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Wally - Montpellier (CD)

Genre: Prog rock
Release Date: 12th March 2012

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST093CD
Price: £7.99
Available: 1 in stock


Wally - Montpellier

Wally is a British progressive rock band formed by singer song writer Roy Webber in Harrogate in the early seventies. The band was signed to Atlantic Records in 1974 after entering a contest organised by the music paper Melody Maker. Unfortunately the band did not win the competition but they did catch the eye of one of the judges at the competition, presenter of The Old Grey Whistle Test, Bob Harris who oversaw their prize, which was to record a session for his Radio 1 programme. Through Bob the band were signed to Atlantic Records and Bob subsequently produced the band’s debut self-titled album alongside Rick Wakeman.

The band also enjoyed a number of high profile concerts including an appearance at the 1974 Crystal Palace Garden Party, which was headlined by Rick Wakeman, and after being managed briefly by the manager of Yes, Brian Lane, would support Yes also at a number of high profile concerts.

A second album emerged in 1975, again produced by Bob Harris, entitled Valley Gardens, the band now joined by keyboardist Nick Glennie-Smith who would go onto a successful production and composing career after Wally split in the late seventies just before the band could record their third album.

Montpellier is the result of a re-formation of the band and includes material that would possibly have featured on the band's third album in the seventies, alongside new material. The band have performed annual concerts in their home town of Harrogate for the last three years but Montpellier is the first studio album since Valley Gardens in 1975. The band does have a large cult following and this album will certainly be welcomed by that substantial following.


Tracks:
1. Sailor
2. Sister Moon
3. Thrill Is Gone
4. Surfing
5. In The Night
6. Human
7. She Said
8. Giving

 



 Review: Review: Wally-Montpellier


Wally has added another great CD to the long and strong tradition of English Progressive Rock with their album Montpellier. Fans who remember the band from the early 70s will find that Wally has retained their classic feel, but with some tasty additions. The most important would be Frank Mizen on steel guitar. His prevalence in the music throughout the album lends it a slight Southern feel that makes for a really interesting sound.

“Sailor” opens the album with atmospheric synth accented by the sound of gulls. A guitar blast and crash cymbal mark the end of the introduction and the beginning of a thoughtful ballad with Beatles-esque piano and vocals. After a couple of times through the verse and chorus, the song erupts with guitar and organ sounds leading to an electric finish, tempered by the briefest denouement (the sound of gulls again). “Thrill Is Gone” has a more raw sound. The highlight of the song features the bands other new addition, guitarist Will Jackson. His solo develops from a simple riff in the lowest range of the instrument into a shrieking jam worthy of any number of great guitarists (think Duane Allman meets Eddie Van Halen). “Surfing” is a very unique offering that begins with spoken vocals and instruments that sound like the background music of a Tom Waits song, and then it turns into a straight-forward rock song on the chorus with screaming vocals. Very cool!

The album closes with the powerful anthem “Giving.” It literally gave me chills when I first listened to it. The classical-style strings (and/or synth) that begin and end the song would be beautiful all on their own, but the middle section of the song blows even those sweet moments away. The final arrival of the lead guitar solo towards the end of the tune is nothing less than triumphant. Wally is a great band still dedicated to doing their own thing. I hope that they continue to make music for another 3 or 4 decades!

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks- Sailor, Thrill Is Gone, Giving

Donny Harvey


March 15, 2012

 Review: Review: Wally-Montpellier


Wally has added another great CD to the long and strong tradition of English Progressive Rock with their album Montpellier. Fans who remember the band from the early 70s will find that Wally has retained their classic feel, but with some tasty additions. The most important would be Frank Mizen on steel guitar. His prevalence in the music throughout the album lends it a slight Southern feel that makes for a really interesting sound.

“Sailor” opens the album with atmospheric synth accented by the sound of gulls. A guitar blast and crash cymbal mark the end of the introduction and the beginning of a thoughtful ballad with Beatles-esque piano and vocals. After a couple of times through the verse and chorus, the song erupts with guitar and organ sounds leading to an electric finish, tempered by the briefest denouement (the sound of gulls again). “Thrill Is Gone” has a more raw sound. The highlight of the song features the bands other new addition, guitarist Will Jackson. His solo develops from a simple riff in the lowest range of the instrument into a shrieking jam worthy of any number of great guitarists (think Duane Allman meets Eddie Van Halen). “Surfing” is a very unique offering that begins with spoken vocals and instruments that sound like the background music of a Tom Waits song, and then it turns into a straight-forward rock song on the chorus with screaming vocals. Very cool!

