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BATTLEFIELD BAND - "Stand Easy / Preview" - Temple Records COMD2052

I bet quite a few Battlefield fans cannot remember a time when there was a girl singer in the band, let alone name her. It's probably a SURPRISE to them to hear that there have been two in the band's history and that they are both on this C.D. If you are one of the growing number of fans, then here is a chance to hear just how good they were.

"Stand Easy"/Preview is yet another welcome re-issue of a Topic album, this time on Temple Records, which have put out all the band's albums since 1980. For those who like to know the context of an album, "Stand Easy" was released in 1979 and followed "At the Front" (still one of my all time favourites).

I was at the last concert given by that line-up and dismissed this album to the cupboard - what an idiot I was!!! From the first drones of the pipes in the first set, right until the final sounds of the final track, here is music which stands alongside the best of today. My own favourites are "The Battle of Falkirk Muir", powerful echoes of Pink Floyd in the opening, and the set of tunes which finishes with "Bleaton Gardens" - listen to the changes into that track. Yes, I've got some listening to catch up with.

Missing from the original sleeve, however, are the photos of the band. Perhaps it was felt that the sight of Alan with hair is too much of a shock! Preview, a promotional E.P., is, I think, the only recorded material featuring Sylvia Barnes sharing the vocals. It was originally on Temple but has long since been deleted, which is a shame really. The production is not as full as on "Stand Easy" but I've heard a lot worse. Buy the C.D. and hear what you've been missing, well, what this fan has. Play it loud, and if you have not been there since the beginning, you've probably got enough energy to dance around the living room. Me, it's back to the armchair and here's hoping for another twenty-five years of The Battlefield Band.

The name of the female vocalist?

Jenny Clark.

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This album was reviewed in Issue 5 of The Living Tradition magazine.