Well, it’s been a few weeks now since the release of the Riff Raff CD, ‘Hands On’ and the feedback we’ve had has been overwhelming. Since the launch evening at ‘Shabby Road’, everybody who has played it so far seems to have enjoyed at least some, if not all, of the tracks and appear to have liked what they’ve heard.
To illustrate the point, there follows a review sent in by Brian Cope, a friend of mine from my Ealing days. Brian is very much into the blues and also records his own songs, so it was great to receive such a positive response from him. Brian e-mailed me a few days ago :
Many thanks for sending me a copy of your CD. Damn excellent it is too ! You’ve certainly raised the bar with it. And a DVD too. Is there no end to this man’s talent ! Sorry for the delay in acknowledging receipt but after any initial listen in the car I wanted to sit down and and really listen to it again without any distractions before contacting you. I’m really, really impressed with the quality of the song writing, the playing, the harmonies and the production. Top notch. It’s probably risky for someone who stopped listening to popular music in the very early seventies to attempt a critique of the album but I thought I’d give it a go and my review is attached. My apologies to you and the rest of the guys if I’ve missed the mark on any of my comments.
Best wishes, Brian.
Brian’s review is as follows : Riff Raff – Hands On (RK12)
Nothing excites me more than the arrival of a CD sized envelope and they are always eagerly opened, even when I know what will be inside. This was different. I hadn’t ordered any and I wasn’t expecting one as a competition prize. What could it be? I was soon holding in my hands a CD with strikingly impressive front cover and a simple but effective back cover. Riff Raff had arrived.
Listening to it later that day in the car I was immediately struck by the quality of the production. Clear vocals throughout and a mix that balanced the instruments to perfection made the 12 all original songs a delight to listen to. So what about the songs I hear you ask. Well there are some stunners here starting, appropriately, with track one, Perfect Crime (written by John Kempton) which could be the strongest track on the album with a great song structure, lyrics and terrific harmonies.
However the other writers can give him a run for his money with Rob Kemmenoe contributing two particularly good songs, Turn Around and Love me Too. The former is a catchy foot-tapper and the latter brings to mind the late George Harrison with both in feel and in the guitar solos. Good harmonies too.
John Kempton’s other three songs on the album all have a lovely 70’s sound to them with definite appeal for those who love the music of that decade. They are also sure to enjoy the songs by Ian Andrews especially You’ll Never Cross Me Again and Sorry For Any Delay which has a gentle country feel.
This is an impressive album in every respect. Terrific sleeve design, great music, tight arrangements, superb harmonies, first class production – in fact simple a quality product. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if the next professionally produced CD to arrive on my doormat gives me as much satisfaction as this one. Perhaps what is most striking about this album is the fact that the nearest it got to a professional studio and engineer is its recording location, Shabby Road (get it?) which provides a clue to Riff Raff ‘s influences. Get hold of a copy, get the flares and kipper ties out of the loft and sit back and enjoy.
… So there we have it – another satisfied customer ! Many thanks to Brian for taking the time to write and send his review with these kind comments.
So make sure you don’t miss out. If you would like a copy of ‘Hands On’, or even just to sample the tracks, see the previous item ” Get Your Hands On ‘Hands On’ ” ( scroll down ) or go to the Riff Raff page. Go on, treat yourself and / or your friends to a Jubilee present and play it at your street party ! And then when the Olympics are on, you can play it again, either in the car in the Olympic traffic or when you’re sick of all the Olypnpic talk on the telly, you can turn off the ‘goggle-box’ and give your ears a treat by re-living the many varied delights of ‘Hands On’ by Riff Raff.