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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Friday, 2 February 2018

BELGIAN GARDENING CLUB REVIEW


GARDENING CLUB - The Gardening Club
published on 20-01-2018 /
Behind this name hides Martin Springett , and it is under his name that was originally released this first album of his own in 1983. But as the reissue of Gonzo Multimedia presents this album directly under the name of Gardening Club , let us accept this state of affairs by not forgetting however that this disc is Martin Springett's exclusive design (from writing to illustrations).

So, who is this character? Born in 1947 in Kent, Martin Springett will emigrate to Canada where he will spend most of his career. His main activity is in illustration. Martin Springett is a talented draftsman who will be writing album covers such as those of Silver or Heads In The Sky, a Canadian progressive band that operated in the 1980s. 

The connection between Martin Springett and Heads In The Sky is important for more than one reason since Springett will eventually use the services of some musicians from this group to develop the texture of his first album. That's where Martin Springett the illustrator becomes Martin Springett the musician, by designing this first album "The Gardening Club", a gem of classic progressive rock unfortunately arrived too late to be recognized and admired. 

As we are in 1983 when "The Gardening Club" comes out and 1983 is the heart of a period where progressive rock has been completely forgotten. New wave, heavy metal, rap and funky compete for the lion's share of the rock cake but the progueux are reduced to begging for some crumbs while remembering with nostalgia the time when Yes, Genesis, Barclay James Harvest or King Crimson reigned supreme over 70s rock.

It is with a musical spirit inherited from Yes, Genesis or Barclay James Harvest that Martin Springett leaves alone to attack the ghostly mills of prog rock. Yet he has beautiful arguments in his haversack with these delicate and refined compositions. And visually, Martin Springett amazes his world with cover artwork and album interior that are sumptuous. Each page of the Gonzo Multimedia CD booklet is a feast for eyeballs. 

On the musical level, Martin Springett has composed some fifteen songs, assisted by a battery of skilled instrumentalists. Originally, twelve titles make up "The Gardening Club"when it was released in 1983. Here we have four bonus tracks, most of which bring together Martin Springett and the aforementioned Heads In The Sky musicians ( Ken Miskov on bass, John Cheesman and Gerry Fielding on drums). The main body of the album is therefore classic progressive rock, not surprising in the genre but very well done, with subtle compositions ( "Mole hole blues" , "Three days at Brighton" , "Nirvana is not" ) and great moments of emotion ( "Andromeda" , "The stone that speaks" ). The clarity of sound and singing,

Here is an opportunity to discover later this beautiful album, which comes out at a time when the prog is back in grace and where he can now benefit from the general appeasement of tensions between musical genres. Nowadays, we listen again to everything on various supports and in multiple parishes and underground. Fans of progressive rock will find here a little forgotten classic that only needs to grow in the circuit of mythical records. It is indeed the only disc of Martin Springett that left traces in the history. It is attributed other subsequent albums but the information on these discs are very incomplete.
François Becquart
Country: CA 


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO

The Gardening Club
CD - £9.99

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