STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 120036-18586 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Ian Hayter
Each episode of Peter Kay's "Phoenix Nights" ends with a hopeful cabaret performer auditioning unsuccessfully for a slot at the Phoenix Social Club. Listening to this CD you can easily imagine Gordon Clarke taking his place amongst the hopefuls. The elderly crooner has taken nine standards from the cabaret repertoire ("Misty", "A Certain Smile", "Twelfth Of Never", etc.) and sings them accompanied by John Bateman on guitars and Carl Jolliffe on keyboards. To be fair, John and Carl do a good job, with some very nice touches on guitar and a very jazzy keyboard sound. But they are gamely battling to inject some interest into the proceedings as the monotonous drumbeat thuds along in the background and Mr Clarke does his best with the vocals - wobbling in and out of key and displaying some very bizarre phrasing at times. There are one or two problems with timing and a very ill-advised unaccompanied section at the end of "1st Of May", all of which mean that this CD gets a resounding thumbs down. Maybe it could be used as a warning to all those well-intentioned people who, rather than speak the truth, assure their friends that they do have what it takes to cut an album when very clearly they haven't. The three squares are for John and Carl.
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