The Sunshine Delay. Keep It Together

Coming some seven years after their debut, Outrageous Expectations, one can be excused for forgetting about The Sunshine Delay. Edinburgh based they raised a lot of expectations back then, gigged around and supported (and at times backed) numerous touring Americana artists. Apart from their ringing renditions of sturdy and infectious country influenced rock their ace in the hole was the presence of guitarist Iain Barbour, described by Jason Ringenberg as Scotland’s answer to James Burton or Albert Lee.
While The Sunshine Delay appeared to go into hibernation for a while Barbour became the guitar player to hire and has graced several fine albums. In addition he was for some time the twangmaster with the Wynntown Marshals.
Regrouping with Paula and David McKee and with Brendan O’Brien on drums Barbour continues to shine on this release. While his guitar burns and burrs throughout however he never showboats and the album is very much a collective effort. The eleven songs build on and continue the feel of their first release. Catchy pop hooks and muscular playing mark them as a band who could ride the airwaves easily and at times there are whiffs of bands such as REM, The Jayhawks and Lone Justice. The opening song Last Generation To Die sets the bar. Power chords, glorious harmonies and sublime guitar interludes all feature in a jangled power pop song that proclaims “we’re back!” There are several other potential crowd pleasing anthems here with the standout being the country scorcher styled ramble of Leaving Song which has a great middle eight with mandolin played by guest George Stott and some Burton styled burning guitar from Barbour at the end. Tremendous stuff! Elsewhere another guest musician, Ali Petrie of the great Hobotalk adds swirling keyboards to the crunchy and driving song Band of Rain. All in all a worthy successor to their debut all those years ago.
There’s an album release gig (with Stott and Petrie appearing) this Friday at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh. Beyond that the band have several gigs lined up including a Glasgow one in the Bon Accord on Saturday 26th November Based on this the live show should be spectacular.

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