Here is some feedback we've received since our new CD "..falling.." was released:
"Some fresh tingly blues out of Her Majesty's royal mail from:
SO LONG ANGEL - female fronted London band that brings subtle, sensitive, original blues" - UK Bob
on the web too...
hit the WRFG link at
ATLANTA GEORGIA , USA
British band, founded in 1996 carrying the somewhat surprising name So Long
Angel is musically situated in the world of folk rock, blues, rock and jazz.
A varied repertoire which might yield some surprises. Bass player Fran McGillivray
has an appealing, sultry voice. She co-wrote all songs for this album with
singer/guitar player Mike Burke and singer/keyboard player Roland Kemp. So,
no covers, all their own stuff, I can appreciate that.
Falling opens with the rock bluesy 'Cell Phone Blues' based on a tight rhythm section. 'Rhythm & Blues' is a lovely reggae-ish tune with surprising soloing by sax player Michael Paice. The transparent 'Ecstasy' makes you think of the swamp sound of Tony Joe White while 'Closer To Midnight' lays down a fine jazzy groove with some avant-garde. 'Love Is Freedom' is completely different, fine harmonica on a jungle beat à la Bo Diddley, one of the few whipped up songs of the album. S.L.A. have no problem with operating in varied musical fields. The musicians are all very competent.
The fact all songs are their own especially deserves merit."
Reviewed by: Bobtje in Belgium: www.bobtjeblues.com
UK – SO LONG ANGEL: ' . . falling . . '
ALTAR ALT 0102.
"Opening with a track featuring a lyric contributed by promoter George McFall, this album finds So Long Angel exploring their own brand of late-night albeit forceful blues music. ‘Cell Phone Blues’ is the number and singer Fran McGillivray sounds angry yet the next cut ‘Rhythm & Blues’ has a loping semi-reggae beat with apposite guitar stabs and the ever-present warm Hammond sound that so colours this set and she is in pure jazz mode.
Fran also plays steady-fingered unshowy bass whilst guitar man Mike Burke has a subtle unhurried approach occasionally unleashing fiery solos; sax and harp player Michael Paice is a real asset. Roger Nunn drums like a man who listens a la Sam Kelly, just right for this crew. Keyboards are by Roland Kemp and very good he is too.
‘Love Is Freedom’ mixes in Bo Diddley touches and almost all the songs have well-considered touches which make the overall sound sophisticated but still pointed – in fact that phrase describes the whole record.
As a live act I am sure on this evidence they
would entertain a far wider range of punters than the diehard
Blues crowd – having played ‘Ecstasy’ on my radio show the
seemed to be across the listenership and this song does show
their balance of soul and chops pretty well. Lovely guitar solo on this one, too.
Ten original songs that really grow on you – it’s more a case of Hello, Angel for this reviewer…"
Pete Sargeant - BLUES MATTERS
Hi to the band, I just read the reviews in 'Blues In Britain' and want to say
how much I agree with the reviewer, the 'falling' CD sounds fantastic and though
I was not present at the reviewed gig, I have seen and massively enjoyed live
performances at 'Scratchers'.
It is good to see the band with a 'magazine' profile.
Number 1 in the July playlist
With their new album “Falling”, So Long Angel have brought the full range of their musical experience to bear on an album that sparkles with superb songs, great playing and first class production values.
A smouldering mix of subtle blues, and r&b tinged with jazz might not grab the casual listener as cutting edge material. But from the powerful undulating funk and meaningful mixed metaphors of the opening “Who Were You Calling”, and the reggae back beat of the magnificent “Rhythm & Blues”, So Long Angel set a standard that few of their recorded contemporary peers can match
“Falling” is an album that features a delicate but thoroughly assertive vocal performance by bassist Fran McGillivray, while band members take it in turn to impress with cool solos and sophisticated arrangements. Saxman Mike Paice for example leads from the front on the late night sophistication of “Ecstasy”, a number beefed up with layered synth accompaniment from Roland Kemp.
