COLIN SCOT – Colin Scot

Like Gordon Jackson in the last column, Colin Scot (nee Thistlewaite) was a little-known singer/songwriter with an impressive collection of famous friends. For the recording of his eponymous 1971 album he managed to get the help of, among others, Robert Fripp, Brinsley Schwartz, Rod Clements and Alan Hull, Rick Wakeman, Peter Hammill and Guy Evans, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, Jon Anderson, Linda Hoyle, and Davey Johnstone, who also contributed a song for the album. Now this would all mean nothing if the songs were not up to standard or if Scot did not have the talent to interpret them, but he does in both cases, and so we have a fine example of the singer/songwriter genre. ‘Do The Dance Now, Davey’ and ‘My Rain’ are both lively pieces, while ‘Take Me Away’ is a lushly orchestrated ballad which shows Scot’s vocals at their best. ‘Confusion’ is a little too bar-room boogie for my tastes, but he redeems himself a the lovely version of Mickey Newbury’s ‘Baby In My Lady’. ‘Lead Us’ comes from the pen of Neil Innes, and is so unlike his Bonzo’s work that you never guess the author, and Scot’s interpretation is suitably reverential. Davey Johnstone’s ‘The Boatman’ is a great folk song in the classic style – just guitar and voice and a great tune. ‘Nite People’ is another Scot original with a memorable arrangement and a great rock backing, while his version of Harvey Andrews’ ‘Hey Sandy’ strips it back to just guitar and voice. This CD re-issue adds four bonus tracks, three of which are alternative takes of album tracks, but we also get ‘Long Time Gone’, which is his chance to really rock out, and which should have made it to the original album. Colin Scot had the mates but not the breaks, with the album not selling vast quantities, but we can now hear it as a great example of the art of the 70’s singer/songwriter, and is well worth hearing for that.