Cover image of The Kentish Spitres album 'The Last Harvest'

Click any of the links below to go directly to the review or take some time and read all of them, the good, the bad & the ugly!

Why listen to this disc?

Newcomers to the English prog scene, The Kentish Spires stand out from their contemporaries by an original approach of its kind, mixing folk, jazz and psychedelic influences with typical 70's sounds.

As a sign of quality, this first album was mastered by Rob Reed of Magenta and is distributed on his label White Knight Records. The group's founder, Danny Chang, is himself a close friend of Reed. Both of them collaborated together in The Fyreworks twenty years ago, with Tim Robinson on drums that we find here, without him being an integral part of the group (Tim is also the former Magenta drummer).

If Chang handled the guitars, the production, the mixing and the recording, the writing of the songs appears as a collective work. Paul Hornsby (wind instruments), Rik Loveridge (keyboards), Phil Warren (bass) and singer Lucie V have all contributed to the building. The latter intrigues with her atypical singing, frankly picturesque which, it must be admitted, requires a time to get used to. Once you have got used to it, it’s impossible to resist when she pays a discrete tribute to Clare Tory with ‘Kingdom Of Kent’; ignites ancient history with ‘Hengist Ridge’ and ‘Kingdom of Kent’ as would have done Steeleye Span's Maddy Prior; questions existential questions with ‘Clarity’ and ‘Introception’; takes mystical paths with ‘Spirit Of The Skies’ or ventures into the wanderings of the most occult science-fiction with ‘The Last Harvest’.

This disc with certain qualities, seduces just as much for its aspect (slightly old school) as for its non-conformism.

Click here to link to the actual review

Thank you to Sebastien Bonnays for sharing his review of our album The Last Harvest.‬  02.11.2019

Kentish Spires are this up-and-coming band from England that takes inspirations from the Canterbury scene. Now for me, I had absolutely no idea on what I was about to expect when I was listening to this album from start to finish. I have a very peculiar ear, mind you. And from the moment I listened to their debut release of The Last Harvest, I was quite intrigued.

The band considers Lucie V on vocals and violin; Danny Chang on Guitar, Keyboards, and Backing Vocals; Paul Hornsby on Reeds and Keyboards; Rik Loveridge on Keyboards and Guitar; and Phil Warren on Bass Guitar. Non-member Tim Robinson plays the drums on here also.

The origins behind the album’s title came from Danny Chang himself. According to an interview he did with Urban “Wally” Wallstrom for the Rock United website last year, Danny grew up in a small village called Cliffe in Kent. He went to St. Helen’s Primary Church School and remembered the Harvest time where he and his classmates took along local produce that filled the big harvest festival services where the whole village turned out.

While it’s not really a concept album, but three of the tracks cover the aspects of Kent’s violent tribal pre-history, the centerpieces on the album almost took me to a different level on their storytelling compositions. Spirit of the Skies is a cross between Ramsey Lewis’ The “In” Crowd and Camel’s Lady Fantasy brings some of the finest flute and guitar playing that gives a chance for Lucie V to ascend her vocals.

Hornsby channels the late great Ray Thomas by keeping his legacy alive in the song. He takes you through those various improvisations by seeing and hear what the magic carpet will take you into. I love how the piano is channeling Ramsey Lewis’ style and going into the Organ by following into the structures of Andy Latimer. It’s really quite a journey.

The riffs on Introception that goes between the guitars, reeds, and the thumping bass lines, gives Kentish Spires their tip of the hat towards Elton John’s Madman Across the Water and obscure prog legends of Jonesy’s Mind of the Century. Lucie can really hit those notes as the lyrics have these Bernie Taupin like structures that shows the reflections and describing all the damages they’ve done.

Clarity goes into a medieval ballad in 3/4 time. Lucie sings through this melodic section with her vocals and her violin before Hornsby lays down some warm-like gentle jazzy arrangements before dancing ‘til the sun rises with an unexpected change throughout the song.

Hergist Ride is the band’s nod to the title of Mike Oldfield’s Hergest Ridge. Paul’s smoky sax brings his reminiscing of John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon for a couple of seconds before the mood suddenly changes as Lucie takes the listener into the battlefield on what is happening next. But the mood suddenly changes as Lucie and Paul work well throughout their improvisations to capture the aftermath.

