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Secret Affair - Soho Dreams - Cd digipack

Secret Affair - Soho Dreams Cd digipack
(Here's the release of the band's first studio album after 30 years! The album features the new 8 piece line-up with full horn section and guest hammond supremo Andy Fairclough.
Founder members: Ian Page, Lead Vocals, Trumpet, Keyboard. Dave Cairns Guitar & vocals. Complimenting the line-up are: Russ Baxter on Drums and Ed Pearson on bass and Andy Fairclough on Hammond. The line up includes a new brass section with Stephen Wilcock on sax, Steve Rinaldi on trombone, and Tim Pannell on trumpet!)
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Secret Affair (Ian Page, Dave Cairns, Dennis Smith & Seb Shelton) formed in 1978 from their previous incarnation as the "power pop" band New Hearts.
In a period of a little over two years, they posted five releases in the UK Singles Chart, and released three albums. The debut single "Time For Action" sold over 200,000 copies and reached number 13 in the UK chart, putting them at the forefront of the mod revival movement. More chart success followed with "Let Your Heart Dance", "My World" and "Sound Of Confusion". They also drew up plans for a smart-dressing youth movement - the Glory Boys – based around the idea of 1960s gangster chic, influenced by the movie, Performance.
In 1979 Page and Cairns enlisted the services of bassist Dennis Smith, drummer Seb Shelton and saxophone player Dave Winthrop. From their very first gig, opening for The Jam at Reading University in February 1979, the band were adopted by a group of East End mods, who readily embraced Page’s Glory Boy concept. This group of fans began referring to themselves as Glory Boys. Secret Affair had become so closely linked to the emerging mod revival that in March 1979 Cairns wrote what would become the youth movement's main anthem, "Time For Action".
Secret Affair were soon signed to Arista Records & formed their own label, I-Spy Records. After Time For Action charted it was soon followed by "Let Your Heart Dance", "My World" and "Sound Of Confusion". Their first two albums, Glory Boys (December 1979) and Behind Closed Doors (September 1980), with its more complex orchestrated arrangements, proved successful and in their first year Secret Affair regularly appeared on the BBC Television show Top Of The Pops, and were cover stars of many UK music magazines, including New Musical Express, Sounds and Smash Hits.
The mod movement that had swept Secret Affair into the pop charts had all but evaporated by mid 1980, losing out to the rival 2 Tone fashion movement, and after the release of the band's second album, drummer Shelton quit to join the "Come On Eileen" era Dexys Midnight Runners. Secret Affair regrouped, recruiting ex-Advertising drummer Paul Bultitude and embarking on a lengthy tour of the United States, before returning in late 1981 with their final chart hit, "Do You Know?" One more single followed, "Lost In The Night", before the release of Business As Usual, an album that saw the band return to the rock-soul fusion of their earlier work.
More recently new CD releases included a new album featuring NEW HEARTS "A Secret Affair" charting the bands early career with CBS as New Hearts, a SINGLES COLLECTION featuring all the bands A and B sides, released January 2011. September 10th 2012 sees the release of the band’s first studio album 'Soho Dreams' after 30 years, on their iconic and original label I-SPY RECORDS. The album features the new 8 piece line-up with full horn section and guest hammond supremo Andy Fairclough. A 13 date UK tour heralds the album launch.
Founder members: Ian Page, Lead Vocals, Trumpet, Keyboard. Dave Cairns Guitar & vocals. Complimenting the line-up are: Russ Baxter on Drums and Ed Pearson on bass and Andy Fairclough on Hammond. The line up includes a new brass section with Stephen Wilcock on sax, Steve Rinaldi on trombone, and Tim Pannell on trumpet.

TRACK LISTENING:
1- Soho Dreams
2- Walk Away
3- Turn Me On
4- Love’s Unkind
5- I Don’t Need No Doctor
6- Lotus Dream
7- In Our Time
8- Land Of Hope
9- All The Rage
10- Soul Of The City
11- Ride



REVIEW

Phil Culshaw - ModCulture UK - 18/09/2012

Soho Dreams the new studio album from Secret Affair, successfully capturing the ambiance, attitude, style and quality the band established with their debut album Glory Boys. That album won critical acclaim and set an extremely high benchmark for their peers in the 1979 mod revival. Soho Dreams not only hits that mark, it also delivers an album the band have long promised.
The title track establishes familiar themes; the allure of the city, loss of innocence, the suss of cynicism. With the scene set, Secret Affair get down to business. Walk Away is what the band do best integrating a great hook line and guitar riff with a Motown beat, punchy brass, soaring saxophone, and Ian Page's philosophical pathos. Guaranteed to get an audience grooving and even the most un-rhythmic feet tapping to the beat.
The pace of the album is given an amphetamine rush with Turn Me On which has Ian Page matching the rhyming cuplets with the best poetic lyricists like Ian Dury and John Cooper Clarke in a song that could easily fit onto Plan B's Ill Manners. Love's Unkind then cools the pace in a soul searching song which could have been written for Amy Winehouse. Ian Page delivers it with the powerful passion of Otis Redding. You can feel the heartfelt pain.
Eerie notes reminiscent of the Get Carter film score introduce what is a live stage favourite I Don't Need No Doctor. The only cover on the album; the band give it a supercharged barn-storming interpretation! Lotus Dream is perhaps the pleasant surprise of the album with Dave Cairns guitar capturing the country delta blues of the Mississippi, you can feel the sultry heat and beads of sweat trickle down your forehead.
Secret Affair have never been afraid to embrace a variety of musical styles but this album has a cohesiveness that realises their ambitions, every track brings something new to the melting pot and adds another layer of depth. All The Rage is one for the dancers and has a cracking swing beat reminiscent of Let Your Heart Dance. I can envisage Imelda May belting out this one!
The album is rounded off with two stand out songs: Soul of the City  whose passionate Jazz Soul in the reviewer's opinion surpasses Kevin Rowland's attempts at new soul vision, and the album finale Ride; whose statement of self belief and hope answers the sceptics and whose sound is very much routed in now!

Soho Dreams will not only satisfy Secret Affair's die hard fans, it surpasses past glories and will win a new audience the band so rightly deserve. Ian Page and Dave Cairns can proudly walk away from this album with a Soho Strut!





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