# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dodson and Fogg - The Call

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 10 / 1 / 2014

Dodson and Fogg - The Call
Label: Wisdom Twin Records
Format: CD


Fabulous fourth album of 60’s and 70’s-influenced pop from Dodson and Fogg, the band of Leeds-based musician and illustrator Chris Wade

‘The Call’ was actually released in the closing weeks of 2013, making it the third album issued last year by Chris Wade under the Dodson & Fogg name. As the debut from Dodson & Fogg appeared in the latter part of 2012, that makes four full-length albums from this project in under eighteen months. Now either Chris Wade is one of the most prolific songwriters of this generation or the music on ‘The Call’ will be scraping the barrel. Well, forget the comments in this magazine that Wade’s last offering under the Dodson & Fogg banner was his best work; this latest collection even leaves the remarkable ‘Sounds of Day and Night’ in the shade. Once again Wade has written and produced the album. On ‘Sounds of Day and Night’ the only part Wade didn’t play was trumpet on one track which was supplied by Colin Jones who was making a reappearance from the ‘Derring–Do’ album. On this latest offering Jones can be heard on a couple of tracks, and Wade again calls on the talents of Celia Humphris (Trees) to supply backing vocals on three songs which Chloe Herington (Knifeworld) plays saxophone on one. All the other sounds, bar Ricky Romain’s sitar which we will come to later, are played by Chris Wade. It’s quite an accomplishment even given Wade’s past triumphs. Once again Wade is wearing his influences proudly on his sleeve. The late sixties and early seventies loom heavily over this album, but as usual Wade has injected his love of the music from this golden era with a contemporary edge so that the end result doesn’t sound dated at all. In fact, although continuing in the vein of the previous three albums, these twelve songs have a more current sound than we usually expect from Wade. Rather than Wade changing his musical vision to attract a new generation to this music, maybe it’s the rest of the world catching up with Wade’s talent that makes the songs on ‘The Call’ sound so very much of today. For all the Incredible String Band and Pink Floyd influences that still seep through in Wade’s music, for all the folk/psych/prog touches that adorn his work Wade still manages to surprise with every new album. Almost instantly when listening to ‘The Call’, both Marc Bolan and David Bowie come to mind. Strangely both Bolan and Bowie were around for years before worldwide success came and one can’t help but wonder if the same thing is going to happen with Wade; although more prolific than both Bolan and Bowie put together in their early days it can only be a matter of time before the music Wade has produced under the Dodson & Fogg banner is appreciated by a worldwide audience. ‘The Call’ opens with ‘Mystery’, one of the songs to feature Ricky Romain’s sitar playing. Now if there was one thing that this particular writer wanted to hear on a Dodson & Fogg album it was this very instrument. Many of Wade’s songs for this project have lent themselves to this instrument. Where many would drench a song in sitar to add texture and authenticity, Wade uses the instrument in a much more subtle way. Maybe it’s down to Romain’s skill on the instrument or maybe it is Wade’s production and the way he blends Herington’s saxophone so seamlessly with the sitar but Wade, along with those two musicians, starts the album with possibly the most compelling song we’ve yet heard from Dodson & Fogg. Wade and company have captured a lazy summer’s day on ‘Mystery’, and it’s not one you ever want to end. But, before you float away dreaming of warm days in the middle of January, Wade shows a completely different side to his music on the second song, ‘Watch the Skies’. It kicks off like a long-lost early T.Rex song, and is the first, but not last, indication that you can add Marc Bolan to Wade’s long list of influences. With a guitar solo that, if you close your eyes, you can see Bolan actually performing, the song is further proof that Wade is a master of blending so many types of music and coming up with a sound that is at once both familiar and new. ‘Suddenly’ follows next, which is sadly the only other song on ‘The Call’ that features Romain’s sitar. While there isn’t a merely average song on ‘The Call’, and it’s impossible to single out just one highlight, ‘Suddenly’ says all that you need to know about Wade’s Dodson & Fogg project. Returning to the dream-like feel of the opening song, ‘Suddenly’ gently eases in on a bed of feathers supplied by sitar and heavenly wordless vocals before Wade’s vocals float effortlessly over the captivating melody, and it continues in this angelic state for a couple of minutes until the song transforms into a sitar-heavy section with Wade’s edgier vocals shaking you out of your dream. An obvious reference point would be some of Traffic’s earlier, poppier moments, and at the end of the song you’re left in no doubt that Wade is surely one of the best singer/songwriters/producers/musicians we have today. ‘Suddenly’ is an incredible piece of music. Listen to Wade’s guitar playing on ‘Late for the Party’; while there is a certain world-weariness about his vocals on this track the sounds Wade produces from his guitar inject life into the song. Once again some of Bolan’s work springs to mind. ‘It’s Not Time to Leave’ is another song that deserves special mention (hell, they all do really), Celia Humphris’ angelic vocals again pushing the song into the ‘special’ section. With Wade’s short but effective vocal Bolan-isms mixing with that Traffic/ pastoral vibe, it’s another song that you’ll return to again and again. The title song is a two-minute instrumental on which Wade plays all the instruments. It showcases his considerable guitar skills and is so addictive it should really be illegal. ‘Running Round in Circles’ closes the album. Apart from Wade hauntingly singing the title a few times through its five and a half minutes, it’s a reflective instrumental which brings back those early Pink Floyd images while remaining uniquely the work of Chris Wade. The sudden maelstrom of guitar that closes the song almost leaves you breathless and certainly wanting to hear more. Every time a Dodson & Fogg album comes along it’s just that little bit better than the one it followed,and ‘The Call’ is no exception. I have to admit that I had my doubts if Wade could produce another album of the quality that was ‘Sounds of Day and Night’ but he’s done it. While not for a second losing any of his by now trademark sound and by embellishing it with fresh ideas, Wade has kept his fan base happy but avoided standing still musically. ‘The Call’ is yet another remarkable album by a remarkable artist, one of the best this country has to offer. How much longer is it going to take before the world realises that?

Track Listing:-
1 Mystery
2 Watch the Skies
3 Suddenly
4 Late for the Party
5 Windmills
6 Like a Fool
7 I Remember
8 Nothing Can Come Between Us N
9 It's Not Time to Leave
10 The Call
11 Inside
12 Running Round in Circles

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