Space – Strange World

Space_RingMaster Review

Having a more flirtatious attitude towards UK rockers Space and their releases over the years rather than giving a purposeful focus to each endeavour, certainly since the excellent Tin Planet gripped attention, there is now the suspicion we may have been missing out. That suggestion comes through new single Strange World, the first song we have taken a proper look at since the band returned to life in 2011. It is a tantalising weave of styles and flavours casting a creative seduction that is as dark as it is nostalgic as it is irresistible.

cover_RingMaster Review     Formed in 1993, Space released a trio of albums in the generally acclaimed shapes of Spiders, Tin Planet, and Suburban Rock ‘n’ Roll, as well as the unreleased Love You More than Football which was recorded four years before the 2004 unveiling of the latter of that trio. These, with a host of singles, marked the band’s twelve year presence before the band split in 2005. The funeral of former drummer Andy Parle in 2009 brought the remaining original members of Space back together, the breaking of the ice between them that planted the seeds for a return of the band which officially came about two years later. Enlisting bassist/double bassist Phil Hartley, keyboardist Ryan Clarke, and drummer Allan Jones to the line-up of vocalist guitarist Tommy Scott, keyboardist Franny Griffiths, and guitarist Jamie Murphy, Space made their live return with a reunion gig at the O2 Academy Liverpool in December 2011. Despite the subsequent departure of Murphy, the band created and released the well-received album Attack of the Mutant 50ft Kebab in 2014. Now down to a quartet with Clarke leaving last year, Space gives a flavoursome teaser to an impending new album slated for early next year with Strange World, a song ready to treat ears and imagination.

That it does instantly as provocative percussion leads just as endearing harmonies and tempting guitar to ears. Immediately there is a sixties air to the song aligned to a mariachi/dark rock ‘n roll climate, like the Walker Brothers slipping into Tarantino country. The distinctive voice of Scott is soon walking through the evocative scenery, his tones having lost none of their prowess and expression over time and comfortably courting the brewing orchestral embrace and elegance of guitar and bass strings matched by the keys as brass bring their own the sultry flames.

Noir lit but as intense as a desert sun, Strange World is an absorbing adventure as intimate as it is cinematically suggestive and seriously compelling. The same applies, if a slightly lesser extent, to the accompanying alternative version of Female of The Species which first ignited ears back in 1996 as a single and part of Spiders. Also taken back to the dramatic era of sixties rock/pop, with an appropriate rawness towing along a sci-fi revelry of that time, the song is the return of an old friend with a nostalgic make-over that is quite easy to get lusty over.

For us Strange World is a treat which is also a kick up the backside to any assumptions that a band that has been around a fair old time and returned after significant time away will have also left their glory days behind them. Band Of Holy Joy recently showed the error in that thinking with their recent new album and now Space with their single, and we anticipate on the excellence of Strange World will be again with their forthcoming next album, are doing the same.

Strange World is released via Mulu Records on October 19th.

Forthcoming dates for the Strange World tour:

Wed 21 /October             SWINDON           VIC

Thu 22 /October               ST ALBANS          THE HORN

Fri 23 /October SOUTHEND         CHINNERYS

Sat 24 /October                NORTHAMPTON              PICTUREDROME

Sat 31 /October                RUNCORN           BRINDLEY

Fri 6 /November               MINEHEAD         SHIIINE

Sat 7 /November             CLEETHORPES    BEACHCOMBER

Sun 8 /November            DONCASTER       DIAMOND

Thu 12 /November          LEEDS    LIBRARY

Fri 13 /November            CUMBRIA            MONROE BAR

Sat 14 /November           STOCKTON          GEORGIAN

Fri 20 /November            WIGAN                 OLD COURTS

Sat 21 /November           CREWE THE BOX

Sun 22 /November          MANCHESTER    FAC 251

Tue 24 /November          SWANSEA           SIN CITY

Wed 25 /November        CARDIFF               THE GLOBE

Thu 26 /November          READING             BOWERY

Fri 27 /November            BRISTOL               FLEECE

Sat 28 /November           COVENTRY          KASBAH

Mon 30 /November        SUNDERLAND    THE POINT

Tue 1 /December             EDINBURGH       ELECTRIC CIRCUS

Wed 2 /December           ABERDEEN          TUNNELS

Thu 3 /December             GLASGOW          CLASSIC GRAND

Fri 4 /December               LIVERPOOL         EPSTEIN

Sat 5 /December              LONDON              BRIXTON JAMM

Thu 10 /December          TUNBRIDGE WELLS          FORUM

Fri 11 /December             WOLVERHAMPTON        SLADE ROOMS

Sat 12 /December            LINCOLN              PLATFORM

Fri 18 /December             GLOUCESTER     GUILDHALL

Sat 19 /December            NORWICH           UEA

https://www.facebook.com/spacetheband   http://spacetheband.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 19/10/2015

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