The title-track clocks in at 13 minutes and 09 seconds beginning with two flutes. One from Paul and the other from the Mellotron setting up this scenario of a dystopian landscape that is straight from the minds of Ayn Rand, George Orwell, and Aldous Huxley. It then becomes this spiraling riff between guitars, growling sax’s, organs, and drums that becomes this increased nod to Van Der Graaf Generator's H to He Who Am the Only One.

Everything changes as the guitar soars upwards into this Gilmour-sque heaven structure that beings a sign of hope of  bringing peace throughout the city. It's also Kentish Spires nod to Rush’s final section of the suite towards Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres. I have to say that Kentish Spires debut album didn’t grab me that much.

Now am I saying that this is a bad album? No, absolutely not. But I would love to hear more from them in the years to come. I wished that they would not try to strain that much and give Lucie V a chance to relax on her vocals. But The Last Harvest is quite the journey and I might keep my eyes and ears out for them.

Click here to link to the actual review

Thank you to Zachary Nathanson for sharing his blog review of our album The Last Harvest.‬  09.01.2019

While this is the first release of The Kentish Spires, the musicians involved certainly are not new to the scene. Singer Lucie (also violin) has a past in folk and metal, Danny Chang (producer, guitars, keys and backing vocals) was a pro musician at 15 and Paul Hornsby (reeds and keys) is a session player. Rik Loveridge (keys and guitar) composes for the advertising industry and Phil Warren (bass) played for instance for Mike Stock.

The idea behind the album is a nod to the Canterbury scene, and even the recording equipment used for the album contributes to that. In all honesty it took me a while to get used to the sound. It is clear, but somehow sounds old and a bit dry. Since that is deliberate, I’d say mission accomplished.

The 7 songs on the album range from 3 to 13 minutes. And as you can deduct from the instruments mentioned above, the music could be described as early King Crimson and Jethro Tull mixed with jazzy interludes. Of course because of the reed instruments. The voice of Lucie is powerful and distinct. The band do know how to rock out a bit too.

The result is an album that keeps growing on you. There is a lot happening so you will have to invest time into getting to know the music.

Over time I have learned that this type of album turns out to be very rewarding, something you can revisit from time to time and still find new discoveries. Well done!

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A nice review of The Last Harvest from the Netherlands...‬  15.12.2018

A nice surprise for us to be reviewed in this months CRS magazine as well as being on the cover mount.‬  13.10.2018

Expectations, expectations!

It’s strange how some things do not quite live up to them, no matter how much you wish them to do so. I remember as a youngster queuing up for hours to see an appearance by Batman at my local toy shop. Imagine my disappointment, as a child growing up in Kent, when I saw the cape crusader’s corseted paunch and distinctive walk. I recognised him immediately; it was the local school caretaker Mr Creasey, no doubt trying to gain some extra hard earned cash.

I had a similar feeling of disappointment after listening to the Kentish Spires debut album The Last Harvest. I had read many rave reviews of it extolling its virtues and had observed how many commentators had emphasised the bands Kentish roots, suggesting that the band were offering something that would sit comfortably in any Canterbury styled and tinged music collection. Indeed, the band’s press releases suggest that they offer Canterbury-inspired progressive rock.

Well, just as Mr Creasey’s paunch and distinctive walk gave the game away, it took only a few moments to discover that this is an album that is rooted firmly in a familiar and, for many I guess, reassuring and highly appealing retro style and classic sound associated with song-based prog.

For anybody expecting, the freshness and inventiveness of approach associated with multifaceted Jazz tinted Canterbury genre bands such as Lapis Lazuli, Matching Mole, Hatfield And The North and National Health, the album will be a huge disappointment. The Last Harvest has neither the whimsy, nor clever succinct song writing associated with Caravan, or the solo works of Richard Sinclair, nor the challenging complexity associated with Soft Machine.

This album is associated with the Canterbury style of music in name and in general terms only, although in fairness, much of the lyrical content of the release is about Kent and Canterbury. Admittedly, there are also some occasional passages, in tunes such as, Spirit Of The Skies, which might remind some listeners, of a tenuous comparison to Caravan.

