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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Comedy Of Errors - 2013 Fanfare And Fantasy
Comedy Of Errors - 2013 Fanfare And Fantasy

ARTIST: Comedy Of Errors
ALBUM: Fanfare And Fantasy
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Joe Cairney - vocals * Jim Johnston - keyboards, backing vocals * Bruce Levick - drums * Mark Spalding - guitars, bass, backing vocals * John Fitzgerald - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fanfare For The Broken Hearted * 02 Something She Said * 03 In A Lifetime * 04 Going For A Song * 05 Mercy Dance * 06 The Cause * 07 Time's Motet And Galliard * 08 Rememberance * 09 The Answer



I profess to knowing very little about Scottish progsters Comedy Of Errors. Apart from Eric's article on their 1988 s/t album, this band seemed to have lived up to their name with a fair degree of accuracy as well as humour. A member of the British neo-prog scene, COE have been working toward putting their material out onto CD over the last few years, but news of brand new material back in 2009 finally found its way to their 2011 album 'Disobey', and then ultimately onto this one: 'Fanfare And Fantasy', to much aplomb from those in the prog (and near prog) scene. But then they would say that, the gushing plaudits all too obvious from neo-prog anoraks, it makes us AORsters look totally cold and unforgiving by comparison! Still, I don't mind throwing a few words at this, as it is (after all) a very good album.

The Songs
Closing in on a near 70 minutes playing time, 'FAF' is a good representation of their Scottish contemporaries Pallas and Abel Ganz, but the obvious mirroring is that of Marillion. Not in a fanboi sort of way, but wearing their influences on their sleeves for all to see and hear. There are some epic like moments on FAF, 5 tracks venture way beyond the 8 minute mark. That might seem like a lifetime to melodic rock and AOR listeners (and it probably is), but to seasoned prog listeners, this is a typical run-time. 'Fanfare For The Broken Hearted' is but one of these, with its carefully crafted pathway based on storytelling oriented lyrics and intricate musicianship. 'Something She Said' is one track which I like a lot; it has traces of The Flower Kings and Yes among others, a nice but sharp synth motif that carries all the way through. 'In A Lifetime' is an example of a shorter piece, mixing spartan verses with crunching electrics, with the keyboards taking a seat at the rear. Firing up for a prog workout, 'Going For A Song' sees COE throwing aside all inhibition, fusing 70's era Yes and maybe even a dash of Styx. The guitar and keyboard integration is tighter than a corrupt bankers wallet! 'Mercy Dance' exhibits a colder digital presence thanks to the synth sequences, even if the song has a hint of celtic influence. 'The Cause' is one of the lengthier tracks and is broken down into 3 or 4 segments. Things get real Kansas like at the 3 minute mark, and if violins had been present, it could very well have been the greatest track that our friends from Topeka never released! 'Time's Motet And Galliard' is mostly an extended choral arrangement which does come back to something mainstream eventually, before veering away on a 70's progressive rock direction. 'Remembrance' is a slow-tempo piano based track that exhibits a mournful side, not unlike a lament. 'The Answer' (last but not least) just touches on 10 minutes; it captures COE at their progressive best, undulating musical passages and it's here where you can run the comparisons across a whole spectrum of prog acts from old to neo, to modern day. This one has got it all!

In Summary
This is an album which you can leave running; some of the melodies will stick in your head for days. COE are definitely within the prog framework, they are melodic enough to appeal to an AOR audience like those of you who are regulars here, but cannot be classified into the pink and fluffy territory I'm afraid. I'd have to say this is one of the better prog albums of 2013, and for an independent release, the quality of the sound and production cannot be faulted. Lovely stuff, and next to Andy Murray, one of the recent success stories coming out of Scotland!

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#1 | DEMONAOR on July 25 2013 14:30:40
A great album George.
#2 | Eric on July 25 2013 21:38:44
Spot on review and absolutley on my best of 2013 list.
#3 | swazi on June 10 2014 21:59:04
Brilliant! Love the artwork as well.
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