Reviews – July 2005

‘Soho Lounge Heat (Vol 2)’ (EMI)

Firstly, I really must thank the wonderful Ann Dawson at Boosey Media for sending me a copy of this disc, and its great to see that yet again Boosey are one of the few large media houses who are open to the suggestions of record collecting geeks wishing to see and hear the delights of ancient back-catalogue material out there on the streets again for punters to buy. More power ’em! Yes, Dickie Klenchblaize returns with the long awaited second volume of extracts from the archives of Boosey & Hawkes, plus also the related Cavendish Music and unrelated Amphonic catalogues this time too. I was a big fan of the first volume of this series, mainly because it saved you the effort of spending huge amounts of dosh on a certain Denis Farnon LP that most of the cuts were creamed from. Perhaps the only criticism you can have is that again, the pick is made from a mere three LP’s – damn good ‘uns, right enough, but perhaps a bit more variety would have been interesting. Anyway, it’s fair to say that much time and effort, not to mention love and affection has been heaped into this project, not least in convincing the behemoth EMI to release this second volume. The re-mastering work is exemplary of course, but as far as I can make out there is no vinyl issue to be had this time around – a crying shame. That’s two criticisms now, and that’s more than enough, as the actual tunes themselves are super-rare to obtain and utterly wonderful, with contrast between the more expansive material from the Syd Dale Amphonic LP and the punchier, gutsy riffing of the Cavendish platter, chiefly featuring compositions from our old friend Ray Davies, along with organ-meisters Steve Gray and Alan Hawkshaw. There’s an almost effortless flow of grooviness to be found as the disc progresses over its twenty five tracks, and by the time you reach the end (just after the appearance of the mighty ‘Leagueliner’), the excellence of the first cut has been matched by so many others, its easy just to pop the thing back on right from the beginning and enjoy it all over again – and that’s not something you can often do with compilations that are so often hit and miss – no track skipping or bonus beats, just good, honest listening pleasure, and that is to be warmly applauded, as is the sheer commitment to the cause of our Mr. Klenchblaize, whoever he might be. Highly recommended, but alas, why no vinyl??