Philip Rambow: Oceans Apart
The Montreal expat shines on a song featuring soulful vocal interplay and poignant lyrics.
By Kerry Doole
Philip Rambow - Oceans Apart (Fretsore). This Montreal native has been plying his musical trade across the ocean, in London, for over four decades now, but entitling his brand new album Canadiana suggests he hasn't forgotten his roots.
As that title indicates, it is a roots-accented release, one showcasing Rambow's songwriting chops and warm, intimate voice.
Focus track Oceans Apart features soulful guest vocals from Sharlene Hector (Basement Jaxx), and the back and forth of their vocals fit the song's subject matter.
A beautifully shot video clip brings out the emotional power of the lyrics. The sentiments of the song are timely given the isolation and separation induced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Produced by Paul Cuddeford (Prefab Sprout), the album features cameos from such noted players as Martin Belmont, Pete Thomas, Davey Faragher, Geraint Watkins and Bob Loveday. Their presence testifies to the peer respect Rambow has earned over a fascinating career. He made a mark in the mid-'70s with the Brian Eno-endorsed The Winkies followed by a couple of acclaimed rock albums. An occasional player in his band in this late '70s era was Mick Ronson (this scribe saw some killer Rambow and Ronson pub gigs in London then).
As a songwriter, he had a chart hit by co-writing Kirsty MacColl’s 1981 Top 20 hit There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis and has had songs covered by Nick Gilder and Ellen Foley, among others. Word is a 3 CD career retrospective anthology, The Rebel Kind, is set for release through Cherry Red.
Publicity: Gerry Ranson at MuleFreedom PR