Pendragon - Kowtow (reedition),
I was only a little confused when I saw this album, as the sleeve wasn’t how I remembered it, but a quick check at the collection proved I wasn’t going insane, it is just that this reissue has a black cover instead of the white. This was Pendragon’s third album, but the first with what became their most stable line-up of Nick Barrett (vocals/guitar), Peter Gee (bass/vocals). Clive Nolan (keys/vocals) and Fudge Smith (drums). To be honest it was only after I was sent ‘The World’ that I tracked back to their earlier material, and investigated this and fell in love with it. Years later I was over at Clive’s with my good friend Artur Chachlowski (www.mlwz.pl and Radio Alfa) and Clive presented us both with vinyl editions, which sit proudly with the ‘Fly High Fall Far’ mini-album and the “Saved By You” single that I managed to find.
Pendragon’s sound has changed over the years as the band has matured, but it is to ‘Kowtow’, ‘The World’ , ‘The Window Of Life’ and ‘The Masquerade Overture’ that I turn to time and again of all of their releases. The use of sax by guest Julian Siegel on a couple of numbers adds a depth and Dire Straits feel, while opening number “Saved By You” is a bouncy singalong. “Solid Heart” was often used as a set closer, with the band walking off one by one until just Fudge is left, and to me it typifies Pendragon in concert. It is an album that always makes me smile, it is fun from start to finish, and is simply put one of the best UK prog albums from the Eighties.
This reissue comes in a slip sleeve with a nice booklet, and three additional songs that were recorded as demoes by Peter and Nick. Both “The Mask” and “I Walk The Rope” were re-recorded fro the album proper so it is interesting to see how these compare. Great to see this album available again, and a nice resissue from Madfish.