The enchanting TTWIG is probably the highlight of the album. It has an attractive jazz tinged vibe that is combined with an example of some of the best ensemble playing on the album. These elements are all wrapped up in an attractive and appealing song package that just about manages not to outstay its welcome.

That is not to say that the rest of this release is not without its merits. If considered for what it is, and without the erroneous distraction of thinking that the album as a whole, might deliver anything musically and specifically associated with the Canterbury genre, then this is a release that skilfully delivers a type of prog that many readers may find attractive and might enjoy.

The Last Harvest is an example of contemporary prog steeped in a retro sound and approach associated with the 70s, including nods to bands as diverse as, Pink Floyd, Van Der Graaf Generator, Camel, Jethro Tull and Caravan. Much of the album will no doubt impress those who like music that contains some of the norms associated with song-based prog.

Many of the tracks are long enough for a verse and chorus structure to be extended to epic proportions. This is particularly the case in the lengthy concluding track, The Last Harvest. As might be expected, this also gives an opportunity for extended instrumental sections to occur. Although these are frequently enjoyable and well implemented, they often and somewhat predictably take place at the mid-point of a composition.

My disappointment that the album was not an innovative take on some of the more inventive aspects of a Canterbury sound was matched and at times surpassed by dissatisfaction that many of the tunes were tethered to conventional structures often connected with prog and therefore overall, the whole album was grounded by its unsurprising nature. This might not have been so much of a problem, if I had found that the songs / tunes were unfailingly appealing and that the delivery of them was consistently satisfying.

Although I struggled to appreciate the totality of much of what was on offer, each piece usually contained some aspects that I found alluring. For example, the charming sax based accompaniment and recurring riff in the opening phase of Kingdom Of Kent is interesting and is matched in appeal by some of the flute breaks that occur. Similarly, the instrumental passage that emerges with a crunching guitar volley mixed with emotive human wailing is also quite enjoyable.Later this instrumental section is impressively extended by a development of the tunes familiar sax and flute riff.

The sound quality and production of the album is excellent. Lead instruments are given a prominent place in the mix and the result is an album that is neither cluttered, nor hindered by an indistinct separation of the instruments.

The vocal performance of Lucie V is to the fore, to good effect in the mix and provides the album with a strong identity. She has a distinctive voice and delivers each tune in a clearly identifiable manner. It is so idiosyncratic in tone and delivery that some might find her singing to be an acquired taste.

The contribution of Paul Hornsby on reeds, flute and recorders is one of major highlights of the album and his skill and the excellent use of these instruments arguably gives the album a degree of extra merit and helps to establish its own identity. His performance in the delightful TTWIG is particularly impressive.

Despite the obvious ability of all of the band members, The Last Harvest is not an album that I will play regularly. Although the instrumental breaks were quite inventive and enjoyable on first hearing, on subsequent listens they became less interesting. In the end the album is let-down somewhat, by offering little that is excitingly innovative or truly memorable.

The tunes and melodies did not etch themselves into my sub–consciousness and overtime, any that did, soon faded to nothing, unlike my recollection of Mr Creasey’s, or should I say, Batman’s weary walk and low slung paunch in the land of my grey and pink memory.

Click here to link to the actual review

Thank you Owen Davies @ Dutch Progressive Rock Page - for featuring us on your page today.‬ You can't win 'em all!...   07.10.2018

The Kentish Spires honour the legacy of their elders with a first album which has the sound of the Canterbury era and 70s progressive rock.

 The 70s, what a beautiful period! Musically, this decade corresponds to the birth of the progressive rock movement. England has become the cradle of this scene by revealing to the world such bands as Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, and many others. Fifty years later, music lovers still remember this golden age of rock nostalgia. It is in this desire to perpetuate this unique music that groups such as The Flower Kings or Wobbler were born to pass on their legacy to future generations. The Kentish Spires, a new British progressive rock band, is very much in line with their first effort, ‘The Last Harvest’.

