Alan Mair "Four Winds" (Ika Records, 2014)
This here is the first ever solo release from Alan Mair, bassist and founder member of Glasgow, Scotland mid-sixties beat combo The Beatstalkers, and who also played a crucial role in the life – ongoing – of celebrated punk-era rockers, The Only Ones. With its dense layers and hovering, spectral keyboards, 'Four Winds' is quite remarkable. Written, sung and produced by Mair himself it utilises the very latest in modern studio technology, yet at its heart the wide panoramic arcs of sound still exude life, bite and possess a fine rock'n'roll charm. The lyrics can be deemed cosmic / spiritual / psychedelic (depending on your viewpoint with regard to such definitions) and are as eloquent as they are thought-provoking. Friend, ally, and original string-bender with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Zal Cleminson, is also on hand to provide one of his trademark, wiggy-sounding rock guitar cameos too.
While the various reference channels hint at the likes of Bowie, Reed, even Donovan’s Celtic-infused style at times, this is undoubtedly Alan Mair, and it speaks very clearly of a singular musical vision to be expanded upon further when Mair's debut full-length album Field Of One hits the racks sometime later this year.
Review made by Lenny Helsing/2015
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