Angel Air 2015
Definitive climax planned to be called “Cruel” – from Pete Haycock’s final supergroup.
One may argue if it was a good idea to launch CLIMAX BLUES into parallel existence with the current CLIMAX BLUES BAND where no original member is involved, but both bands founder Pete Haycock demonstrated a belligerent stance coming up with the pieces such as the slide-kissed “Gotta Get It Right” – an obvious reference to the old line-up’s “Couldn’t Get It Right”- and finding a kindred guitar partner in Robin George. Unfortunately, in a familiar twist of fate it became one more doomed project for the latter who’d seen his efforts with Phil Lynott and David Byron grind to a halt due to their passing, as Haycock died in October 2013, right before this album was finished.
The tragedy made naming the record “Cruel” cruel, indeed – even though a rocking piece with the same name has a life-affirming ring to it – yet it didn’t make the tracks sad, no matter what their titles may imply. So while a soft, if taut, cover of Ray Charles’ “Lonely Avenue” hits the right spot, opener “Blue Monday” is a vivacious slice of a heartbreak which sees guitars twinned with Mel Collins’ sax who also soars on the “Gossip Is Gold” blues, thrown onto a heavy riff, as Jacquie Williams joins in the chorus of the main men’s vocal clinch.
Her soulful pipes take the duet of “Miracle” beyond the pale, whereas “Miss You So” offers an effervescent, brass-bonded swing, and “You Ain’t Got The Right” picks up the original CLIMAX baton, too. But “Bluesong” that signalled Robin and Pete’s first joint venture on the “LovePower And Peace” charity action, is present here in electric and acoustic versions, in which the licks are being swapped and Haycock’s voice shines. Quite a last will and a testament for true master for those who carry the legacy.