You just cannot keep a good band down. The original Pink Fairies starting gigging in 1969 and were one of the original freak/biker bands, playing for free at many festivals and gatherings. The line-up has been through multiple changes over the years, but does that matter as long as they still produce good shows and albums?
The line-up on this album has at least got two original members in it: Duncan Sanderson on sonic bass guitar and Russell Hunter on heavy drums. Alan Colquhoun has been around the Pinks for years and recorded with them on their last comeback album, 1987’s “Kill ‘Em and Eat ‘Em” and completing the double drummer combination is George Butler who appeared on the Larry Wallis solo album “Death in the Guitarafternoon” (correct spelling.) in 2001. Jaki Windmill is also a welcome addition to the band, although there have been some rumblings from the band’s fan base that a girl in the ranks is just not the done thing. Well I think she fits in perfectly. Larry Wallis and Paul Rudolph are the two people that the fans would probably most like to see back in the Pink Fairies’ fold.
The music is the by now standard Pink Fairies blooze/booze rock with thunderous drums, stabbing bass and churning guitars giving out a Bo Diddley/Chuck Berry rehash. The songs’ subjects range from anger (“Midnight Crisis”) to dealing with authorities (“Stopped at The Borders”). The Pink Fairies still protest even though the years go by.
Although this album does not at times perhaps live up to the very high standards of say “Kings of Oblivion” or “What a Bunch of Sweeties” (if you have not heard these albums then you should treat yourself), the musicianship all the way through is faultless, and was recorded in less than six weeks, the way rock & roll is supposed to be done.
The Pink Fairies have been born twice after splitting with singer Mick Farren; the first time when they fired him after a disastrous tour of America in 1969, and the second time when members of this band were backing Farren as part of The Deviants at the Borderline in London in 2013 and Mick tragically died right there on stage with his winkle picker boots on. Mick Farren’s genius will long be remembered, he was a singer, songwriter, author and journalist among his many talents.
Both times the members of the band picked themselves up and carried on under the banner of the Pink Fairies. Farren wrote three of the songs on this album: “Skeleton Army”, “When the Movies All Thru”, and the title track, all of which were destined for the next Deviants’ album. Alan Colquhoun also has included here his moving tribute to his fallen comrade Mick. Most of the other tracks are written by Colquhoun and although there are some serious songs on this album, they are all played in an upbeat manner and the final track “Deal Deal” leaves you dancing in the isles with joy. There’s some wonderful cover art on the album too! – 4 stars.
Note: Sadly since this article was written, drummer George Butler has passed away.
The Pink Fairies:
Alan Colquhoun – guitar and vocals
Jaki Windmill – percussion, keyboards and vocals
Russell Hunter – drums
George Butler – drums
Duncan Sanderson – bass guitar
The Hills are a Burnin’
Runnin’ Outa Road
When the Movies All Through
I Walk Away
You Lied To Me
Stopped at the Border
Down To The Wire
Written By Mott The Dog who can often be found looking for Pink Fairies at the bottom of the bar at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR North Pattaya.