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  CLAYTOWN TROUPE: SONGS OF THE SWAN
Judith Fisher
judith fisher

7th February 2011


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chris dale

Revenge
Strange Feeling
Giving In
Middle of Night
Gone Tomorrow
Something Waits for Me
Day in the Life
Why Sit At Home
Samaritans Say
Guilt
Déjà vu

Through the late '80s and early '90s, the Claytown Troupe was renowned for being one of the leading 'Indie Rock' bands.

From the release of their much lauded 'Through The Veil' and 'Out There' albums, their fierce headline shows and support slots to The Cult and Pearl Jam continued to drive them forward, gaining them a hard core and seriously solid fan base which even after nearly two decades still runs strong.

Following a recent support slot to The Mission, the continued interest in the band has led to the imminent release of these previously unheard tracks recorded live in the studio in late '92.

Featuring frontman and vocalist Christian Riou, guitarist Ben Bennett, bassist Paul Waterson and drummer Andrew Holte, these tracks bring a much harder, leaner, biting side of the band to the fore, although sadly without the imaginative keyboards and wrtitng skill of Rick Williams, who after seven years left the band, just before the songs were recorded.

We can hear a darker, more venomous lyrical content from Christian, with an open anger spewing forth over a melee of songs stripped down to the bare knuckles and driven by huge guitar riffs and pounding bass lines.

Mixing full on Rock 'n' Roll and Indie infusions with their own inimitable style, essentially this is the sound of a great band that should have become greater, imploding.

They kick off with:

Revenge - an up tempo, drum driven track that's a real grower, then dive into the sliding melancholy of:

Strange Feeling - a haunting number with wisps reminiscent of The Doors thrown into the mix:

Giving In - kicks up its heels with a barrage of guitars and drums whilst:

Middle Of Night - shows its more indie face, irresistible toe tapping grooves whisking it along:

Gone Tomorrow - is an angst riddled tune offering up a much darker sound that has vocalist Christian Riou spitting cajole and vitriol in equal quantities, searing over pounding drums and a pulsating bass line:

Something Waits For Me - is a huge pulsating number, slowing things down with pleading guitars and screaming vocals, an unsettling, raw and edgy sound formed well before the days Bush used it to such effect:

Day in the Life - kicks the tempo up again into punky indie territory.

Why Sit At Home - keeps the indie beat going with a fun, feisty little number forging its way comfortably through ground between 'Wild Thing' and the Wonderstuff!

Samaritans Say and Guilt - swing back into much harder rock ground.

But the final track:

Déjà Vue - was the last track written by the great partnership of both Christian Riou and Rick Williams who together created the ground breaking 'Through The Veil' album, and is a wonderful throwback to those earlier days.

A bastard child of Claytown Troupe heart, Warrior Soul vocals and Cultesque guitars, throwing up soaring melodies with lively beats into the air as we raise our arms up and sing like we used to, an uplifting indie cracker and the Claytown Troupe at their finest.

The Claytown Troupe was a band that finished before their time, their crown picked up too easily by 'Bush', but these songs are a rare glimpse into what could have been a fresh start for them in 1993.

To be released in March on Bristol Archive Records, www.bristolarchiverecords.com


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