When COLOSSEUM had released “Time On Our Side” back in 2014, many a fan saw the record’s title a sad-smile hint at its being possibly the veterans’ last offer, and it surely looked like that after the ensemble’s leader Jon Hiseman‘s untimely passing in 2018. With other founder members out of the picture as well – Dick Heckstall-Smith having died earlier and Dave Greenslade retiring a few years ago to deliver a new collaboration now, and Jon’s widow Barbara Thompson unable to commit to touring anymore – the future of the group seemed to be in limbo, but Clem Clempson and Mark Clarke, probably ignited by the success of JCM, their cover-oriented trio with Hiseman, were apparently raring to air fresh ideas and their mothership collective looked like the best vehicle for new songs, and, as a result, 2021 saw the line-up reconfigured. Featuring Nick Steed on keyboards and Kim Nishikawara on sax – both used to play in Norman Beaker’s combo – as well as former GENTLE GIANT drummer Malcolm Mortimore, and, of course, still fronted by Chris Farlowe, COLOSSEUM sprang to life once more, and April 22nd is the day when their seventh studio album will be released.
Appropriately titled “Restoration” and bearing on its cover the silhouette of a figure familiar to all fans from the "Live" sleeve, it’s a worthy addition to the classic collective’s discography.
Says Nick Steed: “We spent the past year writing and recording the tracks and throwing ideas to each other, so the album is strong from start to finish, with a blend of progressive rock, blues and jazz. There are ten tracks on there. Clem and Mark have written great songs: ‘Hesitation,’ ‘Tonight’ and ‘Cowboy Song’ are wonderful – and there are backing vocals from both Ana Gracey [Jon and Barbara’s daughter. – DME] and Mark’s daughter on a few tracks. I’ve written two – ‘If Only Dreams Were Like This’ and ‘Story Of The Blues’ – and co-written ‘First in line’ with Clem and Pete Brown. We’re going on tour soon, where we will be covering quite a few of the album tracks as well as the obvious favorites.”
All in all, the record looks like this:
1. First In Line
3. Need Somebody
5. The Cowboys Song
7. If Only Dreams Were Like This
8. I’ll Show You Mine
9. Home By Dawn
10. Story Of The Blues