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Liverpool Echo Interview

A little while back I spoke to The Liverpool Echo about the time I stood in for Syd Barrett at a Pink Floyd show in Liverpool. A brief snippet of the interview can be found below, or you can read the full thing on the Liverpool Echo website.

Imagine if your favourite band’s frontman disappeared – so one of his friends had to put on a hat, go on stage and pretend to be him.

It sounds impossible, but that’s what happened at the Liverpool Empire in 1967 when Pink Floyd’s troubled frontman Syd Barrett failed to turn up to a gig and fellow guitarist Davy O’List had to stand in for him.

Syd Barrett – who was born 70 years ago today on January 6, 1946 – led Pink Floyd to early success but left in 1968 amid reports of drug use, erratic behaviour and mental illness. He never released another record after 1970 album Barrett and died in 2006.

Davy O’List, then guitarist with The Nice, has just released a new album after an 18-year break – and spoke to the ECHO about his memories of that bizarre 1967 show.

The Liverpool gig was part of a package tour boasting an astonishing line-up of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Move, Pink Floyd – then known as “The” Pink Floyd – as well as The Nice, The Outer Limits, The Eire Apparent and The Amen Corner.

There were two shows every night: at The Empire there was one at 6.15 and another at 8.35.

Pioneering prog rock band The Nice had recently released their first album, The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack, and jumped at the chance to join such a star-studded tour.

Skeletons Making Love fanzine review

It’s always great to get reviews from fans, especially when they’re as good as this. A huge thanks for Steve Snelling for this brilliant review.

Davy O’list Second Thoughts 2015 brand new music and CD. This CD has long been in the making and on a personal level I think this is Davy O’List masterpiece, the CD kicks off with the opening track Second thoughts which is a fine slice of top grade Progressive Rock and in short Davy O’list help helped and with many other visionaries helped and innovated this music, what people don t understand when they are listening to the first great seminal Roxy Music LP all the great guitar tracks for example re-make Re-model Ladytron ect was the Work and from the mind of Davy o list!but that is another story, 2nd track to the Stars is awesome and a nod to mother nature and flower power etc, The Emperor is awesome and a fine slice of masterful Progrock in its true form, Touch wood was my Live Favourite having seen the Davy o list band three times live and I was glad this was included on the cd, Bonnnie a Nice Classic thrown in for good measure and why not, Halfway to the stars is the outro track and is full of surprises and is over 14 minutes long and is indeed a trip to the stars.

I give this CD 10 out of 10

Radio 68 review & interview

The people at Radio 68 recently had me on their show for a chat and they also very kindly wrote an incredible review of the album. Below you’ll find some clips from the interview and their review of the album.

Second Thoughts by Davy O’List album review by Radio 68. It is better than The Nice. Davy O’List, guitarist, composer and mastermind behind the original edition of The Nice, after many wanderings returned with a full-fledged solo album. For those wondering who the particular sound of the Nice first LP, “The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack” (1967), given that ‘Second Thoughts’ the correct answer: Davy O’List, also known as Captain of The Attack, supervisor PP Arnold, filling in for Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, prospective successor to Brian Jones and instigator of an unknown dandyesk group that would become famous as Roxy Music.

I compare the Davy O’List of debuting Nice happy with the Syd Barrett from the early days of Pink Floyd and Kevin Ayers of the young Soft Machine. They all wrote great songs that did a relatively conventional structure of a song in combination with special lyrics and innovative sound, a total concept that would blend in with the innovations in the social and cultural world, yes, often both soundtrack and sound board who acted themselves innovative society. In short, progressive music in the true sense of the word. For me hear ‘The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack (O’List), “Lullaby Letter’ (Ayers) and” Arnold Layne (Barrett) in the same category superior home.

Anyway, ‘Second Thoughts’ is intended as a sequel to the ‘First Thoughts’, which Emerlist Davjack so or the first album by The Nice, by O’List as “proto-prog” specified. This sequel also includes a progression in: meanwhile finds the prog in a post-era and modern technology opens up opportunities where producers, arrangers and musicians fifty years hardly dreamed of.

The title track, which if statement also opens the plate, effectively reminds the O’List of time: start with a rhythmic synthesizer, funky guitar, tempo changes, of course synthesizersolootje, but above all this is enthroned the song and melody. Not mix, but rather a sequence, almost a collage of styles and techniques that display complex patterns and still provide a strong song. Also on ‘To The Stars’ O’List delivers good job off. It varies in crescendo to the title (to the flowers, to the seas, etc.) and thus as a chorus conjuring acts with wild synthesizers as an underlying pattern. Despite its length, holding ‘Touch Wood’ all the features of a full-blooded rock song which stands out above all the clever guitar work. ‘Bonnie K’ is a reprise of the same song from the first album. Guitar and vocals tend toward the sort of heavy rock (standards of use fifty years ago please!) It Steppenwolf made popular, but the influences of soul, blues and funk are undeniable, and yes, you can even dance to it.

‘Halfway to Heaven’, with thick fourteen minutes the longest track our man ever composed, is a challenge. It’s not a song, but many songs, where O’List all his inspiration for release. It’s pop, it’s psychedelic, it’s prog, it’s space rock. And it’s all fine.

Classic Rock magazine gig preview

I recently did another interview with Classic Rock magazine, this time a live gig preview ahead of The Borderline show which is on January 23rd. Below is a short snippet from the interview, but the full version can be read in their January issue (available now) or on their website here

You’ve released your first solo album in 18 years. What have you been up to? I studied film soundtracks and ended up teaching. It took a long time to find a record label, to make my new album Second Thoughts, and then to locate the people who would allow me to play it live. I also had a baby son.

You describe the music on it as “proto-prog”?

The Nice developed a new style of music with The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack [1967] and I was a part of that. I was there at the beginning of prog rock, but The Nice were its prototype.

What prompted your return to the prog genre?

The continued success of The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack – I still get royalties. I consider_ Second Thoughts_ a sequel to that album and I hope fans of The Nice will enjoy it. I intend to make a series of albums that interlink like symphonies, and the next album is already under way.