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Tonight: Drummer Man

Formed in 1976 when punk and new wave were just around the corner, British power pop band Tonight quickly built a loyal following playing the pub circuit, and when they signed on the dotted line with the independent label Target Records in the summer of '77 the future of the band was looking bright. However, this quintet were the living, breathing proof that even once you managed to snag that ever elusive record deal, it didn't necessarily mean you'd actually get to make a record, which is exactly what happened here. Not even a spot on the popular show Top of The Pops could make up for the fact that after recording a couple of singles in advance of their first album, things began to go tits up due to a souring relationship between the bands management and the label. The stress of their advance money running out and being in contractual limbo proved to be too much and by the beginning of 1979 the band was all but finished.

All I can say is that after listening to these twelve hook laden, anthems that were recorded between 1977 and 1978, I wish more albums these days burned with as much piss and vinegar as what's found on their debut effort Drummer Man, which thankfully has just been rescued from the mists of obscurity by Angel Air Records.

Led by vocalist Chris Turner, the dual driving guitar work from Phil Chambon and Dave Cook, along with bassist Russ Strothard and drummer Gary Thompson, the band does a fine job straddling the line between the acerbic nature of punk and the catchy melodies and hooks of pop. When you hear the straight ahead no nonsense attitude displayed on the infectious top 20 single "Drummer Man", "Check Out Girl", the live version of "Spilling My Drink" and the obvious Beatles inspired melody running through "Hold On Me (TV)", it's easy to picture Tonight holding their own with the likes of The Jam and their other contemporaries of the day.

Although it's a tad short at just a shade over thirty minutes, Drummer Man is a fun and ultimately entertaining ride from beginning to end. It's a perfect album to crank up while you crack open a few cold ones and revel in these high octane songs that have been simmering in the archives for over thirty years. You know what they say, better late than never.

Track Listing
1) Drummer Man
2) Hold On Me (TV)
3) Stroll On By
4) Money (That's Your Problem)
5) Check Out Girl
6) City Shit
7) Spotlight Lookalike
8) Spilling My Drink (Live)
9) No Sympathy
10) Don't Walk Alone
11) Juumpdown Turnaround
12) I Can Play Faster Than You Can

Added: October 12th 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Score:
Related Link: Angel Air
Hits: 1644
Language: english

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