Blackfoot Sue - The Albums album review

Brummies’ first two albums, and unreleased third, boxed

Cover art for Blackfoot Sue - The Albums album review

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Renowned for their stomping 1972 debut release, the Top 5 smash Standing In The Road, history has been ungenerous to the outfit centred around identical twins David and Tom Farmer. 60s contemporaries of local stars Jeff (The Idle Race) Lynne and Robert (Band Of Joy) Plant, the Farmers held similarly broad ambitions. Glittery Obituary, a sardonically good-humoured farewell to the nascent glam scene, signalled the changes rung on first album Nothing To Hide. Shit-kicker country licks, superior filial harmonies, skyscaling guitars (Messiah) and modal scale instrumental Gypsy Jam resisted easy classification. 1974 sequel Strangers added to the mystery, homegrown Lynyrd Skynyrd stripes flaunted on the Black Country funk of Shoot All Strangers, and nascent pomp prog excesses on 1812.

Now disinterred – with a previously missing mellotron track reinstated – 1975’s Gun Running is a fascinating document of a fearless, stubborn outfit ploughing a wilfully diverse course. Reinvestigation merited

Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.