Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a good mature Stilton & a glass of vintage Port, 16 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Last Mad Surge Of Youth (Audio CD)
I'm told that as we get older, our sense of taste gets duller and the frequency range we here gets reduced - this is a good thing - it means that we are not bombarded with as much irrelevant "noise" and we can more finely observe the pleasures and frustrations of life as we get older. This is also true of the latest offering from Henry Priestman.
In the Seventies, he gave us the frenetic, new wave pop songs like "Suffice To Say" on Stiff records, but success was elusive for them..
In the late 80's and 90's, Henry found international fame in The Christians, with their many Top 40 hits, their hallmark sound of strong melodies and powerful lyrics, many of which were written by Henry, who was happy out of the spotlight playing keyboards.
After The Christians, Henry continued writing and working with artists such as Take That's Mark Owen and 10cc's Graham Gouldman, but again, shunning the limelight.
In 2009 he decided to step into the spotlight, but in a low-key way. Releasing "The Chronicles of Modern Life" with a list of topics reflecting so accurately the shift in focus of what matters to a man approaching middle age - redundancy, getting old, going grey and more, although there is still room on the CD for a modern re-working of that catchy single "Suffice To Say" appears as a hidden track at the end. His singing voice was modelled, he has admitted, on a later day Bob Dylan but suited well to the stories he has to share. The album was a great success, surprising Henry more than anyone else by all accounts ! A second album was inevitable.
So in 2014, we get the latest view into Henry's world; from the wonderful & intimate "Valentine's Day" to the Gospel Choir upbeat "True Believer", to the funny story of empty-nest syndrome in "We Used To Be You". His voice is more assured and distinctive, his subject matter mellower than before.
It might be that he and I are of a similar age, but I find myself smiling so often at Henry's insightful observations and the power of his story telling.
The production is excellent, with a variety of instruments and styles but the intimacy of the material absolutely fitting to Henry's current tour of smaller venues around the UK. He says he doesn't want to go to the next level up, he's been there already.
He may have given the impression of being a "Grumpy Old Man" at times, but an evening in Henry's company, either in the form of this CD or a gig, and you'll see that he's having the time of his life !!
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Location: Banbury, Oxfordshie United Kingdom

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