Comedy Of Errors - Threnody For A Dead Queen

Kev Rowland

In many ways I find it wonderfully strange that Comedy of Errors reformed and released a new album on CD in 2011, since when this has been their sixth, as to me they have always belonged to an earlier time. I am not sure exactly when they broke up, but it was before I was introduced to them in 1991/92, and still if anyone mentions their name I immediately think of the original tape version of “The Student Prince - Part 1” and Mark Colton (Credo) raving over them time and again. Since returning with the excellent ‘Disobey’ their line-up has been incredibly stable and there are few other bands who have managed to keep up with their output since then (a notable exception being Galahad and their offshoots), with IQ releasing just two albums during the same period, Pendragon two, and Credo just one (although I see from a FB post today that Mark and Mike Varty are in the studio).

In CofE we have the excitement and drive of a new band combined with the experience of a very old one (singer Joe Cairney and keyboard player Jim Johnstone both played on the 1985 ‘Ever Be The Prize’ cassette while guitarist Mark Spalding joined soon afterwards). That they continue to perform exciting neo prog as if they have never been away, is simply wonderful, and yet again we have a great album displaying everything that is good about the genre, and them in particular. It opens with two epics, and another further along, so there are three songs more than 12 minutes in length while the other five are all four minutes or less. Some of these are instrumentals which allow the band to bounce along and have some fun, mostly acting as nice cleansers which give a pace and dynamic to the album. It is to the longer pieces to which fans will naturally be attracted as, like everything on the album, they are highly polished and wonderfully inviting. I don’t believe Joe has ever really been given the credit for being such an amazing singer, and I am sure that if CofE had been formed in London instead of Glasgow then they would be much more of a household name. They are no longer using a second guitarist, and what we have now are the same quartet (with drummer Bruce Levick) who recorded ‘Disobey’, along with bassist John Fitzgerald who joined in time for the next one, 2013’s ‘Fanfare & Fantasy’.

This is exciting, vibrant, and if somehow you have missed out on Comedy of Errors and their albums so far then now is the time to rectify that as they continue to release wonderful works.

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