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Pete Atkin >> Music >> For what it's worth....
(Message started by: Richard Bleksley on Today at 10:54)

Title: For what it's worth....
Post by Richard Bleksley on Today at 10:54
I am aware that there is a substantial undertow of opinion among MVs that goes something like:  "Yes, the post-revival albums are all very well, and I'm grateful to have the chance to listen to new material by Pete, but I have to admit I still really prefer the old stuff.  I miss that rockier feel / those driving drums / Chris Spedding's guitar / whatever.  The new stuff is too laid back for me."

In view of this, I was interested to read Clive James' opinion on the matter on CliveJames.com, which goes:  "The double album called The Lakeside Sessions is my personal favourite among the recordings of the earlier material....  its approach is much more relaxed."

Of course, this is still just one opinion among many, even if from a rather significant quarter.

My own opinion, which has been expressed before (and probably will be again) is that you cannot expect an artist, in any field, to retrace his steps.  An artist progresses or he stagnates.

Personally, I very much like The Lakeside Sessions, though my opinion may be biased by the fact that this was the album that broke a twenty year drought in which I'd heard no Atkin music at all.  For me, it's a matter of mood.  If I want something more upbeat, I'll play one of the old albums.  If I'm feeling mellow, it'll be one of the new albums: for example, I can say from personal experience that Lakeside is a great late-night-alone-in-the-car album.

Title: Re: For what it's worth....
Post by naomi on 19.09.05 at 14:31
May I add my two-penn'th ?

As a singer of (as well as an enthusiast for) piano-accompanied (or keyboard-accompanied) song, I think that the importance of the work of Pete and Clive in developing this art-form in its English (i.e. English-language) form, for today's audiences is immense. Their stuff is extremely rewarding to sing, as well as to listen to, because it is so rich in meaning, so intelligently composed and written.

As we know, there's barely a term to define the form in which they are working, although the expression "English chanson" serves well.

There is definitely a big audience for this art-form. People want - need - the intelligent, the individual, the thoughtful, the well-crafted. There's not much of it around today !

At the ICA, after the recent gig in which I sang "An Empty Table", someone in the audience told me that he was greatly drawn to the song - but seemed happily bemused over "what it was". He was plainly fascinated to be discovering a song-form that he had not previously encountered - and I was pleased to have made a convert !

Best wishes,
Naomi Hyamson

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