The album closes with the powerful anthem “Giving.” It literally gave me chills when I first listened to it. The classical-style strings (and/or synth) that begin and end the song would be beautiful all on their own, but the middle section of the song blows even those sweet moments away. The final arrival of the lead guitar solo towards the end of the tune is nothing less than triumphant. Wally is a great band still dedicated to doing their own thing. I hope that they continue to make music for another 3 or 4 decades!

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks- Sailor, Thrill Is Gone, Giving

Donny Harvey


March 15, 2012

 Review: Review from Israel


More than three decades on, the Harrogate moon rises again. It's like a heady moonshine has never been away.

When WALLY fizzled out in the late '70s, nobody paid much attention and lamented the demise of a band who brewed the impossible alchemic concoction of English prog and West Coast country rock. Remembered mostly for being produced by "Whispering" Bob Harris and Rick Wakeman, their two albums became cult items nevertheless, so the group's 2009 return was met with much acclaim, even though nobody hoped for another studio work. Yet here it is - some completely new compositions, some based on the halcyon days' demos, no line drawn between them - and nostalgia trip "Montpellier" ain't, even though "Sister Moon", which connects with the ensemble's cover sign, ripples with silvery celestial sadness.
Still, featuring five original WALLY members, WALLY sound surprisingly fresh, while deeply rooted in their own tradition. Thus, "Thrill Is Gone" rocks in a modern Americana way, homespun and calling to chug along, but once the birds' chirp gives way to majestic piano chords in "Sailor", a panoramic view unfurls before one's mind eye to float solemnly on Paul Middleton's and Frank Mizen's steel guitars and Nick Glennie-Smith's smooth organ before the blissful vocal harmonies strike in full force and riffs make the picture bright and clear. The same instrumental combination lights the heart-gripping velvet of "In The Night", a power ballad with the strongest pop hooks on offer - female backing, Roy Webber's warm voice and Will Jackson's transparent guitars reach for heaven on this one - and "She Said" might challenge Neil Young for troubled textural sensuality. Significantly, both songs are new, previously recorded for a Jackson Webber album so, after a long, slow, violin-oiled yet optimistic coda of "Giving" shimmering with magic, there's a longing for more music from the veterans.
****2/3

 Review: Wally Review


 

Artist: Wally

Album: Montpellier


Genre: Other, Pop, Rock

Label: AIS

Tracks: 8

Release Date: November 8, 2011

Discs: 1

Rating: 2.38 (out of 4.00)

GRADE: C+
“Montpellier” opens up with ‘Sailor’, a song that is such a mixture of sounds that at first listen I didn’t quite like what I was hearing. But that was because there was so much coming at me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on whether or not to like the song. Right from the beginning the song starts off with this low, mellow sound with birds, maybe a seagulls sounding out, it was almost like a nature song that I was listening to. Though the opening to the song is short, only little over a minute long, then the vocals start in. Those first few moments of the vocals by Roy Webber had too much of a nasal sound to them. It was a such a boring opening vocals to a song that started off with such a catching set of sounds. However, the song does get better, the nasal sound remains, it just sounds better than the opening portion of the song.

I liked every song on this album except for one, ‘Sister Moon’. It was the lyrics of the song coupled with the whine of the vocals that got on my nerves. By repeating the lyric “sister” so many times along with the drawn out cords for some of the lyrics I couldn’t enjoy the song. I don’t know if this song was supposed to be mellow or not but it ended up being too slow for me to get interested in listening to. Though, this was the only song that I didn’t like, the rest of the album is really good. I was actually amazed by the song ‘Surfing’ and have listened to it the most. This one song gives the whole album it’s true feel, one of grandeur, like it’s a set of songs that would be played during a very dramatic play.

Wally has put out a CD that does what I like the most, it changes up the sound of the songs with each song. Taking songs that start with someone talking, then going into a song that’s mellow with a slow beat into a rock song before going back to being a mellow song. The beats in these songs are fun, they made me do a little dancing bob in my chair, I was tapping my foot, and a few times tapping out the beat on the desk. Listening to this album was almost like being put into a story where it was the soundtrack for myself as I went along for the ride.

 Review: New Wally album dissected


Wally: Montpellier

Review by G. W. Hill
The most likely candidates for comparison here are Pink Floyd and David Bowie. That said, there are other influences heard, too. In addition, the blend of sounds is really quite unique. However you slice it, this is a cool disc.

Track by Track Review

Sailor

There’s a pretty and sedate introductory section. Then it shifts to a piano based ballad approach. It builds out from there with sort of a David Bowie meets Pink Floyd kind of texture. This is melodic and powerful with some great harmonic vocals. It powers out around the two minute mark into a soaring number that is very much classic progressive rock. Eventually it drops back down from there. There’s an even harder rocking iteration of the more powerful section after that. The continuing cycle of mellower movement followed by more powered up stays with the song through the end, with some minor changes.

