Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Life would be intolerable without the huge abundance of many fantastic bands and artists that live and breathe their daily toil of observation and celebration of life in all its shapes and often mishaps; life would certainly be more boring, less examined, surely unendurable without the Seekers Of Solace and the wonderful tale told, Southbound Attic Band’s Barry Jones and Ronnie Clark.
To come across this marvellous duo anywhere on the road is like finding your dreams answered with a willing smile, a sentinel with a salute and the guide to life’s more discerning characters thrown in; hearing them as bold as brass and more beautiful than the appearance of a rainbow at dawn as they sing down your ears from a C.D, that is another matter entirely.
For the Seekers Of Solace, to hear them with the sense of gravitas, of humour, of the study of upbeat and the positive is to feel as if you had wandered into another time, a period in which the flowering poetry scene inhabited by Adrian Henri, Brian Patten and Roger McGough was the revolution that hung gracefully in the air, a time in which the lyrics of Barry Jones certainly fit and complement.
The album can be seen as a fitting tribute, not only to Liverpool, but to the late Stanley Ambrose whose name might not mean much to those outside of the confines of the Liverpool ear but to whom should nevertheless be respected as being one of the truly decent men to whom the Liverpool music was everything, who gave his time without argument and with the passion that artists and musicians fully deserve. It is in the sad loss of the man, highlighted in the powerful track Song For Stan, that many should hope that their town, their city, could have such a person dedicating their lives to the art.
Seekers Of Solace doesn’t deviate from a winning formula, in that alone the smiles of appreciation are even greater, Ronnie Clark’s backing is buoyant and craftily cool, whilst Barry Jones playfully sings down your ears and leaves nothing but a happy trail of fortune whispering in your mind.
In songs such as Old Fools, the remarkable tale of forgotten memories in The Fair, Molly’s Song, the fantastic and heart warming Rime of The Open Micer and the short cautionary tale of realisation in The Man on The Train, the Southbound Attic Band have once more given the city and beyond the greatest gift of all, the ability to smile and laugh whilst playing incredibly gorgeous music; a combination so rare that it makes you love them even more.
Ian D. Hall