Sharp Practise - Now You See Us
Since 1999 this Nigel Clothier fronted quartet has been delivering thoughtful, coasting rock with heart, sincerity and pride. In order to mark their longevity in the music industry they capture their friendly, searching live sound into a bounding 12 twelve track live album. And, what better way to open up proceedings than with the mild blues echo and harrowing string led, ‘Bridge Across the Harbour'? It is taken from their understated ‘RadioCity' album of 2005. Clothier slides his vocals out, as he tells of spiritual redemption flitting between a gruelling edge and a sense of relief.
Recent number, ‘I'm Gone', whilst continuing their sultry vein shows that Sharp Practise are not just flighty rockers. Here they project a buzzing, fuzzed up bass element and twining guitars rub against Clothier's lightweight and nimble vocal projection. Benchmark offering ‘Eve Got Adam', is a reminder of their brooding tendencies and again allows the bass to take over. Already, these genuine musos begin to create an accessible and thoughtful atmosphere. ‘Season Of The Rose', is a trickling acoustic led, gospel folk touching effort that shows up the calming touch and inner delving of this quartet.
As the album builds, the entire band begins to show their worth and, in ‘Hammerhand' it is the turn of percussionist Michael Elwood to demonstrate some hollow jungle inspired rhythm rousing, adding a bit of spice to the live sound. Spindling acoustic ballad, ‘No Thanks' speaks of the regret at the end of a relationship and Clothier, at times, does a stirring James Taylor impersonation. ‘How Katie Feels' is swooning, low-key British rock that has ample heart, feeling and a compelling narrative. Sharp Practise, with this exposure of their live pull, has managed to underline their status as a versatile and genuine act.
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