Jadis - No Fear Of Looking Down album review

The South coast veterans triumph with help from Orford

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Jadis have been a staple of Britain’s neo-prog scene since the late 1980s. Almost three years in the making, No Fear Of Looking Down is the eighth studio album from the Southampton-based four-piece.

Unsurprisingly, its eight songs are crammed with the charming, breezy airiness that Jadis have become synonymous for, but let us not underestimate the levels of musicianship required to make it all sound so easy. Jadis’ return is all the more welcome given that NFOLD benefits from the many talents of former keysman Martin Orford, the IQ/John Wetton mainstay who back in 2008 opted to retire from music. Orford also contributes flute, back vocals and hurdy gurdy, complementing the often hard driving guitar work of Gary Chandler. Composed as usual by Chandler, who kicks up a storm on Where Am I, the material is consistently strong. Just Let It Happen occupies the perfect middle ground between Jadis’ fascinations with melody and power, while A Thousand Staring Eyes poses well-thumbed ecological issues and, more unusually, its title track places the listener in the spiked shoes of thrill-seeking daredevils that ascend and descend tall inner city buildings.