The Bevis Frond: The Leaving Of London

First album in seven years from versatile songwriter.

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Nick Saloman, aka The Bevis Frond, has been knocking about since 1986, specialising in all aspects of the industry, playing guitar and keyboards, songwriting producing, and gigging with a range of artists that includes everyone from Arthur Lee, Hawkwind and Country Joe McDonald to Yo La Tengo and Ozric Tentacles.

Neither friends nor enemies would describe him as avant garde, but his work is rich with the textures of decades of rock history, from cleverly plotted, R.E.M-style rock, the Jam style rigid urgency of More To This Than That, to unabashed guitar solos. Vocally, he reminds faintly of Robert Wyatt in his bluntly plaintive tones, and unlikely paeans, as on Johnny Kwango, known only to those who remember the finer details of 1970s wrestling.

He rumbles and clatters amiably from punky pillar to psychedelic post throughout this album; but kick the tyres of any of these songs, and they hold up as well as you’d expect from a reliable old hand.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.