GARY LAMMIN — Buried Treasure

GARY LAMMIN has worked with at least one member of every major 1976/77 British punk band.

For example, he played with Joe Strummer, toured with Public Image’s Jah Wobble and gigged with Generation X Mark Laff .

Now Lammin plays with The BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS — a talented trio of veteran punks pulled into shape by the guitarist and vocalist.

A more genuine punk geezer you will not find.

The hippy guitar that reminds us of something we could find in the early “A Beard of Stars ”
The hippy guitar that reminds us of something we could find in the early “A Beard of Stars ”

Gary “Guitar” Lammin has announced a self-titled solo album (to be released 24th February via Requestone records) and it’s a bit of a departure…

Get out of your comfort zone… ” Lammin was told by his close-friend and producer Dave Goodman [the legendary Sex Pistols sound engineer who died in 2005.]

So, together, they laid down the bulk of these ‘solo’ recordings [between 2000-2003] at Goodman’s Mandala Studios in Gypsy Hill, London — with Goodman contributing to tracks on sitar, tabla and flute and complementing Lammin’s fine slide guitar-work.

We had a listen to the solo album:

Lost and Falling” has a calming floral effect with a hippy guitar that reminds us of something we might have found in early “Beard of Stars” recordings from electric era Tyrannosaurus Rex.

And there’s also something rockabilly about the simple yet cheerful rhythms. With indolent patterns absorbing a patter of flowing, blurred lyrics — melodic, but casual — like something from Lou Reed’s Transformer.

Break-up song “Value” [out as single 17th Feb] is full of nasally kindness. This is immediately nostalgic. Like something from the Nashville Skyline with warm sounding plummy vocals [not a million miles away from Dylan) and persistent romantic hope. By the way, Goodman plays drums and bass on this.

Take More Care” [completed at Alan Clayton’s studio in Shepherd’s Bush] is an acoustic number filled with wonderful feathering strings and woozy slides. Here you find a voice that is as bitter as old vinegar. As a troubadour song — this works well, filled with untreated lesions.

Boogie beats, muted guitars, sparkling cymbals, papier maché rhythms...
Boogie beats, muted guitars, sparkling cymbals, papier maché rhythms…

Hey! Mr John Sinclair” is a bouncy, improvisational song about the MC5 manager and activist.

John Sinclair was a founding member of the anti-racist group the White Panther Party, before he got handed a 10-year custodial sentence for possession of marijuana (1969.) He served till 1971 (due to protests, he was released early…)

The song sounds like something you might have heard from 5th Dimension back in 1966.  With boogie beats, muted guitars, sparkling cymbals, papier maché rhythms and the kind of quaint political remarks that can only come from a brain that’s been stimulated by cheap mind-expanding street narcotics.

This album is undoubtedly a “buried treasure” in that it highlights the talents of Goodman as producer (and musician) — as well as revealing the unexpected songcrafting abilities of Lammin.

But though these bass-baritone songs of serenity might be more akin to Greenwich Village-style bohemian poppery than the gritty punk we have come to expect —Lammin never loses his control over grim reality — nor does he lose inner growl and lippy sass.

Best of all — this is an album for guitar-lovers.  We urge you to give it a go …

And, like Lammin and Goodman — you might develop a healthier and brighter outlook on life … It’s gotta be a good thing… ain’t it?

Words: Neil Mach 2017 ©

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