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The GalleonsThe Galleons
Album: The Hidden Colour
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 9

Tom Robinson has noted that The Galleons are a band who make a sound "bigger or greater than the sum of its parts" - a double edged compliment (a) it being from Tom Robinson and (b) demonstrating the fact that The Galleons are a genuine band who do what they do best when they play together and need not rely on instrumental virtuosity. In fact, 'The Hidden Colour' isn't so much about instrumental virtuosity but instrumental variety.

The third album from the Brighton indie/alt/folk six piece sees them reeling off a thirty five minute set - more than enough time in which the nine tracks are able make an impact and seep into the consciousness. Variety comes too from the vocals shared between Ben Brockett and Beth Chesser both of whom add understated musical colour to the guitar/bass/piano/drums. In the main, uncluttered and wistful, the sound isn't dissimilar to the easy yet occasionally strident sort of sound you'd find from young folkies Keston Cobbers' Club and The Willows.

'How To Make A Shadow Breathe' provides a mid album high, building from a gentle introduction to what would perhaps be the most intense (not a word you'd really associate with their music) Galleon Blast get. Having said that, they go all uptempo country folk 'Joan Of Arc' - the obvious dance number of the album, the electric guitar going all rock for a moment or two. The more jazzy R&B paced 'Morning Star' offers a slight twist, sandwiched between the lengthier 'The Light Thief', all cascading piano and two voices working perfectly together building up to a crescendo of sorts and the shorter (yet possibly more successful) reflective album closer 'Sleepwalker'.

What's a pleasant change is the recognition of the fact that because you can fit eighty minutes onto a CD, you don't necessarily have to. The emphasis, as in the old (and current) days of vinyl albums when twenty minutes a side was pushing the limits, makes the impact of the songs more immediate and a much more relaxed listening experience - and one which makes the album all the better for it.

Watch out for their album launch gig in their home town on 12th March where they will be playing songs from the album accompanied by the 70 piece Brighton & Hove Arts Orchestra plus amongst many other special features, you'll find a 'Hidden Colour' beer brewed especially for the event.

Mike Ainscoe