Sister MoonThis cut starts rather tentatively and works out to a melodic number that’s fairly basic in terms of song construction, but also quite accessible and rather catchy. It does a great job of combining a progressive rock element with a psychedelic rock and classic rock styling. There’s some smoking hot guitar soloing on the top of this and the vocal arrangement is great.

Thrill is Gone
This one’s really not all that prog-like. It’s got a great classic rock riff driving it and some smoking hot bluesy guitar soloing. There’s a little bridge section that brings some prog to the proceedings, but overall this doesn’t really fit well in that heading. There’s also a cool climbing guitar based jam later that’s more like Pink Floyd meets Led Zeppelin.

SurfingA rather bizarre song, in a lot of ways this is probably closest to the poet era of David Bowie. The vocals, often spoken, certainly call that to mind. Musically this powers up to some more energized rock at times, but also includes some stripped down percussive-dominated mellow music and even has some world music in the mix. It’s a cool tune that’s a bit of a change, but it’s perhaps less progressive rock (at least in a direct way) than a lot of the stuff here. That said, there is a cool proggy instrumental section midtrack that includes some killer guitar work and some nicely odd changes. There is also a violin solo in the midst of that segment. After some time back in the song proper mode, it works out to some spacey weirdness that, with some modifications, takes this out.

In the NightStarting tentatively, there’s some bluesy guitar sound early and then keyboards come over the top in a killer retro fashion. It gives way to a mellow, rather Pink Floyd like sound for the first vocals and builds from there. While mellow and progressive rock oriented, there’s definitely a groove to this. When it powers out later there’s even a soulful air to it. From there we get treated to a smoking hot guitar solo that definitely calls to mind David Gilmour. The song follows a pretty standard pattern of verse and chorus alternating with another instrumental movement, but it’s decidedly AOR progressive rock.

HumanComing in with mellow, melodic bits of muted guitar, the first vocals are spoken and again call to mind Bowie. This cut gets build out into a harder rocking, but still melodic motif and continues by alternating between the basic musical concepts. It has some passionate vocal work and really has a lot of classic rock in the arrangement. It works out to more of that melodic muted guitar sounds in a spacey pattern at the end.

She SaidCombining a classic rock singer/songwriter style with some country and even a little Pink Floyd, this song follows a pretty standard musical concept. It’s got some rocking motifs and some interesting soloing. It also has some nice female vocals as icing on the cake. The keyboard sounds are nice, too.

GivingThat country element is present on this track, too. It’s mellow and ballad-like with hints of dream pop. Of course, there’s also plenty of classic rock in the mix, too. There’s a fairly intense instrumental section later that brings more progressive rock to the table and a symphonic treatment takes it out.

 Review: WALLY: A great review


Wally is a progressive rock band based out of Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK, who created interesting music back in the early 1970s. Montepellier is a re-release CD from 2010, available now to help generate sales.

The original band was made up of Roy Webber, on vocals and guitar; Pete Cosker, on lead guitar, bass, and vocals; Paul Middleton, steel guitar and bass; Roger Narraway, on drums and percussion; and Nick Glennie-Smith, on keyboards and vocals.

Montepellier is full of six to over eight minute progressive songs full of masterful production and excellent music. The keyboard work with piano, along with Webber's unique vocal sound really help create a defining and unique sound. This 2010 release would have fit perfectly with some of my favorites from that year, had I known about them then.

"Sailor" is incredible with its keyboard and piano work. Took me right back to some of Steve Miller's work on a similar titled album. "Surfing", one of the longer tracks on the album was also a favorite. "In the Night" has some great vocal harmonies and excellent lead guitar work. "Human" is also full of some unique sounding guitar work and good vocals. The closer, "Giving" is the best track on the album, and took me right back to some of my favorite music of 2010, from the Black Crowes double album.

Wally is a great mix of progressive and straight ahead rock n roll. This disc should have been heard by a larger audience. Maybe this re-release will help give the album the coverage it deserved.

Track Listing:

1. Sailor
2. Sister Moon
3. Thrill Is Gone
4. Surfing
5. In The Night
6. Human
7. She Said
8. Giving

 Review: WALLY: A great review


Wally is a progressive rock band based out of Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK, who created interesting music back in the early 1970s. Montepellier is a re-release CD from 2010, available now to help generate sales.

The original band was made up of Roy Webber, on vocals and guitar; Pete Cosker, on lead guitar, bass, and vocals; Paul Middleton, steel guitar and bass; Roger Narraway, on drums and percussion; and Nick Glennie-Smith, on keyboards and vocals.

