Miss Victory V

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Miss Victory V

Fifty years into a music career, such has been the colourful life of Lancastrian Adrian Melling that one would need the whole pantone chart to do it justice. Label chief, tour manager, producer and record store owner are all entries on his CV, as well as fairground and travelling circus employment. No hostage to fortune, Melling formed The Outsiders UK, and an exhausting European touring schedule and four well-received albums is living testament to their popularity.

Now fronting The Mel Outsider Reformation, the debut Miss Victory V is a tour-de force, brimming with energy, passion and a conscience, giving affirmation to the claim that its thirteen songs are “observational snapshots in the style of a dashboard confessional”.

The Reformation sound as if its members have been hand-picked to provide the canvases on which Melling and supporting singers Hayley Gaftarnick and Ellie Coast overlay seriously subtle and furious R&B, with impressive depth and eye-opening colour. Melling’s delivery, and the underpinning from the Reformation are made to measure for every track, with no histrionics, vocal trickery, or instrumental heroism. Whilst Melling is his own man, the brandy-gargled voice of Roger Chapman, and the menace of Alex Harvey or Graham Parker are the sort of reference points that tick the authenticity boxes.

The band’s passion is tempered with tenderness too, and a range of emotional buttons are pressed throughout the energetic hour-long salvo.

Whilst there are no weaknesses or throw-aways, if forced into picking the highlight of Miss Victory V, the twin mid-album props holding up the big top are ‘Remake Remodel, (not the Roxy Music song) and ‘More Than A Three Chord Wonder’, inseparable as stand-outs. On both, the band dynamics, the vocal interplay of both spoken and harmony sung narrative, and the contrast and collaboration between male and female voices are worth the entry fee alone.


Date added: Apr 17, 2023

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