Life at 33 1/3: Rear-view mirror views

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Steve Gibbons Band, ‘Street Parade’ (Polydor)

*From the vaults of Carl Meyer, an original album review written in May 1980.*

Steve Gibbons continues to be helplessly nostalgic – but in his own very captivating way.  Gibbons’ rear-view mirror views have a purpose and make sense.  Whether he throws himself wide-eyed into childhood (as he does in the street marching title track) or is scraping authentic British rock traditions off the basement club walls, Gibbons knows his rock ‘n’ roll inside-out, there’s no need to rush it.  Even when he hits the curves like a runaway train, sobbing like a guy on the brink of losing it, there’s an elegant finish to it.  He knows what he’s doing.

“Street Parade” is a relatively low-key album.  The rockers are on side 2, while side 1 offers the reggae cut “The Human Race”, the blood boiling “Graffiti Man” and a couple of tracks driven by a distinct, fluid, minimalistic guitar-shuffle – J.J. Cale/Dire Straits-style.  Gibbons’ croaky voice is extremely likeable, a perfect instrument for these songs.  He is a down to earth kind of guy with a big heart, delivering stories for and about ordinary people.  Writes strong lyrics too!

*Steve Gibbons is still around and lives in Birmingham.  He has been involved in numerous charity projects over the last 20 years.  In the late 90’s he formed The Dylan Project, mixing a truckload of Dylan-songs with his own.  He has also been part of the show “Brum Rock Live” with, among others, members of The Move.  And he still has his Steve Gibbons Band up and going.  If you are in Birmingham on August 28, you’ll find him in The Roadhouse.  Don’t miss it. (Carl Meyer, June 2015)

Released: May 1980

Produced by: Steve Gibbons Band

Contents: A-To-Z/Human Race/Graffiti Man/Sonny Day and the Tropics/Blue Lagoon/I’m a Man/British Rock’n’Roll/New Romance/Abracadabra/Fair Play/Saturday Night/Midnight Moon/Street Parade

Personnel:

Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals – Trevor Burton

Drums, Vocals – Harry Rix

Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Robbie Blunt

Saxophone – Bill Paul, Nick Pentelow

Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica – Steve Gibbons