by Geoff Bailie
I get to listen to a lot of music, much of it amazing. But every so often, something comes from a bit out of the blue that stops me in my tracks! Hyperbole already? Well … actually…
You may not have heard of Kite Parade, but if you’re a lover of the sort of music we feature on this site, it’s a name you should check out. Kite Parade is the brainchild of Andy Foster, an English multi-instrumentalist and he contributes virtually everything to this album titled, except drums… and well… why not get Nick D’Virgilio and Wishbone Ash’s Joe Crabtree to cover those!
Musically, this album titled The Way Home is varied in a prog rock/pop vein, melodic with lots of hooks, but with plenty of complex moments that will make you smile. “Letting Go” kicks things off and is an uplifting, air-puncher of an anthem. Midway through it breaks down with a rhythmic bass/ piano section, before the bridge kicks in, followed by guitar and keyboard solos that bring us back to the verse/ chorus. The most helpful comparison I could make would be the stylings of It Bites, Spock’s Beard, Big Big Train and Lonely Robot.
The next track “Strip The Walls” has a heavier edge with a Gentle Giant style vocal cadenza. It too shifts in style, and has much to keep the interest of the listener. This Time is an acoustic-led tune and Andy Foster shows his capabilities in all of the instrumental areas. Mention has to be made of Nick D’Virgilio’s contribution to this album. Let’s face it, if you’re reading this you’ll know what NDV can do, and on this album, his playing, as a side-man, is just next level – bringing exactly what the track needs every time.
“Suffer No Longer” is a great ballad, while “Going Under” has a fantastic vocal performance. Title track “The Way Home” is an excellent piece of prog, with the addictive chorus and the guitar/ keyboard dueling making it a standout track. The album ends with “Stranded,” an almost 15 minute epic with twists and turns coming every few minutes, truly taking the listener on a journey, rather than being a prog indulgence, made all the more amazing when you remember this is mostly all being played by one guy!
One of the things I love about this genre is when music like this album comes on to my radar, and you get to share in an artist’s labour of love. It’s one of my favourite albums of 2022 and I hope we hear more from Kite Parade soon!
Released on March 1st, 2022 on White Knight Records
1. Letting Go
2. Strip The Walls
3. This Time
4. Suffer No Longer
5. Going Under
6. The Way Home
Available for pre-order www.whiteknightshop2.co.uk or for download from https://kiteparade.bandcamp.com/album/the-way-home