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TRACK LIST

  1. King Of Your Heart
  2. Slowdown
  3. Working For The Goodtimes
  4. Out Of The Blue
  5. Sexual Chemistry
  6. Hand Of Fate
  7. Kettle Drum Blues
  8. Ready For Me Now
  9. Away Too Long
  10. Words Are Not Enough
  11. The Refugee

MUSICIANS

Paul Roberts - Acoustic Guitar & Vocals
Robin Langridge - keyboards
Dean Klevatt - keyboards
Clem Clempson - guitars
Tim Renwick - guitars
Morris Michael - guitars
Alan Lane - skank guitar
Ricky Stevens - drums & percussion
Jodi Linscott - percussion
Ian Maidman - bass
Andy Pask - bass
Spy - bass
Pat Crumly - flute, tenor & alto sax
Stevie Lange - backing vocals
Noel McCalla - backing vocals

PRODUCED: Paul Roberts & Phill Brown
ENGINEERED: Phill Brown & Brad Davis

1987

Classy second LP from an ex-Sniff & The Tears. Absolutely polished performances of self-penned numbers, with all the emotion intact despite the sheer craftsmanship, funky despite its whiteness.
— HI-FI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW, Feb 1988

Listen

 

The story

For "Kettle Drum Blues", released two years later in 1987, I was keen to work with an engineer called Phill Brown, suggested to me by Chris Wyles, a drummer I was using on some of the new songs I was demoing. This guy had worked on so many albums I considered classics, from The Rolling Stones and Bob Marley to Harry Neilson, I had to try him. Phill, like a lot of engineers of his calibre, wanted to co- produce; fine by me. As with "City" the album was an absolute joy to record, using many of the same musicians, Phill introducing Simon Edwards, Tim Renwick and Jodi Linscott to the equation, there was a wonderful creative flow, many of the musicians coming to the studio to hang out and enjoy what was going on.

Ian Maidman took over most of the bass duties and Morris Michael played some terrific rhythm guitar. I found out later he was also a singer, I wish I'd known then. These two I'd found through Luigi who had not lost his ear for good musicians. I got in Stevie Langer to team up with Noel McCalla for backing vocals and decided to put the backing vocals down with the lead vocals at the basic rhythm track stage. This way I felt that instrumental overdubs would be sympathetic to all the vocals rather than compensating for their absence. I must also mention the reliably marvellous Pat Crumly on Sax and Flute. For the reggae flavoured 'Away Too Long' Richie Stevens (who had been Dennis Bovell's house drummer for a while) thought we needed some more authentic playing on the track, so we got in Alan Lane to play the scank guitar and Spy to play the all important bass.

The song that got Phill most excited was "The Refugee" and we went to town on turning it into something special enough to reflect the theme. People hanging out in the studio certainly seemed to find it pretty moving and even now when I see news footage of the latest "crisis" I can't help thinking someone should be playing it. Sonet wanted to release it as a single but Rod Buckle, the MD for the English branch of the company wanted to procure the services of one particular in-demand record plugger who had shown an interest; unfortunately he never did seem to find the time in his busy schedule to include it, so the idea lost momentum and that was that. It is on these little things that success or failure of a project hinge; that's showbiz. Highlights for me on the album include Tim Renwick's guitar solos on 'Ready For Me Now' and 'Sexual Chemistry' and Clem Clempson's sublime slide playing on the title track 'Kettle Drum Blues'.

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts. Photo: serge krouglikoff

Paul Roberts. Photo: serge krouglikoff

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Slowdown - Paul Roberts solo compilation

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'Kettle Drum Blues' is no longer available but many of the tracks can be found on 'Slowdown', a compilation of Paul's solo albums 'City Without Walls' 1985 and 'Kettle Drum Blues' 1987. Comprising fifteen tracks, four remixed, one alternate mix and re-mastered, this selection gives you a good idea of the music Paul was making in the mid to late eighties.