Even if you’re forty seven, it’s still not too late to be putting out new music. This is the case for the much travelled Adrian Fitz-Simon with his first album under his own name.
Some up and coming bands should take a leaf out of Fitz-Simon’s book for promoting his album; he used a game to guess classic album covers just by the artwork. If his promotional work was out of the box then Fitz-Simon’s album ‘The Band That Wasn’t There’ is not your typical singer songwriter fare. You only have to view the long list of influences from Fitz-Simon’s website (Simply Red does not usually sit in the same sentence as Manic Street Preachers) to see he’s not one to follow convention.
Fitz-Simon has produced seventies-hued album of lush Todd Rundgren-ish classic power pop. Vocally he is similar in tone to some of John Grant’s softer moments, while musically the piano is placed very much to the fore. The pacing is sedate, with the majority of the songs being ballads.
But there’s nothing wrong with that when they are emotive and ornate as To A House of Tim And Timber and In Your Eyes. The latter features the Booka Brass Band providing the mournful brass undertones to the song. Songs like Megan, The Random Nature Of Life and Fall let the sun in and keep the album from being overly maudlin.
On the negative side, Q&A’s jazz tones verge on the over indulgent and could have been reined in a bit while the harmonica on The Ballad of Eve & Emil goes a step too far.
‘The Band That Wasn’t There’ is a warm, lovingly crafted album from Fitz-Simon, who shows that he has a lot to offer. As a whole it doesn’t fully captivate but some individual songs show he clearly has a creativity that he is capable of much more.