28 Jun 2020

The Phoenix Foundation and Shona Laing

From New Horizons, 5:00 pm on 28 June 2020

William Dart looks at two new releases which serve up quite a few surprises: some great, re-released and previously unreleased recordings by The Phoenix Foundation and Shona Laing.

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Shona Laing

Shona Laing Photo: Supplied

William opens the programme with a quick listen to a couple of songs from Bruno Lawrence's 1970s band Blerta, commenting that the 1972 single 'Dance All Around The World', a "kiwi slice of hippie idealism, may seem to be suggesting a terpsichorean twirl around the globe but, in tune with our current travel restrictions, it has a deeper message more to the point: we should stay at home and appreciate the beauty that’s around us."

And the other song 'Everybody Has Their Day', by Bruno himself, has never (to our knowledge) made it to any sort of digital release. William plays his old 45 rpm single.

But both The Phoenix Foundation and Shona Laing have blessed us with releases with surprises.

The Phoenix Foundation's Buffalo 10 Year Anniversary Edition includes not only all the tracks from the original Buffalo album, which took them to international attention, but also tracks from The Do Son (or The Du Son) EP and a set of seven so-called Buffalo's Children tracks that didn't make it to the album back in 2010.

William is particularly taken with the song 'A Million Rainbows' ... "devilishly addictive".

Shona Laing's release, Hindsight, on the Frenzy label is a collection of "Hits, New Recordings, Alternate Versions, and Rarities."

It includes four previously unreleased tracks from 1975, put down in a London studio, working with the likes of Alan Tarney and Trevor Spencer, two musicians very much associated with Cliff Richard of all people.

And there are two brand new songs, 'The Mahatma's Army' and 'Vagrant Heart', the simpler and more personal of the two, a reflective ballad that rekindles old fires when guitarist and long-time colloborator of Laing's, Gary Verberne leads us into her testament of hard-earned faith.

Music Details

'Song title' (Composer) – Performers
Album title
(Label)

'Dance All Around The World' (Simpson, Murphy) – Blerta
Loxene Golden Disc 1972
(EMI)

'Everyone has their day' (Lawrence) – Blerta
45rpm single
(HMV)

'Eventually' (TPF) – The Phoenix Foundation
Buffalo: 10 Year Anniversary Edition
(TPF digital release)

'Orange & Mango' (TPF) – The Phoenix Foundation
Buffalo: 10 Year Anniversary Edition
(TPF digital release)

'Middle Dream' (TPF) – The Phoenix Foundation
Buffalo: 10 Year Anniversary Edition
(TPF digital release)

'Pavlov’s Pavlova' (TPF) – The Phoenix Foundation
Buffalo: 10 Year Anniversary Edition
(TPF digital release)

'One Million Rainbows' (TPF) – The Phoenix Foundation
Buffalo: 10 Year Anniversary Edition
(TPF digital release)

'1905 (45 single version)' (Laing) – Shona Laing
Hindsight
(Frenzy)

'I (Who Have Nothing)' (Donida et al) – Manfred Mann Earth Band feat. Shona Laing
Hindsight
(Frenzy)

'One Act Play' (Laing) – Shona Laing
Hindsight
(Frenzy)

'Vagrant Heart' (Laing) – Shona Laing
Hindsight
(Frenzy)