Fireworks

Beggars Opera - 'Nimbus: The Vertigo Years Anthology' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a8/42/27/beggars-opera-nimbus-the-vertigo-years-anthology-6-1381955877.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 16, 2013    
 
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A splendid anthology from the classically-infused progressive rock band from Glasgow.

This splendid anthology from the classically-infused progressive rock band from Glasgow that initially coalesced in 1969, includes everything from their first three releases – 'Act One', 'Waters Of Change' and 'Pathfinder' as well as two early non-album tracks, plus four from their fourth album 'Get Your Dog Off Me'. Beggars Opera have gone on to release (I think) a further eleven studio albums, most of these following the reactivation of the band by the husband and wife pairing Ricky Gardiner and Virginia Scott along with their drummer son Tom Gardiner: the most recent being last year's 'Mrs Caligari's Lighter'.

But I'm jumping ahead! This very welcome anthology documents something of a Reggie Perrin type scenario, with a band reaching their pinnacle but then losing some of their sheen as personnel changes cause a lack of creative focus. All five of the tracks on the debut album are included and show a band already very much into their creative stride, with Alan Park's signature organ sound redolent of The Nice and – especially in the epic pairing 'Raymond's Road' and 'Light Cavalry' – extensive musical quotes from classical sources including Mozart, Greig and Bach on the former, while the latter is adapted from a piece by Austrian composer Suppé. You'll recognise it!!

'Waters...' is quite different as Mellotron-player Virginia Scott turned the band into a sextet! This time all nine songs were written by the band, and focused on dual organ/mellotron keyboardery to produce wonderful symphonic landscapes. The song writing was also top drawer, and melodic rock has rarely sounded better than on tracks such as 'I've No Idea', 'Festival' and the utterly pomptastic pair of 'Time Machine' and 'Silver Peacock'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Pathfinder' still finds the band mainly on top of its game, although Virginia Scott does not feature other than on a couple of co-writing credits (Park seemingly having mastered the Mellotron!) It's perhaps their most cohesive offering even though the highlight ('Macarthur Park') is not an original composition and it also takes a further step away from the symphonic focus of the first two albums. In many ways, however, it is more progressive and the wonderful instrumental 'From Shark To Haggis' introduces bagpipes to the instrumentation used by the band!

By the time 'Get Your Dog Off Me' appeared, drummer Raymond Wilson had gone but more importantly vocalist Martin Griffiths had departed. Ex-Writing On The Wall front man Linnie Paterson was then in place, and his stylings were very different from those of Griffiths. The band's focus on this album had become rather disjointed and fuzzy as will be judged from the four tracks included here. None of these are poor, and indeed keyboardist Alan Park's arrangement of 'Classical Gas', the hit instrumental for Mason Williams in 1970 is particularly inspired.

This anthology is due testament to a band that whilst failing to achieve any sort of commercial consistency, managed to bequeath some remarkable and even inspirational music across the albums documented here.

Paul Jerome Smith

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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