The crisp tick-tock percussive pattern of drummer Roger Nunn underpins another impressive Michael Burke/Fran McGillivray composition, the funky “Hard Working Woman” .
Rarely can an independent blues record have been as well thought out and produced as this. And given the peerless playing and inspirational groove, the band impress throughout whether on their jazzier output such as “Closer To Midnight” or the closing Tony Joe White influenced swamp blues of “Go”, which finishes in a lovely flurry of Michael Burke’s guitar dynamics.
This album is one of the delights of the year. Let nothing stand in your way
to purchasing it!
PETE FEENSTRA - feenstra.co.uk
All the tracks on this CD are original, and while in some bands this might be deemed a weakness, in SLA it is not. There are various musical influences - a sprig of reggae, a twig of jazz, a thimbleful of Bo but, the undercurrent is always the blues. Singer and bassist, Fran McGillivray, has a honey-like voice with the gift of timing that people who write their own songs naturally possess. She is accompanied by an ensemble of capable, seasoned musicians.
The theme of the first track "Cell Phone Blues" is a nicely crafted, mid-tempo number about a woman being two-timed the modern way. "Love Is Freedom" begins with and ends with, some visceral harp playing from Mike Paice, who, believe it or not, does not use a 'Chicago' mic to create his own concept of the Paul Butterfield sound - impressive. He also plays alto and tenor on this album really well too. "Whiskey Talking" (Haven't we all been there and done that?) is a low-down, moody blues with instrumentation that is sympathetic to the lyrics.
There are a lot of good tracks on this CD but, the one that really stands out for me is: "I Want To Make Love". It is a slow and moving blues song that has some exquisite key changes in it. Norah Jones would love it.
What I admire about So Long Angel is that the band adopts the holistic approach to their songs. There are no onanistic guitar solos from Mike Burke, no slashing on the kit from Roger Nunn, no saxophonic posturing from Mike Paice or superfluous trilling and thumping from keyboarder Roland Kemp. Of course, you hear good improvisation but, it never gets out of control.
Rating: 8 - Brian Cushion
Fran gave me copy of the CD and I'm really enjoying it!
It's great to hear a band that plays for each other - Great songs too!
I hope to get down to see you at The National Theatre on the 14th.
Hi Roland, CD is excellent.
See you on 14th July, lucky as I am going to the National to see a play on that day.
Love the CD. Played it many times whilst on hols.
Listen to digital blues for the best in blues and real R'n'B with me, Ashwyn Smyth, every Monday & Wednesday between 8 & 10 p.m. only on Phoenixfm.com, Internet radio for Brentwood, Billericay and the World, at phoenixfm.com
I'm sitting here with a glass of Merlot listening to the CD ( . . falling . . ) I bought from you on Tuesday.
I bought it because I like to support people I know and because it will be a memory when I'm in the rest home. I've got a number of tapes & CD's bought for this reason, however this is the first one that I will really want to play again!
It's good stuff and I intend to turn up on July 14th at the National (I even looked at your website).
(I'm the bloke who attempts to play bass now and again! See you on 26th)
Footnote from Roland : Let it be known that Bernie is a fine young bass player.
This is an excellent album. What struck me was that it combines a very high level of technical expertise with emotional impact.
There was an effortless flow to the tracks that really communicated to the listener while being of very high quality in the composition, sound balance and recording.
Well done guys, carry on creating!
Mark Gardner, ARC Music Int.
Thanks for the copy of the So Long Angel album, which arrived unexpectedly
the other day.
I'm just listening to it while I try to clear the chaos and confusion of paperwork that built up while I was finishing my next one, which is now in the can.
' . . falling . . ' sounds great and I really enjoyed tracks 3, 9, & 10.
Thank you for the copy of "Falling" and congratulations on a fabulous
album ten great tracks in particular "I Want To Make Love" and "Go"
my faves on initial listening also love the re named "Cell Phone Blues".
When are you going to play the Stormy Monday Club?