 And for good reason, the opus of the English sextet experiences the seventies full on as evidenced by the long and very good first title, 'Kingdom Of Kent'. At eleven minutes long, the piece offers a real return to the past. In turn, the influences of the time are linked. The bridge feels like a homage to 'The Great Gig In The Sky', that legendary piece by Pink Floyd from ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ while the intervention of the saxophone recalls the title 'Starless’ King Crimson. The saxophone is very present on the entire album and just gives a very pleasant jazzy touch as on the eponymous last title but in a more emotional register; the end being led by the ubiquitous keyboards sounding somewhat reminiscent of Procol Harum.

 Between these two major titles, we will find several more concise titles with different atmospheres. The Kentish Spires respect the balance between long titles, more conceptual, and short titles and immediate, always with success. The first single, 'Clarity' is illustrated in a medieval folk style with a waltz mixing flute and violin, while the excellent 'Spirit Of The Skies' is a true nod to the Canterbury scene. The flute solos abound on this hopping title and immediately recall Caravan. 'TTWIG' (for That's The Way It Goes) enlarges even more the range of atmospheres produced by the English band with a very groovy sound and a catchy chorus. If musically, the sextet does not revolutionize the genre, the originality will come from the singer of the group, Lucy V, who delivers a remarkable performance with her serious and warm tone and leads the songs in a masterful way leading to an appreciation of her unusual voice.

 "The Last Harvest" is a solid record with Hammond organ and mellotron fragrances that will rekindle the memory of the 70s, a successful time for progressive rock, that we can recommend to all fans of this genre.

Click here to link to the actual review

Vive la France!!

Another very flattering review from French webzine Music Waves.‬  17.09.2018

Thankyou HIGHLANDS MAGAZINE - they've only gone and put us on their front cover!!   There's an interview with us too!‬  01.10.2018

Photo:  © Helen Williams

As if to follow the two bands of the British Progressive Legend mentioned above, here is a new successor who is an orthodox school with an old-fashioned British sovereign resentment and sorrow from the young up-and-coming of the 21st century. It was decided to decorate one debut.

A guitarist / drum, a band leader / producer who has the name of Kentish Spyrus, who has a female vocalist who also serves as a violin. The vintage lined up in the 70's British colors under the influence of image caravans, soft machines, matching mowls, and Floyd, just because they professed themselves as prog bands that were greatly influenced by Canterbury It seems that the sound is unfolding in all directions, it is difficult to write a masterpiece to the extent that even the concept of 21st century neo-progress or melodic rock like the current mainstream and even the retrograde of the era is far lingering, this is already After a long time The advent of comparable newcomers, not hide sensitive, such as only does dancing heart breast get hot while honest us.

Including the aesthetic artwork with romanticism, the singing ability of the female Vo who is proud of a song that reminds of Floyd's “The Great Gig In The Sky” over the middle part of the first song is also true , Hammond and Fender Rose, the guitar and wind instruments reverberating in the 70's ism, and the reverberation is inevitable.

It seems like spoilers, but one of the 2018 best rookie award candidates can already be confirmed by them.

Click here to link to the actual review

The Last Harvest has reached Japan!


Thanks to Yoshiyuki Ooseki for reviewing our album on his blog, Gensou Shinpi Ongakukan (Fantasy Mystical Music Museum).


Unfortunately we don't speak Japanese, but the google translate version sounds like we were well received‬.   01.09.2018

Blimey! Canterbury calling - It's The Kentish Spires and their offering to the Gods of early seventies Prog-Rock. Seriously. In the year of 2018, it's nearly impossible to find a new group of musicians with such a rich tapestry of British/English sounds and styles. Everything from the excellent production by guitarist Danny Chang (award winning composer/producer in the field of musical scores and songs for film and television) via all that brass and woodwinds to the wonderful diction and pronunciation of singer Lucie V (former frontwoman at Thunderstick - Samson/Iron Maiden), reek of Folk and Prog-Rock which made the Canterbury scene THE place to be in the early 70s.

At least that's what I'm told. Canterbury was probably never the place "to be" since people tend to go slightly bonkers when it's all about nostalgia. Pretty much like Woodstock, it was probably just a field full of mud, shite, and acid tripping hippies. Unless you're into the Canterbury Cathedral of course, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop.

But I digress. This is an impressive debut album and you can instantly pick up various bits and pieces of acts such as Camel, Caravan, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Soft Machine and Van Der Graaf Generator. Indeed. The full music spectrum with all the old prog instruments including several different saxophones, flute, clarinet, hammond, and of course the mellotron. We must never forget the mellotron. What would we be without the mellotron?

