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Kestrel - Kestrel [Expanded & Remastered] (2015)

Rock, Progressive Rock | Author: artmuss | 10-03-2015, 12:43
Kestrel - Kestrel [Expanded & Remastered] (2015)
Artist: Kestrel
Title Of Album: Kestrel
Year Of Release: 1975 [2015]
Label (Catalog#): Esoteric Recordings [ECLEC2 2481]
Country: England
Genre: Rock, Prog Rock, Art Rock
Quality: FLAC (tracks +.cue,log,scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 1:13:46
Full Size: 477 mb

Kestrel was formed in the seaside town of Whitley Bay in the summer of 1971.

Guitarist and founder member Dave Black was the main musical driving force of the band, although John Cook's contribution of keyboards was very important to the final flavour of the album. Cook was the only member to come from music college, whilst the others were self-taught, and Black plundered Cook's knowledge of chords and inversions to create that strange blend of progressive rock with jazz overtones. Cook is only credited with one song "End of the affair", but Black now acknowledges that ho could have been credited on some of the other songs, particularly the middle section of "Acrobat".

Tom Knowles transferred from keyboards to became the singer when the previous singer (Tom's brother Mike) wasn't considered right for the style. Knowles handed keyboard duties to Cook and concentrated on vocals, which he handled very well. Tom was also a very capable drummer and this stood him in good stead a few years later. David Whittaker on drums was the oldest member of the band and Kestrel was his second album, his first having been with Newcastle band "Gin-House". They disbanded soon after winning the 1970 Melody Maker Battle of the Band at London's Marquee Club.

Finally on bass guitar and flute was Black's old school friend Fenwick Moir. He had an unusual style, understated and melodic which complemented the songs perfectly.

Black's song writing influences were many and varied, including YES, GENESIS, ELP, THE BEATLES, SANTANA, and Dutch Band FOCUS. In fact if you listen to the guitar intro on "I believe in you" and compare it with "Sylvia" by Focus, you can hear the similarity, so Black didn't mind nicking a few ideas here and there.

In early 1973 the band had been spotted by songwriter, producer, and talent scout John Worth, who has touring the provinces looking for new bands. He was instrumental in getting the band signed to Cube Records and he produced the album in the summer of '74 at Cube's own basement studio in Denmark St. It is interesting to note that engineer John Rollo was only 16 at the time. Worth was an unlikely mentor for Kestrel, having written songs for Adam Faith and Eden Kane in the 60's. He had also just written a huge hit for Jimmy Helms called "Gonna make you an offer".

So Worth, a producer from the old school was already in this forties whilst Cook and Black were only 21, but it worked because Worth loved the band.

The band gigged a lot and appeared on Tyne Tees Television a few times but sadly the Kestrel album sank without trace in late '74. Black joined the remnants of David Bowie's Spiders From Mars replacing Mick Ronson while Moir and Cook formed a band called Poke. Whittaker and Knowles returned to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In '76 Black was reunited with Knowles (by now a drummer) in chart-topping band GOLDIE, having a massive hit in '78 with "Making Up Again". Sadly they were to prove a one hit wonder.

Dave Black is now a solo performer, session guitarist, songwriter, and occasional member of R'n'B outfit the Brendan Healey Band. He lives on a farm near Whitley Bay. John Cook is senior sound engineer an Tyne Teens Television. He also writes signature for many programmes, (currently "Fully Booked" on BBC 3 Sunday mornings) and owns his own recording studio. Tom Knowles is involved in his family's bakery business in Durham as a computer system analyst. David Whittaker is in his 50's now and is still drumming around the local pubs and clubs around Newcastle with various bands. Fenwick Moir moved to France in the late 70's and his current whereabouts is unknown.


1-1 The Acrobat
1-2 Wind Cloud
1-3 I Believe In You
1-4 Last Request
1-5 In The War
1-6 Take It Away
1-7 End Of The Affair
1-8 August Carol

Bonus Disc (Previously Unreleased Track/Version Collection)
2-1 August Carol (Different Version)
2-2 The Acrobat (Different Version)
2-3 Part Of The Machine (Outtake)
2-4 The Searcher (Outtake)
2-5 August Carol (Single Edit)
2-6 Wind Cloud (Single Edit)

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  • #1: ePhysician (10 March 2015 15:21)

    group: Journalists
    registration: 12.05.2014
    Thank you for this lossless.

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