In 1985 troubadour-singer & songwriter Chris Thomson formed in Glasgow one of the greatest and most emotive Scottish bands, The Bathers.
‘Kelvingroove Baby‘, released in 1997, closes triumphantly ‘the trilogy of masterpieces’ from Marina Records, after the tremendous ‘Lagoon Blues‘ (1993) and ‘Sunpowder‘ (1995).
Acoustic genteel guitars, heart-storming violins, piano serenity, washes of dreamy accordion, and the overwhelming vocals of Chris Thomson, create one of the most shattering albums in the history of pure music. Especially for the fans of Tinderticks, Spain, The Blue Nile…
‘Thrive‘ opens the album in a calm, warm way. Gentle acoustic guitar, and whispering vocals; but the strings and the voice that echoes at the end prepares us for the sentimental storm that is coming… ‘If Love Could Last Forever‘ is a heart-burned “hit” perfection, driven by classic guitar chords & drums and the great rendition by Chris. An almost gothic piano quiet and the unbelievable troubadour, deep way of Chris’s singing offer us an acoustic fairytale, at ‘Once Upon A Time On The Rapenburg‘. The self-titled track, is a seven-minute epic, a divine masterpiece with operatic soprano backing vocals that bring in mind images from the renaissance, like the statue in the album artwork. What A majestic song! Post-Country story, ‘Girl From The Polders‘ seems so simple but has great potential, especially because of the crooning way in which Chris sings. ‘Lost Certainties‘ and ‘The Fragments Remains Insane‘ are the absolute divine elevation… Burning strings—crescendos full of intense and dramatic scenes of sentiments never spoken… If you are still alive, you are ready to welcome, one of the most sentimental and heartbreaking hymns ever written. ‘Hellespont In A Storm‘. Lapping of accordion waves, subtle guitar, fragile strings… And Chris Thompson, a trouble troubadour, at his personal tour de force, loses his soul on the microphone, totally overwhelming, breathing with closed eyes, for the last time…
‘Spread your wings
you were born to fly
away in time
I was born to love you
But I was born to lose
spread your wings
the time has come to fly
away in time
where I can’t choose to follow
I wasn’t born to fly
away in time.’
An ode to pure love found and loss, to unfulfilled, to farewell moments of time. With tearful eyes we reach to the end of album into a love-haunted telephone conversation, whispering echoes of ‘Twelve‘:
“Yes, I love you
Until the orchids forget to bloom
Yes, I love you
Until the poets run out of rhyme“
‘Kelvingroove Baby‘ isn’t an ordinary album; hauntingly emotive, atmospherically literate, aristocratic and divine-inspired, filled with passion and sadness, troubled and very personal, it is a tearful world of broken dreams, of regret and breakup, of our personal stories of love and loss, of love that goes wrong.
It’s difficult to pass through this album without tears in my eyes…
“She stood beside me on the windy drive,
Kissed me sadly and waved goodbye…”