FUCHSIA II – From Psychedelia … To A Distant Place (Sound Practices 01)

FuchsiaIIDo you remember Fuchsia? They came from my alma mater, following in the footsteps of Principal Edward’s Magic Theatre and did the right things – signed to Pegasus, a hip label which was about to lose Steeleye Span to Chrysalis, made a well-received but poorly selling debut album and started work on a second before splitting up. We can probably blame poor management, everyone else did.

Sorry, there’s a bit more history yet. Lead vocalist, singer and writer Tony Durant moved to Australia but Fuchsia refused to die and Tony remastered the album for CD with the outstanding tracks appearing on Fuchsia, Mahogonny & Other Gems. But now we have Fuchsia II. Tony is the only original member – drummer Michael Gregory went on to fame and fortune with The Albion Band and Home Service and Michael Day has had a long and varied career as composer, musician, designer and photographer.

The original Fuchsia was the sound of the 70s and Fuchsia II has held onto many of the best elements of that era, notably melody which is all too often ignored these days. Take the opening track, ‘Melancholy Road’. Strip away the accompaniment and it would be a great doo-wop song. ‘The Girl From Kandahar’ has an appropriately sub-continental feel until the massed strings take over and those same strings kick off ‘Lost Generations’. Fuchsia II have a big, rich sound with a lot going on and the whole album is as tight as you could wish: modern technology brought to bear. Tony is an excellent writer and I don’t think it’s unfair to say that he’s benefited from the additional forty years experience that has gone into these songs.

Even if the original Fuchsia means nothing to you I urge you to listen to this new incarnation of a prog-folk legend. You won’t be sorry.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: http://www.fuchsiamusic.com/

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