Posted 20 hours ago

Door One

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David Longdon – Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Mandolin, Keyboard Programming, Piano, Stylophone, Percussion. The jazz tones are supported by a fantastic saxophone solo by Theo Travis before everything shifts, around the halfway mark, into a different piano-led groove which brings a more optimistic tone: “You don’t have to let the fear of letting go keep you from embracing change”. Starting with the sounds of nature, which lead to some quite dark and ominous music and the sound of footsteps – it conjures in my mind a Twin Peaks soundtrack type atmosphere.

Perhaps surprisingly for an album made by someone known mainly as a Lead Singer, the album opens with an atmospheric instrumental – and that’s absolutely as it should be; because David’s talents were much broader than that of a frontman. This one has a funky edge, powered along by electric piano, with some clavinet and Travis’s sax joining towards the end of the track.Recorded with 4 core musicians: Jeremy Stacey (King Crimson, Eric Clapton, Noel Gallagher, Sheryl Crow, The Finn Brothers),Theo Travis (Steven Wilson, Soft Machine, Gong),Steve Vantsis (Fish),Gary Bromham (Bjork, Sheryl Crow, George Michael). I was excited to discover a band I hadn’t heard of before who had an unique perspective on rock music, merging elements of prog and folk together and bound together by David’s Gabrielesque vocals. I subsequently had to take on a wider role with David’s passing, but Patrick Phillips and I were definitely on the same wavelength when it came to manifesting some of this at the mixing stage, with these goals in mind. The CF was then finished and mastered by some exceptional musicians and studio technicians as a tribute to this irreplaceable musical force.

Door One was recorded with a core of four musicians: drummer Jeremy Stacey (King Crimson, Noel Gallagher, Sheryl Crow, The Finn Brothers), bassist Steve Vantsis (best known for his work with Fish), saxophonist Theo Travis (Steven Wilson, Soft Machine, Gong) and David’s longstanding friend and former 1990s Gifthorse band mate Gary Bromham (Bjork, Sheryl Crow, George Michael) who contributed guitar, backing vocals, keyboard parts and textures. It’s a good thing to know that this album was 95% complete at the time of David’s passing and so what we are hearing is pretty much his complete vision for this set of songs.

It’s a reflection on the quality experience of singing to an audience, no doubt drawn from David’s experience of doing just that: “I hit the stage as they strike up the band, the audience moves to the beat. Door One, David Longdon’s posthumous solo album, is out now on CD and white and black vinyl editions. Watch It Burn is rather upbeat and urgent with an almost indie sound to it, all jangly guitar lines which lead into a memorable chorus.

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