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Ian Hunter Ian Hunter
Album: Fingers Crossed
Label: Proper
Tracks: 10

As a young man I loved Ian Hunter's Once Bitten Twice Shy with it's spoken intro - a broad Cockney 'allo - that had me hooked.

Hunter is widely recognised as one of rock n roll's most compelling performers and an articulate songwriter.

This is is latest studio album with the Rant Band, featuring ten self-penned songs, and is the follow-up to his 2012 acclaimed album When I'm President

The album kicks poff with That's When the Trouble Starts - it's a rocking opener with the band firing on all cylinders. But there is much more to this album than all out rock n roll.

Dandy is Hunter's tribute to the late David Bowie, who was instrumental in putting Ian Hunter and Mott The Hoople on the road to fame back in the Seventies. With a sound that takes you straight back to that time, it's an affectionate look back at those formative years.

Ghosts isa song that came about after a visit to Memphis and a visit to Sam Phillip's Sun Studio. It's an up-tempo number that builds nicely.

The title track is about the days of press-gangs, and has a different feel to the previous tracks, more thoughtful and slower, and it rolls along very sweetly.

White House is a fun romp, Bow Street Runners is another historical tale. This time looking at the Fielding Brothers, London's first police officers.

The atmospheric Morpheus is one the best tracks on the album, another slower track that builds gently, with some subtle brass, before peaking with some great guitar.

Stranded in Reality shows Hunter has lost none of his vocal prowess, the Cockney edge is always there.

This a quite beautifully produced album. It was recorded in New Jersey and co-produced by Hunter and Andy York, and they've done a great job.

The reggae-inspired You Can't Live In The Past is another great track as is the final track

Long Time, with it's homely folky feel - tinkling mandolin and pianos - it has a communal mood about it that is very engaging.

It is so refreshing to hear one of the stalwarts of the British music scene making such great music. Well worth a listen

John Knighton