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What Kevin Heard: 'Bill Wyman is going to play until he drops'

Music reviewer Kevin Bryan reviews another selection of records from years gone by, including Bill Wyman's Back To Basics and Skerryvore's Decade

Bill Wyman is going to "play until he drops"

Fancy picking up a new album to enjoy this summer, but not sure what to go for?

Here's music reviewer Kevin Bryan's low-down on another selection of albums from years gone by:

Bill Wyman - Back To Basics (Proper Records)

As he rapidly approaches the grand old age of 80, Bill Wyman could be excused for opting to turn his back on the music business in favour of a life of ease, but the former Stones bassist has actually decided that rather like the classic bluesman who inspired him so much during his formative years he's going to "play until he drops". Bill's first new solo album for more than three decades is a slightly patchy affair, drawing on influences as diverse as J.J.Cale and Ian Dury and opening in particularly fine style with a mildly menacing saga of nefarious money lending entitled What & How & If & When & Why. The rest of the set pales a little by comparison, with I Lost My Ring and the lyrically incongruous Stuff (Can't Get Enough) emerging as the best of the bunch.

Stranger Than Fiction - Rockabilly Rules Again (Fantastic Voyage)

Compiler Dave Penny's latest 3CD set focuses attention on a whole host of superb rockabilly recordings from the '50s which initially sank without trace before being revived two decades later for the burgeoning European market by specialist labels such as Rollin' Rock, Injun and Record Mart. The list of participants won't mean too much to the average punter, but as introduction to the explosive charms of the rockabilly genre it's well nigh indispensable. Pat Cupp's Long Gone Daddy, Sonny Cole's Robinson Crusoe Bop and Jackie Lowell's Rocket Trip are particularly fine efforts.

Skerryvore - Decade (Tyree Records)

This life-enhancing celebration of the first 10 years in Skerryvore's eclectic musical journey serves up an invigorating blend of new studio recordings and live tracks culled from festivals in Scotland and Denmark. The band have certainly come a long way since their formation on the remote Hebridean island of Tiree in 2005, and newcomers to their feel-good fusion of rock, pop and traditional music would be well advised to lend an ear to captivating Celtic confections such as On The Road, Rox Revival and Happy To Be Home, the latter also featuring highly-regarded Irish accordion ace Sharon Shannon.

Colosseum - Bread & Circuses (Talking Elephant Records)

Talking Elephant's commendable Colosseum re-issue programme continues with the release of this bluesy mid-'90s offering from the pioneering jazz-rockers. Bread & Circuses was actually the first studio album that the band had recorded since 1970s Daughter of Time, and the finished product was certainly much more direct and uncomplicated than previous Colosseum offerings, with prime cuts such as Watching Your Every Move, Wherever I Go and Storms Behind The Breeze capture the recently reformed outfit in particularly fine fettle.

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