Andy Bown's long-awaited solo album, "Unfinished Business", was released on Cherry Red Records (catalogue number CDBRED510) on September 5th. The 10-track CD included a full colour 16-page booklet including the song lyrics (all written by Andy Bown) with photos and album details, plus extra CD-Rom content featuring the John Keeling-produced "Rubber Gloves" video.
Andy gave an interview to Fireworks magazine (edition number 47) where he talked about his new solo album (along with offering his thoughts on the reissue of 'Under The Influence', the new Quo record 'Quid Pro Quo' and tales of his meetings with legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and... Rolf Harris).
The following press release formally announced the new album.
"Unfinished Business", the new album by Andy Bown, is released on 5th September 2011 on Cherry Red Records. The album features ten new tracks and is his first solo album in over 30 years.
The album was produced by Mike Paxman and recorded by Chris West, it features contributions from Henry Spinetti on drums, Mick Rogers on guitars, Trevor Bolder and Brad Lang on basses and vocalists Juliet Roberts and Sylvia Mason-James. It was recorded at State Of The Ark Studios in Richmond, Surrey in 2010.
Andy has a rich musical heritage, starting from his sixties bands The Preachers and The Herd, where he gave the talented teenager Peter Frampton his first job, on through an endless list of recording sessions with artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Halliday, Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Tim Hardin, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Lesley Duncan, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon and many, many more, whilst part forming the ultimate 70's pop rock band, Judas Jump (opening The Isle of Wight Festival 1970) and also appearing with the cult folk band Storyteller.
He played keyboards for Peter Frampton in the early 1970s, switching to bass for several tours after Rick Wills departed the band. Andy was the surrogate Roger Waters during Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' tour of 1980 and 81 and he also played on Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" album and Roger Waters' subsequent release Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking". He has previously released four solo albums, the first of which "Gone To My Head" was released in 1972.
Andy continued an intermittent solo recording career, whilst starting to work with Status Quo in 1973, first as a session musician, and then as a full time member, recording "Rockin' All Over The World" with the band in 1977. He plays keyboards, guitar and harmonica with Status Quo to this day and is an integral part of the band, having co-penned many well known Quo songs, most prominently the group's hits "Whatever You Want", "Again and Again" and the 1988 hit "Burning Bridges" which, re-recorded, went on to reach No.1 in the charts as Manchester United Football Club's anthem."Revisit the September 2011 event list
An unexpected Quo vinyl release saw "Quid Pro Quo" output as a double gatefold-sleeve offering on September 16th. This Exclusive Limited Edition release featured both the studio and live albums as per the previous release, a total of 26 tracks across two LPs. The album made for a nice addition to Quo collections and was made available exclusively from Tesco via their partners Sandbag.Revisit the September 2011 event list
Quo made a triumphant return to Zurich's iconic Hallenstadion on September 10th and played to a packed house in excess of 10,000 fans. The encouragable mob were rewarded by a fine performance, including the unexpected addition of "Don't Waste My Time" in the encore. Booking is so strong for Quo gigs at this venue that they are already advertising for the next one - on 14th September 2013!
As befits a gig of this magnitude, a large number of professional photosets are available from this show - click here, here, here, and here for examples.Revisit the September 2011 event list
Francis was interviewed on Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 with Richard Coles on September 17th. As part of the "Back to school" feature, Francis revisited his old school, Our Lady and St Philip Neri Roman Catholic Primary School inForest Hill, and fielded questions from the kids there. He sounded genuinely thrilled to go back and see the school and its area and gave considered answers to all their questions.Revisit the September 2011 event list
Quo performed at the 24 Heures Moto endurance motorcycle event at Le Mans on September 24th. For those with a keen interest in the sport, the SRC Kawasaki team won the race!
A review of Andy's "Unfinished Business" album appeared on the excellent GetReadyToRock.com website on September 27th. The review was written by Pete Feenstra.
"Andy Bown's 'Unfinished Business' is a pleasant surprise. The Status Quo keyboard player and multi instrumentalist has returned to his dormant solo career for the first time in 30 years, hence the 'Unfinished Business' of the title. It's a well written polished affair with only Andy's growling vocals offering any concession to the fact that he's not normally a solo artist in the spotlight.
And putting aside his inventive song writing for the moment, it's the quality of his studio band that does the material justice. Manfred Mann guitarist Mick Rogers plays a significant role, conjuring up all manner of guitar tones and bringing real variety to his attack, while drummer Henry Spinetti is simply peerless, being the intuitive driving force that propels the tracks along.
There's a finely honed balance between the 'live in the studio' band dynamic and the polished end result, which is never more evident than on the apparent lead track 'Rubber Gloves'. The latter is being promoted by a glossy black & white video and carries an underlying blues feel with a punch and a humorous bent.
And it's worth commenting on the quality of Andy's lyrics which veer from the heartfelt and poignant to the humorous and outright comic. Andy is a musician's musician who has probably seen it all in his 35 years with Quo, not to mention his early years with The Herd, Peter Frampton, Judas Jump ('rock's greatest failure') and his arena road work with Roger Waters.
If you add his own solo work and countless sessions, you are talking about a talented, enduring, song writing multi instrumentalist who has soaked up myriad influences, percolated them and belatedly extracted 10 tracks that ebb and flow and come stamped with his own character.
There's wry humour in 'Ruby & Roy', which is a song that could conceivably be about an oddball couple but was inspired by a night out in Aberdeen with Roy Wood and there's sardonic wit in 'When The Lights Went On', which tells a tale of the people he's known and worked with, including Jerry Lee Lewis and the legendary Tim Hardin, who borrowed Andy's acoustic guitar and traded it for a bottle of vodka!
Then there's the lyrical free form poetry , bluesy feel and potent backing vocals of the impressive 'Tick My Box' and the superbly produced, quiet-loud arrangement of 'Right As Ninepence' with its apparent chaotic if not doomed central character on a piece that finds Mick Rogers in magisterial form.
Finally there's the closing heartfelt 'A Good Innings' which is a deeply reflective lament about those we have lost and those we might eventually lose. As with much of the album, he's unafraid to go where his muse takes him and this leads him to the Country influenced 'A Matter of Time'. Even in a wide ranging album such as this it is a stylistic departure but potentially offers Andy a break as a song writer outside of his own recordings.
Together with Quo producer/aficionado Mike Paxman, Andy has made a coherent fist of some well played and wide ranging material that makes this a refreshingly good album.
Unfinished Business is not the gentle diversion from Status Quo that you might expect and is certainly not as overtly poppy as say Francis Rossi's solo album, rather it is the work of an artist who genuinely has something to say 30 years on from his last solo output. It's been worth the wait."Revisit the September 2011 event list