John Lees’ Barcl ay James Harvest
When Barclay James Harvest downsized to become a trio then finally split in 1998 due to ‘musical differences’, that seemed to be the end of the story. However, as with so many good bands the public wanted more. The differences clearly couldn’t be resolved so for the last few years there have been two versions of the band: Les Holroyd’s and this one headed by guitarist John Lees. The overall sound of North is all it should be, the emphasis being on integrated instrumentation; John’s deceptively simple guitar work underpinning each track, then becoming a feature. This is particularly evident on songs like On Leave, which dramatically builds towards its end, and the creamy tones of the solo on The Real Deal. The title track is a worthy choice and here Lees really gets to shine. This is good melodic rock, focused on the softer side of the genre with lush harmonies and soundscapes. It’s a very well executed album indeed. In keeping with current trends it’s released in CD, double digipack and heavyweight vinyl LP. Fans will love it but give it a try and you may too.