It’s been a long time since I felt this way about an album. It’s also not likely that I’ve ever been as well prepared to write a review as I am now. I’ve had a preview copy for a couple of months and I’ve listened to it hundreds of times. You see where this review is going. In short: a new Neo-Victorian musical with an original libretto and completely outstanding composition and vocalists. Listen HERE and HERE.
And now something for the curious lover of details:
If you’ve been following Clive Nolan’s career it’s hardly surprising or odd that he runs his own musical theatre company, Caamora. Nolan is classically educated and although he’s made his name as a keyboard player in progressive rock bands like Pendragon and Arena, he’s no simple rocker but rather stands firmly with one foot in composition and the other in orchestration. The first time the listener could sense this was probably in Strangers On a Train’s second album The Key: The Labyrinth (1993), and when he subsequently wrote the (rock)musicals Jabberwocky and The Hound of the Baskervilles with Oliver Wakeman around the turn of the century, you could tell where his heart truly lies. 2007 saw the arrival of his first Caamora musical, She, which was based on H. Rider Haggards book by the same name.
Then Nolan took a daring step; one which sets him apart from most of the musical theatre scene today. This scene is conservative, which of course is a subjective statement, but let’s take a brief look. The West End and Broadway still do The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Oliver!, and it would seem new productions are mostly based on films, books and particularly popular music (ABBA, Queen etc.). The big stages have little room for new stories. And this Nolan has the nerve to write original librettos?