Anthony Phillips

Radio Clyde 1978

Voiceprint BP354CD

Track list


Conversation Piece

Silver Song
Master Of Time
Which Way The Wind Blows
Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends)?
Field Of Eternity
Postlude: End Of The Season

a review by Mario Giammetti

In July of year 1978, during the promotional work for "Wise After The Event", Ant recorded a bunch of songs 'live', but obviously he didn't do it in front of an audience, but alone in his studio, as he did fifteen years after for the "Echoes Sessions" then included in "The Living Room Concert". He put himself at the recording console, adjusted the mics for guitar and vocals and started to record, as he were playing in front of an invisible and hence "powerless" audience.

A bootleg of this performance was around for many years among the fans and, until the "Echoes Sessions" were released, and this was the only chance to get an idea of what a Ant gig should be like. The tape also featured a faster speed than the original master. Those tapes got lost unfortunately, so to get this release out, Voiceprint used a first generation tape found at Phillips' home. Under a technical point of view, the result isn't astounding, we have to say it; the sound isn't smooth as we hoped, but it is fairly decent and obviously the tape speed has been corrected.

The performance is instead a real 'must', and although the first slight flaws appear already at first track "Reaper", we have only to get the CD played to appreciate again the 12 strings big sound, like a little orchestra played with only two hands. "Moonshooter" is one of the few songs for guitar and vocals composed by Ant. In my opinion it's a shame he doesn't explore more this kind of things; Ant, isn't bad at all as singer, and this performance makes us more unsatisfied about his refusal of doing live acts. After the heartful "Flamingo" there's a new track called "Guitar Quintet Movement One" on the credits and "Conversation Piece" in the track list. The latter was used more than a time in the above mentioned "The Living Room Concert". There's an hilarious introduction by Ant himself, in which he says he "wrote this song 45 years ago" (at the time he was only 27... and it was already considered a dinosaur by punks....weird, isn't it?). Then there's a sequence of four great tracks, all for guitar and vocals: "Silver Song", well performed (but Phil Collins' vocals is on another level obviously). "Master Of Time", a song dedicated to the Big Ben which was firstly included in the reissue of "The Geese And The Ghost". Here the organ is missing, but Ant is able to recreate the dynamics on his 12 strings.

Then there's "Which Way The Wind Blows" which is simply a superlative tune. Once again Ant does a fine job on vocals, even if it's really hard not thinking about Collins vocals, in my opinion being one of Phil's finest recording to date, in his long career. The last song is "Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends)?", where Ant's playing is excellent using the full range of dynamics. It's also a fine vocal performance, using the vibrato, even if is a bit strange he decided to sing some passages ....

The CD ends with the beautiful "Field Of Eternity", played on 6 strings, on which he makes a great use of pauses, and the brief "Postlude: End Of The Season" played on 12 strings. In conclusion, this album features the first new Peter Cross artwork after ten years (a nice work, although it isn't too much elaborated), and this is yet another of the reasons which make this little gem a must, the first Ant solo album (an archival release, actually) in four years: it was never happened before in his career, and this makes us more impatient to get his next album.