Marseille - 2009 Four Play [ep]

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ARTIST: Marseille
ALBUM: Four Play [ep]
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2009
SPONSOR: Nigel Roberts and Marseille

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Neil Buchanan - guitars * Andy Charters - guitars * Steve Dinwoodie - bass * Keith Knowles - drums * Nigel Roberts - lead vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Are You Ready * 02 You're A Woman * 03 Heat (Of The Night) * 04 Some Like It Hot

RATING: image

Background

Any self respecting hard rocker scousing around Liverpool during the late 70's would've been blind to not notice the band Marseille. Despite the french connection, this lot were tried and true Merseysiders, who, like a handful of well known rivals, were at the forefront of the NWOBHM.

Though Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon and co all went onto to bigger and better things, Marseille could rightfully have asked the question: 'why not us as well?' You see, Marseille actually had a huge following at the time, had travelled and gigged in both the UK (UFO, Nazareth, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Ian Gillan) and the USA supporting Nazareth and Blackfoot.

The band had signed a 5 year + 5 album deal with RCA subsidiary Mountain, only for it to go pear-shaped when the label kicked the bucket. A long protracted two year legal battle eventually saw Marseille booted into touch, plus they had the indignity of losing all their gear in the process.

Despite trying to kick on with two of their members and a deal with new label Ultranoise, it eventually all came to pass in the early-mid 80's. Yet despite all the hassles, the band kept in touch all during the years, and got together for a reunion concert during 2008.

Acknowledging that the creative juices were still there, the band decided for a reformation and to record new material. Original singer Paul Dale opted out of the equation, the band asking Nigel Roberts to come onboard. Roberts was active in the Lancashire scene, and is also part of the bands Wolfpack and Sister Rose.

The Songs

Marseille's plan is to eventually record a full body of work later in the year, but they wanted to kick it off with a collectors item EP known simply as 'Four Play', for obvious reasons Their sound is an earthy style of late 70's rock, with a nod to AC/DC, early UFO, Lone Star, and similar bands from that glorious era.

The twin guitar attack from these classic rockers is fantastic to hear, and if these four tracks are anything to go by, then I'll be queuing up at the gate to purchase their new album - pronto. All the tracks are rockers - no room for sentiment and ballads on this EP.

The structure is simple but effective, with riffs aplenty on 'Are You Ready' (early AC/DC anyone?), the pop rockers 'You're A Woman' and 'Some Like It Hot' reminding me of Kix and other American rockers playing in this style, or the near AOR of 'Heat (Of The Night)', with its smooth delivery and abundant melodies.

In Summary

As mentioned, 'Four Play' is a prelude of further things to come. You can hear a selection of songs over on their website click here, or go to their Store page if you want to buy it.

We look forward to seeing Marseille take their rightful place at the altar of British classic rock once again, bring it on guys.


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