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Unkle Bob | s/t (Friendly Sounds)
"What's this?"
"Some band called Unkle Bob."
"It sounds really good!"

Even from a distant room, Unkle Bob seem to make an impression. Their debut album is to the point at just twenty-eight minutes long, but in this time the Glasgow five-piece do more than enough to grab your attention. The band have something of an old Irish folk band about them - think The Waterboys gone slightly jazz with Sting fronting and you won't be far off Route 69 [and this sounds 'really good' to whom? - Ed]. Other songs, such as opener There's a Reason, debut single One by One and potential single From The Cold, are more conventional acoustic folk efforts. As with much of the album, they are distinguishable by the quiet percussion Unkle Bob prefer, which is simple and never overly aggressive.
Although four members contribute vocally at one point or another, it is always main singer Rick Webster who steals the show. Tonight, Tonight is comparable to Nick Drake through his saddened, husky voice and through the song's gentle guitar picking. The band, however, make sure such lazy comparisons are kept to a minimum with an energetic outburst towards the end. At a time when solo acoustic men are taking all the praise, it's with some relief that an acoustic band (albeit one with a truly unique singer) can still hold their own.

Chris Horkan
March-April 2004

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