London Underground - Four

(CD 2018, 55:49, Musea, FGBG 5010 (CD)

The tracks:
  1- Billy Silver(6:22)
  2- Ray Ban(3:31)
  3- At Home(7:20)
  4- The Comete(4:30)
  5- What I Say(7:40)
  6- Tree Job Man(5:23)
  7- Tropic Of Capricorn(6:18)
  8- Jam(7:17)
  9- Mercy, Mercy, Mercy(2:18)
10- Bumpin' On Sunset(5:10)

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The Italian formation London Underground started as a musical project by Gianluca Gerlini on piano, Hammond, Moog, clavinet and Mellotron, Marco Piaggesi on bass, banjo and backing vocals and Daniele Caputo (who also played in other Italian band Standarte) on drums, percussion and vocals, with additional musicians on guitar, pedal steel guitar and string arrangements. The band released their eponymous debut album in 2000, followed by Through A Glass Darkly in 2003, Honey Drops in 2010 and this latest effort entitled Four, from 2018. After all those years only Gianluca Gerlini remained as an original member in London Underground.

I am familiar with the first two albums and have always loved the pleasant and melodic Hammond organ drenched music. Listening to this new album I am delighted, what an amazing band, what a quality, and what a wonderful vintage keyboard sound!
A slow rhythm with delicate Fender electric piano, beautiful Elka strings and a compelling organ solo in Billy Silver.
Swing time with Hammond Extravaganza, evoking Brian Auger and Hardin & York and an awesome rhythm-section in Ray Ban.
A mellow atmosphere with a Pink Floyd kind of synthesizer sound, and hypnotizing drums, gradually turning into a psychedelic climate with exciting work on guitar, Hammond and synthesizer in At Home.
First a slow rhythm with an electric piano solo and then an acceleration with again exciting work on piano, organ, fuelled by that awesome rhythm-section in The Comete.
A catchy mid-tempo featuring powerful saxophone and Hammond, the interplay with the drums and bass is outstanding, and finally a fiery guitar solo in What I Say.
A mellow and hypnotizing atmosphere with delicate work on clavinet, Hammond and again powerful saxophone in a lush climate in Tree Job Man.
A swinging rhythm with exciting Hammond and Moog (like ELP, Triumvirat and Quill), fuelled by dynamic drums and bass in finally a swirling Hammond solo in the Brian Auger cover Tropic Of Capricorn.
First a swinging rhythm with a spacey Moog solo, then a lush and dynamic atmosphere with strong work on clavinet and Hammond, and in the end exciting interplay between powerful Hammond and fiery electric guitar in Jam.
Again swing time in the Joe Zawinful cover Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, this is top notch Hammond Extravaganza!
The Wes Montgomery cover Bumpin' On Sunset delivers jazzy Hammond play, a short but very entertaining composition.

This album features exciting and varied keyboard work (along strong saxophone and electric guitar), not like ELP or The Nice but more in the vein of Sixties bands like Booker T & The MG's, Brian Auger's Trinity and Hardin & York (former Spencer Davis Group members), the floods of organ will delight the many Hammond aficionados!

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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