Arts & Entertainment


Who would have thought that a primarily instrumental quartet could be such punsters? Yes Viginia, this is their fourth album, and a long time coming has it been. Whilst these are all new tunes, it is also a live album. Recorded over three performances, with the best take chosen for the final cut, it may have been a choice of ascetics or one of economics, but it succeeds in spades (and strings) with the live setting capturing the tension and size of Fourplay’s sound better than ever before. Classical rock has never been more completely realised than in two of their choice of covers, Hendrix’s Spanish Castle Magic and Rage Against the Machines’ riffarama Killing in the Name Of – catgut has never sounded so made for a Marshall stack. And talk about putting your best foot forward, the opening track Everything Was Going Fine is undoubtedly the instrumental of the year to date, and the best track to come from Fourplay’s own strings. Both epic and melodic, the “chorus” riff sits with you and stands shoulder to shoulder with it’s other better known riff siblings on the album.  If there is a problem, it lies in the schizophrenic forces within the band. The classical rock instrumental quartet and the classical 30’s style string quartet that rears it’s head on the vocal tracks.  Butter Girl and Loverman are wonderful tracks, insisting upon dinner jacket and sequined evening wear as minimum dress requirements, but need their own vehicle to work to best effect; as a listener one tends to have to work too hard to shift between the two personalities. But it’s an effort worth making.