ENGLAND Restore Their Japanese Recordings

With their sole ’70s album “Garden Shed” and the only EP “The Imperial Hotel” praised by progressive rock cognoscenti, British ensemble ENGLAND have long been considered cult heroes so, despite the fact that the band’s alumni would find fame, if not fortune, as part of other popular collectives, their fans always wanted to see them produce more music. The veterans delivered an archive collection in 1997 and even a new longplay “Box Of Circles” as late as 2017, which means part of the followers wish was granted, yet many of those didn’t realize the group got back on stage a few times, their last, one-off concert having happened in 2019 and the previous reunion taking them in 2006 not only to Baja Festival but also to the Land of the Rising Sun whence the “Live in Japan: Kikimimi” CD came soon after. The recordings taken from a single show there, though there were two, to be mixed in a rush and abridged – the situation to be remedied on August 15th, with a new release originating from the old journey.

Working on various projects, including BAND OF RAIN whose "The Sun King" featured him prominently, ENGLAND’s ivories-driving mastermind Robert Webb was never satisfied with that disc and finally got to remixing and remastering the Tokyo recordings, culled from both nights, which form an entire set of performances now on what’s titled “The Concerts In Japan”. Remarkably, among the tracks played there and then were a couple of numbers that didn’t appear in studio versions until eleven years later, the live cuts sounding significantly different. In Webb’s words, “I wrote ‘Masters Of War’ on the ‘Box of Circles’ album, but the live performance is a different rhythm altogether. Also, ‘It Couldn’t Be You’ is just my song on that album, but Al Johnson wrote an entirely new section for the live show in 2006.”

The result of it will be made available digitally, as mentioned above, on August 15th, with vinyl and CD copies, all illustrated by Ed Unitsky, to appear a bit further down the line, looking like this (meanwhile here’s one piece’s preview – and the review):

The Concerts In Japan

1. Midnight Madness
2. Paraffinalea
3. Masters Of War
4. Yellow
5. Imperial Hotel (extract)
6. Open Up
7. Lament For Alex
8. All Alone
9. Three Piece Suite
10. It Couldn’t Be You
11. Poisoned Youth
12. Nanogram

June 18, 2022

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