John Pickering - Terraced Row

Sunday 1st February 1998
John Pickering - Terraced Row
John Pickering - Terraced Row

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

I was four tracks into this and my review was already being written in my head, "So-so voice - a bit like Dave Bilbrough - and above average low budget production let down by a set of self-composed songs that are very dull. Chord progressions are cliched while lyrical images a mixture of working class imagery and exhortations from Scripture use obvious rhymes." Then...suddenly "The Dream" (track five) comes on and despite jolly cod-folk rhythms complete with penny whistle, which normally I could easily resist, I am blown away by a marvellously effective song about church unity - a vision of all the Christians marching arm-in-arm into Heaven - Methodist and Baptist, Brethren and house church, high church and low church and even, most controversially of all. "good old Ian Paisley, he was walking with the Pope." Captivating. Next track up is a bluesy and effecting denouncement of "War" complete with delicious Knoppler-style guitar. Unfortunately the standard of these gems is not maintained, "The Bible" has a rap (mistake) and "Monkey Sons;" a fake Jamaican accent (big mistake). The two song high spots on this. I believe John's second album, don't quite outweigh some songs which shouldn't have made it onto CD. What John needs to understand is that engineers in budget line studios like the excellent one he found (The Foundry Studios. Chesterfield) can often stand-in-the-gap if an artist goes in without a producer hut they can't carry out the essential work of pre-production, sorting through an artist's entire repertoire and assessing how many songs have that indefinable 'something' which warrant recording. More care in John's song selection could have added two or three squares to the rating here.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Albus in Chesterfield @ 09:42 on Dec 4 2007

Big Respec' to mr X but that could have been phrased better

Posted by Mr X the critic in Chessy College @ 12:01 on Nov 13 2007

How can you tank this album? is a triumph within this extremely limiting genre and i think you'll find all John's work has an "indefinable something" me and my crew are all agreed that John can't play guitar to the standard of a keith richards or a francis rossi, nor can he sing like rod stewart or robbie williams, but that doesn't stop the so-called X-factor from shining through

Posted by zerek jerek in chesterfield @ 21:52 on Jan 19 2007

hi its connor and nathan again peekaboo i see you we like ur music even tho weve not heard this album yet im sure it will be great

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