Clive Gregson is a distinguished singer/songwriter whose recordings
(including collaborations with singer Christine Collister) straddle the
greater part of three decades. There are fourteen songs on his fine new
album 'This Is Now' (nineteen on the download edition) which are all
worthy of our full attention and respect. Mr Gregson has a deep and innate
understanding of how to make a tune stick in your head; there is an economy
and crispness in his management of melody, structure and lyrics which belies
the material's subtle complexity and sophistication. There's no room for
artifice and posturing in his work. He's a damned fine guitarist too.
Take opening number 'My Kind Of Girl'; a wholesome, good-humoured blast of
energetic uptempo soul studded with fruity brass accents and a vocal performance
which, with Mr Gregson's somewhat hollow nasal (but nonetheless attractive!)
tone, has something of the spirit of Boz Scaggs' eighties heyday about it.
So too title track 'This Is Now', which beguiles with its blissful country twang.
Gentler tracks like the melancholy 'There' (a sublime composition) and 'Sooner
Or Later', with its convincingly intimate sense of love and longing, add depth,
texture and variety to the collection. The enchantingly folksy final song
'Such A Long way From Home' is a thing of authentic pathos and simple beauty.
A truly heartwarming album with not an ounce of spare fat on its musical bones.
on 24 May 2013
Another strong release from Clive, who must be one of the most underrated songwriters around. Mainly a solo affair, Clive has the knack of making cracking, simple songs come alive. The opening track "My Kind Of Girl" is very catchy and echoes the sound of his early career with "Any Trouble". The video for this is really witty and worth hunting for. Other tracks cover a variety of subjects. "Flat Top" is a lovely little song about the first guitar he owned. "Haarlem" tells the story of a trip to The Netherlands and is just beautiful. "Kitty Come Back" is a wonderful song about a young girl off to London full of innocence only to finish up on the streets of Kings Cross. The other material is excellent and, after a few plays, the album becomes indispensable. As a bonus, his guitar playing is just superb. A really good album of well played interesting songs.
Clive's also worth catching live where he comes across as a funny and warm,self-depreciating person. A very talented performer.
on 8 April 2014
I became aware of Clive when he was in Dennis Locorriere's band several years ago. I started buying as much of his work as I could find (and there's a lot out there!).
I think the man is a great songwriter and musician and a pretty good singer as well and I have enjoyed everything I have heard him do, some more than others. This is one of those others.
Don't get me wrong. I agree with everyone who has said that CG is underrated and should be better known, but I don't think this album is the one to accomplish that.
It's musically and vocally solid but I've heard Clive write better lyrics.
If you are familiar with his other albums then this will be a welcomed addition to your collection, including his very early work as writer/frontman for Any Trouble.
But, if you're looking to be convinced or converted I'd start with I Love This Town, Bittersweet, Strange Persuasions (his first solo outing after AT) or his 'Best Of' collection, which includes a good sampling of songs.
Clive will be on tour in the UK soon. An evening with him is recommended.