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Ambitious Beggars - Parallel Universe EP

  by Chris Jones

published: 15 / 6 / 2003

Ambitious Beggars - Parallel Universe EP
Label: Firestation Tower
Format: CDS


Easy-going, enjoyable indiepop on first release in many years from much-loved Manchester-based Brit pop act, Ambitious Beggars

The bands I've heard on the Berlin based Firestation Tower Records have tended to carry a Brit-pop/rock tone in their music. This is the label that put out the fine 'The Sound of Leamington Spa' compilations though, so an appreciation of that sound seems to be fundamental to the label. The Ambitious Beggars actually appear on 'The Sound of...Vol 2' and the band has been around since the early 80's. Despite gaining some popularity during the Manchester heyday, the band never signed with a major label and thus has had few releases over the past 20 years. This EP is their first new material in a long while and their second release on Firestation Tower. There are 3 new songs on the EP, as well as an alternate version of one of the songs and radio edits of the other two. All three songs have a mellow guitar-pop tone provided by both acoustic and electric guitars. 'Inspire Me' includes piano and cornet, giving the song a nice easy feeling that's just right for a lazy summer day. The vocals of lead singer Bob Kemp are quite nice too. He reminds me a bit of Richard Ashcroft at times on the song 'Comet People'. The lyrics of this one refer to the people who committed suicide when the Hale-Bopp comet passed by the earth. 'Not the Man' has the closest thing to a "rocking guitar" on the EP and lots of "la la la's". The alternate country version of this song replaces the guitar with piano, pedal steel, and harmonica. Each of the songs on this EP are pretty easy to listen to and enjoy. 'Inspire Me' is probably the strongest of the three and the one that most makes me want to listen to more of the Ambitious Beggars. If this EP is a teaser for an upcoming full length, then consider me teased.

Track Listing:-
1 Inspire Me
2 Comet People
3 Not The Man
4 Not The Man (Country Version)
5 Inspire Me (Radio Edit)
6 Comet People (Radio Edit)

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