Kindred Spirit - Metamorphosis

Kev Rowland

Driving along in the car, listening to this 2009 folk rock album, I was incredibly impressed by flautist Annie Parker on “Dragon Song”, and kept thinking to myself that she had obviously been spending a great period of time listening to Ian Anderson, as although she didn’t have the vocal self-accompaniment that makes his style so unique, she was definitely playing in a very similar breathy style. I was also impressed with the electric violin of Gavin Jones, and the interplay between the two, and these battlers were fighting it out while singer Elaine Samuels was a shining light. Just two songs in and I had a great big smile on my face, which is when it started to go wrong…

The third song is none other than “Bouree”, which appeared on Jethro Tull’s only #1 UK album ‘Stand Up’, all the way back in 1969. At the time, Jethro Tull didn’t have a violinist, but there was a period of time when Eddie Jobson was in the band, a bona fide fiddler (as well as being there for his main role of keyboards), but they didn’t combine the two for “Bouree”. But, Kindred Spirit do attempt to do so, and although it does work at some points, it doesn’t at others, and I found myself wishing that the bass was more dynamic and in your face as that provides the main counterpoint to the melody. When that finished I wasn’t sure quite what to expect next, and when I saw the readout say “Lady Eleanor” at 8:28 I inwardly groaned, knowing that it was almost exactly double the length of the original from ‘Nicely Out of Tune”. To be honest, it was as bad as I expected, so when I got home I asked my 21-year-old to listen to the song and tell me what it was. Although I may not agree with all of her musical tastes, my youngest has become quite partial to Lindisfarne, and she didn’t recognise it until the lyrics started, at which point she swore and walked out of the room with a few choice words. Having one cover version that isn’t perfect is almost forgivable, but to then have one that adds nothing but length to a classic number, really isn’t something I can listen to. It reminded me of seeing Spider support Iron Maiden in Wolverhampton a million years ago: they were going great with the crowd until they played a Slade number. At that point the audience went quiet, basically folded their arms and just waited for them to get off the stage – learning, never play a Slade song in Slade’s town. This was almost the same, I saw Alan Hull lead his band though Christmas parties for many years, and I just couldn’t take this.

There is yet another cover on the album, The Corrs’ “Forgiven, Not Forgotten”, but I just really wish that they had stuck to originals and not bothered with the others.

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