Thursday, 1 July 2010

Colin - that's not a very good name for a rock star, is it?

Have you forgotten Colin Blunstone?

In 1970, I was just getting interested in music after my brother bought "Full House" by Fairport Convention (my copy has three out of four signatures of the members by now).

My cousin is ten years older than me and he was obviously interested in quality music. I used to go up to his house and borrow things to play on our Dansette.

The two records that made the biggest impact were "Court of the Crimson King" and "One Year" by Colin Blunstone. I used to put them on while playing Subbuteo with my friends. Play them over and over again.

Years later I got my own copy of "One Year" in Beanos in Croydon for 20p (no sleeve). It was hard to come by on CD for many years but it came through eventually. Those string arrangements by Chris Gunning! That evocation of young love! Smokey Day!

I somehow missed seeing Colin Blunstone for nearly all of his later career but about three years ago I was free on the night he played Beaufort ballroom with the Zombies. I was surprised by the power of what had always seemed such a fragile voice. And the string of hits! Too many exclamation marks.

"Say you don't mind"
"Misty Roses" etc.

Keith Airey on guitar! Rod Argent on keyboards! "Old and Wise"! I'm incoherent . . .

We took Catherine Handley our classical flautist friend with us. We were all so impressed we went up to Stratford the following night to hear them again.

Colin showcased his new album about a year later with a show in the Globe, Albany Road in Cardiff. "Any other way!" "The Ghost of you and me!"

If there's a better British male singer even now I'd be surprised.

Colin's a great name for a rock singer.

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