This Wicked Pantomime – FaB (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

You can’t say that FaB …aka Neil Fitzsimon and Bee Brogan, haven’t moved in some pretty neat circles over the years. As members of Pretty Blue Gun they shared the studio with members of Art of Noise, Moody Blues and Eric Clapton’s band and now as a duo in their own right can boast a Spider From Mars in Woody Woodmansey taking care of drum duties.

Musically though they are a hard sound to pigeon-hole, perhaps pop, in the broadest sense of the word, and drawing influences from across many styles and era. Opening Salvo Dancing Partner has something of the early punk sound, before things got out of control, Bee Brogan’s voice being suitably attitude filled and worldly to match the musical vibe but then they are able to turn their talents to Beach Boy-esque, psychedelic edged paisley pop on The Sheltering Sky.

Seven Seconds of Summer has something of The Kinks about it, the title track is a fractured and meandering slice of alternative baroque-pop and Persuasion sees FaB head into raw rock territory.

It’s a strange and beguiling album, one which will first confuse all but the musically broad-minded listener, then you will find that you can’t get the songs out of your head, and then you will realise that you have fallen for it big time. Don’t you love it when an album can sucker punch you like that?

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