Rob Clarke and The Wooltones Putting The L in The Wootones - Album Review

Written by Jason Disley
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It seems that if you are influenced by the Beatles, and live in the area of Woolton in Liverpool. Your influences are likely to be worn on your sleeve. Rob Clarke, the main man behind this band does not shy away from his influences and embraces them

He does it with clever songwriting and musicianship that provides an authentic sound with original tunes. The elements of early 60s R&B are clear, just as the West Coast Americana of the late 60s are also evident. This latest offering kicks off with a Bluesy stomping tune Big Big Bad John that rocks with a hint of The Who and The Birds ( the British R&B band from 65 that Ronnie Wood was in) and takes you on a great ride.

It then goes into Love and Haight with a Pearl and Dean sounding opening and a song that has West Coast harmonies. As the title suggests it's evoking the San Francisco sound of Haight – Ashbury in that period when things were heading towards a much more chilled Hippy style of life, which leads me to the wonderful and psychedelic track named after one of the original Mersey Poets. Adrian Henri. This track is back to Lennon-esque wordsmithery with the opening lines.

“Planets of the universe stars fading since their birth, kaleidoscoping microscopic worlds/Astral planes and Galaxies far from Alpha Century”

Set this song up before it breaks into the refrain “Adrian Henri” with a music break and continues with a continued homage to Henri’s poetry and the man himself, with the great line “You never wrote me a poem/Adrian Henri/Now I don’t know where I am going”

The album has so many recognisable influences that the album feels like a genuine slice of the eras it represents. Yet each song is original and is pleasing to the ear. It’s a modern reinterpretation of styles that have been lovingly crafted. There are hints of early Pink Floyd, there are rocking tunes, Bluesy tracks a bit of psychedelia, and even punk.

Free is a great and poetic call for freedom from the constraints of society which has an element of The Monkees about it – but without the frivolity or chewing gum.

Countdown however comes in with a great tongue-in-cheek look at when Britain became decimal in 71. It’s jangling beat, with the Jarvis Cocker style monologue is refreshing, and in no way feels out of place on the album. It's pure unadulterated pop.

Two-Lane Blacktop oozes that Americana imagery with a suitable country blues style that again makes you smile.

All in all every track on this album ticks boxes. It’s well written in a tried and tested formula that I should imagine all listeners will appreciate. It’s easy on the ear, and has a familiarity that any fan of the Sixties would enjoy.

So polish your boots, get your best outfit on and dig the Wootones, and think to yourself “I don’t give a flicking ‘L’ – I am having a good time.”

Putting the L in Wootones by Robert Clarke and The Wooltones is out now.

Available on Bandcamp or from Kool Kat Music


Read 574 times Last modified on Wednesday, 20 January 2021 15:24
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Jason Disley

Jason Disley

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