10 years on from their reformation and 30 years from their last album, it really is business as usual for Secret Affair as they return with a long awaited new album. The album kicks off with the title track Soho Dreams, a slow burner that builds and pulls you in, paving the way nicely for Walk Away, all punchy brass, smoldering Hammond and that signature Premier drum sound over a great hook.
Turn Me On is the real surprise here, it kicks off like a garage rocker with Dave Cairns’ crunching guitar and Ian Page laying down a great vocal on a clever lyric. Back in the day this would have been a surefire single and still could be.
Love’s Unkind harks back to Behind Closed Doors with a slower pace and Ian going for the heartfelt soulful vocal before the start of the Get Carter theme leads into a powerhouse version of Ashford & Simpsons' I Don’t Need No Doctor that’s been a mainstay of the live set in recent years.
Lotus Dreams is probably the most un-Secret Affair track on the album, built around an acoustic guitar, a dreamy keyboard sound and Ians’ soaring vocal.
Dave Cairns handles most of the vocals on In Our Time, a seven minute cracker sounding a lot like The Who ala Quadrophenia before a re-worked take on the superb Land Of Hope. It reminds me of My World in it’s structure and is another potential single in my humble!
All The Rage is another spikey little number driven along by swirling Hammond and short, sharp brass before another soulful opus in the shape of Soul Of The City. The album ends in great style with Ride, another powerful song that’s been getting an airing in the live set and leaves you wanting more.
Don’t expect Glory Boys, Behind Closed Doors or Business As Usual, there’s touches of each throughout but this is a strong album on it’s own. Secret Affair have managed to bring their sound bang up to date and may even surprise some of you. Days of change indeed.
For more info on Secret Affair http://www.secretaffair.info/Welcome.htm
You can catch Secret Affair + support acts on tour at the following venues:-
7th September – Reading Sub89 with The Purple Hearts
8th September – Porth The Factory with Burning Sky
21st September – Southampton The Brook
22nd September – Woolacombe Scooter Rally
28th September – Blackburn King George's Hall
29th September - Leamington Spa The Assembly
19th October – Leicester 02 Academy
20th October – Stoke Kings Hall with The Lambrettas
15th November – Hull The Fruit
16th November – Manchester Band On The Wall
17th November – York The Duchess
23rd November – Brighton Concorde 2 with The Lambrettas
24th November – London 229 Gt Portland Street with The Lambrettas
I'll also be DJing at Reading with Paul "Smiler" Anderson and at the London gig with Eddie Piller.
Originally published on 31st August 2012.