Alan Reed And The Daughters Of Expediency -
Live: From the Razor's Edge

(CD 2018, 56:77, Red Dwarf Recordings RD 0404)

The tracks:
  1- Begin Again(6:08)
  2- For The Greater Glory(5:40)
  3- My Sunlit Room(4:19)
  4- Razor(3:59)
  5- Sanctuary(8:31)
  6- Kingdom Of The Blind(5:25)
  7- Never Too Late(5:01)
  8- The Other Side Of Morning(8:11)
  9- Crown Of Thorns(8:58)

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During the 2018 edition of the Dutch Progdreams festival, I witnessed a rather strong performance of Alan Reed And The Daughters Of Expediency. Many people who enjoy progressive rock certainly know the former lead singer of Abel Ganz and Pallas. He made some fantastic albums with those bands. But he also impressed me with his solo releases. First In A Field Of One (2012, see review) and Honey On The Razor's Edge (2017, see review) are excellent albums on which he certainly shows his love for progressive rock. Just as he does on the live album Live: From the Razor's Edge.

On Live: From the Razor's Edge you can hear almost one complete hour of how he and The Daughters Of Expediency sounded during the concerts they did in 2017 in the UK. Many of the nine tracks on this release with Alan Reed (vocals, 12-string, bass pedals), Tudor Davies (keyboards), Daren Callow (guitar, vocals), Mark Spencer (guitar, vocals), Jennifer Clark (bass) and Henry Rogers (drums) were performed at the earlier mentioned festival as well. So for me it was certainly a feast of recognition. Once again I could enjoy the same kind of atmosphere, which Alan Reed And The Daughters Of Expediency brought on the festival. A feast of recognition because the tracks on this release are very familiar to me.

Alan introduces himself and his band at the start the concert (CD). After that you can enjoy a strong live version of Begin Again (taken from his first studio album) with strong organ and vocal parts. It is followed by the first Pallas cover. For the Greater Glory is not the only composition from the band in which he was the front man for 25 years. Sanctuary and Crown Of Thorns are other great classic Pallas tracks. Tracks which they perform rather well. Just as strong as the material taken from his two solo albums. Most of all the very modern up tempo sounding My Sunlit Room gets a great rendition. It gets very close to the studio version. Of course the live version of Razor doesn't feature the one and only Steve Hackett on harmonica. Well to be honest I didn't really miss his solo. The other three tracks Kingdom Of The Blind, Never Too Late (included fine bass pedals and excellent guitar solo) and The Other Side of Morning (fine synthesizer solos included) have to be mentioned as well. Because listening to them shows again how great Alan is as a lead singer and that he stays close to his progressive rock roots.

This first live album of Alan Reed with his band was a real pleasure to listen to. Not only because you once again can enjoy the great classic Pallas compositions. But also the way he performs his own songs on stage made me put my thumbs up for this sympathetic Scottish singer! Well done indeed!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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