Cambridge massive

Horace X

Strategy (Phantom, 2005)

This six-piece band from Cambridge, UK, have been on the scene since 1993. In
that time they’ve not exactly been prolific with the releases but have more than
made up for this by touring widely and perfecting their live show. Now, with
, a fine set of reggae-riven tunes featuring horns, 5-string fiddle,
ragga-style vocals and driving bass & drums, they’re set to move into the
mainstream and grab the larger audience they clearly deserve. The album opens with a typically powerful tune, ‘First Love’, Simon X’s
exuberant toasting style riding a strident and catchy R&B-meets-reggae beat,
extolling the virtues and rueing the pitfalls of those primeval stirrings. The
tune serves to introduce all of the main elements of the band and feels very
much like the song the band kicks off the live set with – forceful horns and
skidding, skittering violin stretching the speakers to their limit. The album
goes on in two main veins – the funky & irresistibly danceable tunes such as
‘She want’, ‘Strategy’ & ‘A time for Valerie’ dominating, punctuated with
occasional thoughtful, funny, chilled sounds, highlighting the electronics side
of the band and making good use of Hazel X’s fab five-string and some hilarious

Live, the band add to their appeal with stunning UV clothing and stage
effects. They’ve toured widely, including appearances at clubs & festivals
across Canada, Europe & the UK. With the right kind of exposure and a good
touring schedule these guys could be big.



Author: dave atkin