Ian A Anderson – Royal York Crescent EP

EP Review | Ghosts From the Basement | Review by Allan Wilkinson

More ghosts from the basement, the latest coming in the form of a limited edition EP which recalls Ian A Anderson’s third album release on Village Thing Records, Royal York Crescent.  The EP features four of the songs from that album, the last four tracks on side one for those who might not remember the original back in 1970 and which you can still get via Discogs from around £30 to £150.  More affordable is this grand little EP, which comes in celebration of the album’s fiftieth anniversary year, though in this case, without the instruction to ‘play loud’.  Perhaps our sensitive ancient ears should be spared any unnecessary trauma.

The four tracks, two vocal and two instrumentals are evocative of the times and are once again a reminder of the burgeoning Bristol scene of which I was too late to the party, and also too far away to be fair.  Ian is on fine vocal form and handles an acoustic guitar well, holding his own among his peers Wizz Jones, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and the like.  For the curious, Royal York Crescent is the street where Ian lived until he was drawn to the legendary Soho all-nighters for a while, returning sometime later.  Joining Ian here is Ian Hunt on guitar, Ian ‘Heavy Drummer’ Turner on bongos and John Turner on double bass, together with a bunch of hyperactive birds throughout the instrumental “Goblets and Elms”, who each turn in empathetic performances.  Incidentally, the photograph on the reverse of the sleeve is of our tall moustachioed troubadour performing on stage at the very first Glastonbury Festival.  Take that Dolly Parton!