‘Waterside’ is Gary’s first solo album since 2007’s ‘Veritas’ and shows him taking on a lighter side of melodic rock than he undertakes with Ten. It is not totally removed though, and it commences with “All At Once It Feels Like I Believe” and some lovely piano from Darrel Treece-Birch. Darrel is not the only Ten member involved as guitarist Dann Rosingana is also onboard, with the rest of the line-up being David Rosingana (bass), Karen Fell (backing vocals) and Scott Hughes (lead and backing vocals). Yes, vocals and the vocal arrangements are a very important aspect of the overall sound of this album, while Darrel’s contribution is immense with piano often providing the melodic foundation, yet this is always a melodic rock album and one can never move too far away from the guitars.
Gary says this about the album, “It is great to step back into solo mode again for a short while,” Hughes enthuses. “The songs on my new album are filled with light and shade and are much lighter than my heavier and deeper Ten material. We live in such testing times, and I have tried to create a piece of Melodic AOR that might lift the spirit and allow for a little much needed escapism. There is definitely a positive feel-good factor to this new collection of songs, and I hope that fans enjoy listening to it.” I could not have put it better myself, as this is an album where the listener just falls into it on first hearing and the strong use of piano combined with Gary’s melodic vocals makes this an album that any fans of the genre are guaranteed to enjoy. In some ways it feels more mature than his previous solo work, and definitely removed from his harder work with Ten. The highlight of the album is ‘Screaming In The Halflight” which is performed as a duet with Scott, and again commences based on piano before it turns into a more dramatic guitar-dominated piece before coming back again.
It is this clever use of arrangements and different stylings which removes this from much of the other melodic rock albums out there at present and combined with his baritone vocals it makes this an album which is enjoyable the first time out and only gets better.