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Gaia - Soulwind

Gaia - SoulwindFrom the Barnsley area of England, Gaia opened Rotherham Rocks Festival 2005 and, after hearing them live, a CD purchase seemed ideal. The band consists of Dave Hancock (acoustic guitar, lead vocals) Iain West (bass, backing vocals) John Rose (electric guitar, backing vocals) and Steve Booth (drums). This quartet are performing a few shows around the country and are well worth a visit, but the CD is a worthwhile listen, and features some fine mellow tunes.

The CD clocks in a dash over fifty six minutes, contains eleven tracks, and all relate to the eighties, the miners strike, Thatcher, etc, you get the picture. I must admit, there is a lot of feeling in Dave Hancock's vocals, one of the best emotional voices I've heard in a long time, and it's if every song tells a story and how life was back then.

Opening track Southern Comfort has the 'got no job and no fags because I'm broke' sort of situation, but this song has a strong message not only in the lyrics, but in the guitar playing from John Rose. Lots of reverb and a little distortion make this one of the strongest tracks on the album. Third track True Love has a nice dreamy feel to it, again Dave's voice is very emotional and the lyrics are just exact, and it should make a good single too.

Influence wise, I can pick out sixties feelings from the Beatles Help period and a splash from The Yardbirds. Add a touch of Neil Young, and Atom Heart Mother/Meddle period Floyd, a little Radiohead, Porcupine Tree and Pineapple Thief. There is a suggestion in the electric guitar of Dave Gilmour in John's playing on most of the tracks too, but I can't help thinking that this should be a big label release. So if EMI are reading this, sign this lot!

Highlight for me is track six, Sorry It Turned Out You which has a strong psychedelic approach, which has a nice harmony all round, and with songs like this, they must have a solid future ahead.

There is no poor song at all on the album, it just flows through moods and feelings, and with this their first effort, I hope the next one turns out in a similar vein.

Danny Mayo




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