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Black Bonzo - Lady of The Light

Black Bonzo - Lady of The LightBlack Bonzo, formed from the ashes of psychedelic rock band Gypsy Sons Of Magic, are a five piece from the north of Sweden.  The band's debut album was released in July 2004 on B&B Records and, as you will notice from the CD cover, is just marked 'Black Bonzo'.  So if your retailer is flummoxed  when you ask for Lady Of The Light, just mention that it is Black Bonzo's debut album.

As a person who, even now, is a 'child of the seventies' so to speak, I am prone to fits of nostalgic memories of the music I grew up with and make no apologies when I say that Black Bonzo have set these off.

Vintage sounds and equally brilliant compositions on this album beggar belief that Lady Of The Light is actually a 2004 album and not a 1972 release.  It's like a step into the glorious past with influences as diverse as Deep Purple, Queen, Kaipa, Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heep, King Crimson (1st album), very early Camel, and a vastly improved (in my opinion) Moody Blues. Fantastic Mellotron and organ.

Classic progressive rock (Brave Young Soldier, These Are Days of Sorrow, Sirens, Where The River Meets The Sea), top notch rock (New Day, Freedom) and a combination of both (Fantasy World, Leave Your Burdens, Lady Of The Light) are what this album is all about.

I'm trying desperately hard to decide if the music sounds dated.  It is dated if for no other reason than the use of vintage instruments or sounds and, as I have already stated, the album could have been released some 30 years ago.  On the other hand, the compositions are fresh and old so and so's like me know only too well that good music remains good music regardless of age (or in this instance, perceived age).  Interestingly, MTV are to use snippets of Lady Of The Light in some of their forthcoming trailers so draw your own conclusions.

This is not neo prog by any extent of the imagination.  This is music for those of us who have always like decent music and who can remember the days when rock was either serious or pop and the term progressive was in its infancy even if the music wasn't.  Long may Black Bonzo continue!

Jem Jedrzejewski

Black Bonzo

B&B Records



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