My Rose (1974)

Velvet Glove's sole album, released on Philips records in 1974 is by no means a killer, but hidden amongst the record's twelve tracks are a handful of pop gems. So since nobody else seems to have written anything about them yet, I figured I should.

Velvet Glove were Ken Leray and Roger Spooner who had a massive European hit with "Sweet Was My Rose" in 1974 and were apparently "established stars" in France, Belgium, Portugal and Italy although they never did manage to crack their native UK charts despite considerable radio airplay. The album was produced by Shel Talmy who is best know for his work in the 1960's with the Who and the Kinks.

Are Velvet Glove related to Kasabian?
On the whole the album is a little bit over the top, orchestrated pop in the Walker Brothers mould. I've never been a big Walker's fan but if you are then you'll probably get more out of this album than I do. David Wells gave the LP a short review in the Galactic Ramble book, comparing it to the likes of Clifford T. Ward and John Pantry, and I can hear that resemblance. The songs I prefer though are the piano based songs which feel have more charm than showy ones. "Banbury Cross" stands out as one of the better songs, almost Honeybus like with the vocalist sounding very much like Pete Dello. "Master Will" is great Sgt Pepper-esque, toytown pop and will be included on one of my future Bite It Deep Mixcloud compilations. "Magical Balloon" is a Eurovision Song Contest style singalong tune that would've surely got "nil poi" had it been entered, but is welcome round here. If Mojo magazine ever publish an article called "The 50 Twee-est Songs Of All Time" then "The Rain Doesn't Rain In The Sunshine" will definitely make the top spot just above "I Think I'll Just Go Find Me A Flower" by Twinn Connexion! Album closer "Gerald" is also worth a listen if you like what you hear on the first Asylum Choir album.

So, I'll say it again, not a killer but the good tracks make it a justifiable buy. There are much worse records than this selling for three figures on ebay.

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