Ian McLagan: United States (Yep Roc/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Ian McLagan: He's Not For You
Ian McLagan: United States (Yep Roc/Southbound)

Many years ago it was my great pleasure to spend a bit of time with keyboard player Ian McLagan when he was in Auckland playing with an artist whom I have forgotten.

McLagan -- who was, in the words of Noel Gallagher, jammy enough to be in two great bands (the Small Faces and Faces) -- was very amusing and well-balanced and happily took time out to hammer the lobby piano to the amusement of passers-by.

He's helmed his own Bump Band for a long time now and while we're going to agree they are never going to be contenders, there's always something endearing about them and McLagan's playing is always worth hearing.

On this album -- his first in about five years -- his voice is cracked and live-in, but in a good way. It brings a credible touch and personality to the mostly mid-tempo songs, even on what in other hands might be throwaways (Pure Gold).

There's also some homegrown philosophy here (the easy rolling but pointed Don't Say Nothing), some downhome slightly funky country blues from this longtime Texas-resident (I'm Your Baby Now) and an understated country ballad on He's Not For You.

But where this really hits home is at the midpoint on the emotionally hurt piano ballad Mean Old World, the organ-driven Love Letter, the more strident Who Says It Ain't Love (which vaguely recalls the Faces with a laddish Rod Stewart) and the thoughtful soul of Shalalala.

A good band, a great keyboard player, songs which speak of simple truths and some lowkey unpolished gems scattered about.

Nope, not going to change the course of popular music or even gain much critical attention, but Ian McLagan does nothing to disgrace himself or the legacy he created. 

Share It

Your Comments

Steve Neate - Jun 23, 2014

Was it with Billy Bragg? GRAHAM REPLIES: I believe it was, now that you mention it. Memory fades!

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Jones: To the Bone (Meme)

Jones: To the Bone (Meme)

On the basis of this, his previous solo albums and those with Miracle Mile (with Marcus Cliffe, the multi-instrumentalist here who also produces) you'd imagine Britain's Trevor Jones this way: it's... > Read more

Bob Dylan: The Very Best of Bob Dylan's 80s (Sony Legacy)

Bob Dylan: The Very Best of Bob Dylan's 80s (Sony Legacy)

As it was happening, Bob Dylan's Eighties seemed somewhat of a wasteland only sparsely populated by songs which had any great resonance. And many which did -- Brownsville Girl co-written with... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various: Authenticite; The Syliphone Years 1965-80 (Southbound)

Various: Authenticite; The Syliphone Years 1965-80 (Southbound)

In a beautiful sleeve featuring stamps from Guinea and with an informative booklet, this double disc collection takes you to the heart of music from this small African state (population about 10... > Read more

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA: Acoustic guitars turned up to 11

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA: Acoustic guitars turned up to 11

For a man who makes an astonishingly big noise on stage Rodrigo -- the male half of the Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela -- speaks very quietly. Unlike Gabriela who manages a profanity rate on... > Read more