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John Wesley: The Lilypad Suite

Tasty fruit from the Porcupine Tree.

With a CV that’s weighted towards his work with Fish, Marillion and Porcupine Tree, it’s easy to pigeonhole guitarist John Wesley. That this album is about “the struggle of a young girl to come to terms with the absence of her father” doesn’t exactly set the pulse racing in anticipation, either.

However, The Lilypad Suite is surprisingly engaging, not least because Wesley’s CV doesn’t even hint at his versatile playing, and his ability to build walls of varied guitar sounds that can be soothing or spine-chilling depending on the mood.

He hasn’t got his head stuck up his own effects pedal, either; all his guitar sounds are carefully tailored to the needs of the song. And can sing, having a low, rhythmic style that keeps you listening and keeps the songs flowing.

In fact there’s scarcely time to get introspective, let alone depressed.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.