Montepellier is full of six to over eight minute progressive songs full of masterful production and excellent music. The keyboard work with piano, along with Webber's unique vocal sound really help create a defining and unique sound. This 2010 release would have fit perfectly with some of my favorites from that year, had I known about them then.

"Sailor" is incredible with its keyboard and piano work. Took me right back to some of Steve Miller's work on a similar titled album. "Surfing", one of the longer tracks on the album was also a favorite. "In the Night" has some great vocal harmonies and excellent lead guitar work. "Human" is also full of some unique sounding guitar work and good vocals. The closer, "Giving" is the best track on the album, and took me right back to some of my favorite music of 2010, from the Black Crowes double album.

Wally is a great mix of progressive and straight ahead rock n roll. This disc should have been heard by a larger audience. Maybe this re-release will help give the album the coverage it deserved.

Track Listing:

1. Sailor
2. Sister Moon
3. Thrill Is Gone
4. Surfing
5. In The Night
6. Human
7. She Said
8. Giving

 Review: German Wally Review



At WALLY is a British progressive rock band, with the help of the legendary radio host Bob Harris 'Whispering' ('The Old Grey Whistle Test') was in the 1970 draw attention to themselves. The debut album "Wally" (1975, Atlantic Records) produced Rick Wakeman jointly with Harris. Brian Lane, manager of YES worried the group performances in the UK, Japan and the United States.They also allowed YES supporten in London and play on various radio shows.The second album was called "Valley Gardens" (1975, Atlantic Records).Unfortunately, this formation of the more various singles and compilations are, granted after not too long due more.

Lo and behold, the remaining founding members Roy Webber, Paul Middleton, Pete Sage, Roger Narraway and Nick Glennie-Smith teamed up (reinforced by Frank Mizen and Will Jackson) just this year together. The resulting concert was published in 2010 as a double album titled "To The Urban Man". Prior (2009), there was a compilation called "That Was Then". 2012 appeared in this country now that produ
ced by Will Jackson album "Montpellier".

This board combines revised, originally scheduled for the third album WALLY numbers and more recent material by Roy Webber and Paul Middleton.
Basically interested here is the inclined progressive rock offered in varying degrees. Sometimes it flows spherical to himself, then it becomes harder and dominated by guitars and gets a psychedelic touch. Here and there it goes toward folk rock or even acquires countryeske trains.

Who's the music of the British promised earlier, "Montpellier" will almost certainly also fallen. If you like prog rock, which extends beyond the famous nose, these troops still do not know, should deal quiet time with this work.Maybe that leads to the discovery of even other recordings.

Michael Koenig, (article ), 26.08.2012
Check out the Wally Gonzo Artist Page

 Review: LINK: Peculiar Wally Review


I watched the W ally live DVD the other night, and jolly good it was too. I will be doing a review and posting some odds and ends on these pages soon. However, a few days later I received this review from Germany of their reunion album Montpelier (which is jolly good, by the way). However, the review was so peculiar that I have really no idea what the guy is getting at. But, being in a peculiar mood myself this fine September morning I decided to post it anyway..


At WALLY is a British progressive rock band, with the help of the legendary radio host Bob Harris 'Whispering' ('The Old Grey Whistle Test') was in the 1970 draw attention to themselves. The debut album "Wally" (1975, Atlantic Records) produced Rick Wakeman jointly with Harris. Brian Lane, manager ofYE
S worried the group performances in the UK, Japan and the United States.They also allowed YES supporten in London and play on various radio shows.The second album was called "Valley Gardens" (1975, Atlantic Records).Unfortunately, this formation of the more various singles and compilations are, granted after not too long due more.
Lo and behold, the remaining founding members Roy Webber, Paul Middleton, Pete Sage, Roger Narraway and Nick Glennie-Smith teamed up (reinforced by Frank Mizen and Will Jackson) just this year together. The resulting concert was published in 2010 as a double album titled "To The Urban Man". Prior (2009), there was a compilation called "That Was Then". 2012 appeared in this country now that produ
ced by Will Jackson album "Montpellier".

This board combines revised, originally scheduled for the third album WALLY numbers and more recent material by Roy Webber and Paul Middleton.
Basically interested here is the inclined progressive rock offered in varying degrees. Sometimes it flows spherical to himself, then it becomes harder and dominated by guitars and gets a psychedelic touch. Here and there it goes toward folk rock or even acquires countryeske trains.

Who's the music of the British promised earlier, "Montpellier" will almost certainly also fallen. If you like prog rock, which extends beyond the famous nose, these troops still do not know, should deal quiet time with this work.Maybe that leads to the discovery of even other recordings.
Check out the Wally Gonzo Artist Page

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