Monday, 16 April 2018


GARDENING CLUB (The) - The Riddle
/ published on 12-04-2018 /
Where we talk again about Martin Springett and his project The Gardening Club , which is resurfacing these days on the occasion of the release of "The Riddle" , latest production of Canadian musician draftsman. We made the acquaintance - late - of The Gardening Club on the occasion of the reissue of The Gardening Club " , first album of the same name of 1983 and true treasure forgotten of the Eighties, for the amateurs of progressive rock of very high holding. And here is Martin Springett reactivates his project with a brand new album that will prove once again to be a real pleasure for the ears and the soul.

The making of this album is a delicate alchemy that brought together a number of people who met at specific times and places, as if fate had wanted to cause the conditions of a miracle, so as to create on this Earth a new manifestation of beauty. In modern times, beauty is not really popular and you should not miss an opportunity to enjoy it when it comes to you. 

In this case, the conditions that led to "The Riddle" brought Martin Springett and Norm McPherson together, through Terry Findley, a music lover already friends with Springett and who fell by chance on his friend McPherson, lost for nearly forty years, during a concert given in a small club. Norm McPherson, an exceptional guitarist, was seen by Findley as one of the few people able to decipher the complex and incredibly imaginative musical universe of Martin Springett. In addition, McPherson owns a personal studio, which makes it possible not to count the hours of recording and to avoid paying huge bills. And even more, McPherson is the father of a young James McPherson who is a little prodigy of rhythm programming and keyboard. 

Just find an off-the-wall bassist (which is done with theSean Drabbit ) and an inspired saxophonist ( Wayne Kozak ) and we have all the ingredients of what will make a great album. Martin Springett composes a complex, fresh and lunar music, transcribed on partition by Norm McPherson. A young poet by the name of Cyril McColgan provides the texts (sung by Springett) and Norm McPherson plays the wizards of the mixer in his studio, during recording sessions that are not tight by a demanding timing, a guarantee of calm and peace of mind for the creators. And, best of all, Martin Springett also draws sumptuous, magical illustrations that adorn the CD booklet admirably.

It does not take more - but it's already a lot - to end up with 45 minutes of progressive rock lined with a reassuring poetic silk, and embellished with melodies carefully unrolled in a series of fifteen rather short pieces (two to four minutes) but in close interaction with each other. The production subtly doses the sharing of the sound space between the vocals, the guitar, the bass and the drums (entirely artificial but it does not mean at all). The atmosphere is calm and soft, cradling our ears with a delicate and felted song and the whole thing lets itself be listened to with a reassured and soothing spirit. 

The album "The riddle"("The Enigma") does not benefit from gigantic distribution currents on a global scale but it is worth to be found. In case of difficulties, we can always turn to Martin Springett's website, which includes a link to his Facebook page. And look at his drawings, it's beautiful.
François Becquart
The Gardening Club
CD - £9.99

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