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Pink Fairies: Naked Radio

We could debate all day the relative merits of a Pink Fairies line-up that many see as having little to do with what has come before, or whether the nineties albums under this moniker that no one here featured on, are part of the Pink Fairies canon at all – much made of this being the band's first album since 1987. Indeed, there's talk that Naked Radio started out as a Deviants album, but with the sad death of Mick Farren, who has three writing credits on this album, the focus was moved elsewhere.

This version of Pink Fairies, which has performed numerous successful live shows, comprises two members who featured on the band's 1971 debut, drummer Russell Hunter and bassist Sandy Sanderson, while incorporating second drummer and sometime vocalist George Butler, who was part of the eighties incarnation of the band. The last former member to play his part here is Andy Colquhoun (also of The Deviants), the guitarist and singer also having served his time in the eighties, but not alongside Butler… Now with Jaki Windmill adding her vocals, keyboards and percussion, the Pink Fakrkes have reverted to a five piece line-up and set about forging a new path that also pays homage to their collective proto-punk past.

Putting the politics aside, the important thing is whether Naked Radio is any good or not, something the guitar grind and psychedelic surge of "Golden Bud" immediately gives great hope for. As an album opener it does a tremendous job, the drum duo dripping in sweat as they pound out a native beat. However it's the vocal combining of Colquhoun and Windmill that really grabs the attention, the male-female vocal trade-offs and ragged harmonies a new aspect for this band and one that is very welcome indeed. Across the whole album it really is one of the most ear catching, pull you in factors. Another is the clever variety on show, the popping drive of "The Hills Are Burnin'" hurtling along with real intent and some blues guitar squeals and squawks. "Runnin' Outa Road" pulls things in a much more conventional blues rock direction and grooves mightily as it does so, while "Stopped At The Border" is a slow psychedelic shimmer. Add in the big riffed "Midnite Crises", punky "I Walk Away" and the devilishly subversive "Skeleton Army" and there's a huge amount of ground expertly covered.

The CD version of Naked Radio comes with a bonus DVD taking in some rehearsals, throw away promo videos and some quick interviews. None of which is really all that exciting. Although the 40 minute or so live set from the 100 Club in 2015 is sure to be of interest to fans old and new.

Whatever the machinations behind this album, Pink Fairies are in good health and laid bare on Naked Radio, in fine fettle. Long may it continue.

Track Listing
1. Golden Bud  
2. The Hills Are Burnin'  
3. Runnin' Outa Road  
4. When the Movie's All Thru  
5. I Walk Away  
6. You Lied to Me  
7. Midnite Crisis  
8. Stopped at the Border  
9. Spellbound  
10. Down to the Wire  
11. Skeleton Army  
12. Mick  
13. Naked Radio  
14. Deal Deal

Added: June 25th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pink Fairies online
Hits: 1581
Language: english

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