Flamborough Head -
Shreds Of Evidence - Obscure Live Tracks And Other Rarities

(CD 2017, 75:17, Oskar 1072 CD)

The tracks:
  1- Bless the Wings (Higher And Higher -
        A Tribute To The Moody Blues 2005)
  2- Year after Year (Live ProgFarm 1997-2006
        Anniversary Compilation 2006)
  3- Mantova (Live at Radio Xymphonia, Almelo,
        Holland 11-12-2005 - Cyclops Sampler 6)
  4- Rixt Fan't Oerd (Prog.nl / Progwereld 2011)(7:24)
  5- Blessing of a Smile (A Flower Full Of Stars -
        A Tribute To The Flower Kings 2011)
  6- Daughters of Night (Dante's Inferno -
        The Divine Comedy I - Canto IX 2008)
  7- By the Bank of the River (Dante's Purgatorio -
        The Divine Comedy II - Canto XXI 2009)
  8- Labyrinth of Light (Dante's Paradiso -
        The Divine Comedy III - Canto XXXI 2010)
  9- Corrugated Road (Live at ProgFarm 1998
        De Harmsdobbe Bakkeveen, Holland)
10- Limestone Rock (Reworked and extended version)
        (Cyclops Sampler 5 2002)
11- The Trapper (Live at ProgFrog Festival 2015,
        't Blok Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel Holland)

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This is the first promo CD I have received since I moved from The Netherlands to Aruba, late October 2017. We don't have postal codes on the island so I was a bit worried, but within 3 weeks I found this one in my postbox, in time and perfect shape! Edo Spanninga told me: “Actually Flamborough Head never stopped. Due to family priorities, side-projects (solo, Trion, Leap Day), personal changes and 'getting older' the activity was very low. But recent years Flamborugh Head played in Poland and England and now we have decided to work on a new album, to be released next year.”

This compilation album contains 11 tracks, recorded between 1998 and 2015 (live, radio and taken from prog rock compilations). The opener is from a Moody Blues tribute album (2005), the track is entitled Bless The Wings (Moody Blues, from 1991). Flamborough Head really has delivered a wonderful rendition, in my opinion even superior to the original with beautiful female singing, pleasant layers of Mellotron violins and a moving electric guitar solo. Of course this CD contains Progfarm tracks (the band hosted many years of that legendary Dutch progrock festival): the alternating Year After Year (Progfarm 1997-2006 anniversary from Cyclops) and the oldie Corrugated Road (from 1998), both feature the special and very inspiring atmosphere. In the song Rixt Fan't Oerd (Progwereld 2011, see review) female singer Margriet sings with an accent, it's the story about a woman from the Dutch island Ameland, a very warm folky climate. In Daughters Of Night Flamborough Head deliver their trademark sound, from mellow to bombastic and from soaring flute to a dazzling synthesizer solo, simply wonderful! Limestone Rock (from a Cyclops sampler in 2005) is another Flamborough Head trademark track: first Mellotron violins and moving guitar, then a wonderfully coloured part with soaring strings, tin whistle and sensitive electric guitar and finally compelling work on guitar and keyboards. The final composition is the magnum opus (around 11 minutes) on this compilation, entitled The Trapper: lots of changing climates and tasteful play on electric guitar, keyboards and flute, yes, indeed, that's Flamborough Head in its full splendor!

I am looking forward to their new studio-album, meanwhile let's enjoy this wonderful and very pleasant compilation CD.

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)

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