It's a celebration of classic prog, but also the old harvest festival, and going back to the place where it all started. Danny Chang wanted to evoke the feeling of the more simple way of living that he experienced as a child in Kent in the early 60's. Actually. The title track is the great epic apocalyptic tale about the very last harvest before earth refuses to grow any more food. Lucie V, not your typical Goth/Siren influenced singer as of lately. She's got 'soul' and the distinctive warm voice that will gladly take you on a trip around the moon and back again. The band decided to compose several tracks about Kent and its ancient history. It's however not a concept, it's an album of many hues and textures, the title track alone proves that the Kentish Spires are anything but one trick ponies. Final verdict: Old school. Old sound. Old dogs (with the exception of Lucie of course). Old tricks. New favourites.

Click here to link to the actual review

A great review from Urban "Wally" Wallstrom @ Rock United!   26.08.2018

The Last Harvest is an album by a band unlike any other in 2018.

Yes, one can dive long and far through recorded music history to find an album that mirrors the melodic phrasing, musicianship and vocal prowess demonstrable across this amazing recording, however… why bother? When a band produces such a magnificent collection of expertly crafted cuts, it’s there to enjoy for the here and now.

The Kentish Spires offer tunes steeped in the traditions of the ‘Canterbury scene’, a prog inspired collective whose enormous impact on pop and rock music is felt through the early work of Genesis and the array of artists that forged careers courtesy of the platform that band offered. Canterburied Sounds, Vol.s 1-4 is a sprawling compilation that neatly summarises the ‘Canterbury scene’, this is available via Apple Music (in Australian territories, no doubt in Europe and beyond as well).

The Last Harvest is far more than a homage to a genre or scene. Incorporating aspects of big band jazz and traditional hard rock (Deep Purple etc), the band specialise in melodic prog that can accompany a subdued dinner party as much as it can rouse a pub full of patrons to spontaneously dance and forget about the ills of the day.

Chanteuse Lucie V, the extraordinary vocalist that recorded on Thunderstick’s excellent Something Wicked This Way Comes (’17), proves again that her truly unique voice is a jewel.

If you haven’t heard Lucie’s vocal, describing it leads to a confusion of words as barely any descriptors suit her timbre and range. A recent conversation with her revealed that she is a hard rock fan, so the power in her delivery is reminiscent of a ‘black album’ (Metallica) era James Hetfield, yet her clear enunciation of each word is more in step with a highly educated and gifted Broadway starlet.

The CD booklet contains the lyrics, it was a real treat to read along with Lucie as she sung. The historically themed (“Kingdom of Kent”, “Hengist Ridge”) blends in with the quasi- apocalyptic (“The Last Harvest”), the self-reflective (“TTWIG”, “Clarity”) and the harsh emotional echoes of a now-ended relationship (“Introception”).

When its prog, one is accustomed to outstanding musicianship. The Kentish Spires feature the console talents (production, engineering, mixing) of Danny Chang, who also contributes the majority of the six-string guitars across the album's cuts. As a studio manager, Chang sounds like he is limited only by a budget. I’d love to hear what he could do with (say) the reams of cash that Beyoncé or Drake is afforded given the accomplished sound he wraps around The Kentish Spires. The beautiful woodwind instrumentation of Paul Hornsby is a notable highlight, Chang has surely captured Hornsby’s unique talents.

The Last Harvest is for the eccentrics and the magicians, the poets and dreamers, the deep thinker who finds spiritual resonance in the deft hand belonging to the brilliant creators of a diverse array of artistic mediums.

A wonderful review from Australia's Scars and Guitars - thankyou Andrew McKaysmith   21.08.2018

The Kentish Spires Little wind of the seventies with this sweet heat that cradles our country, (do not worry, the bad weather returns quickly for this winter), today I propose you to discover Canterbury prog rock straight out of Britain.

While all productions are calibrated with supra-effective sounds, compressions, and mastering more and more advanced, The Kentish Spiers offers us a return to the past, with sounds rather "old school". Disgusting at first, it's like being in those creative years when the computer did not dictate its musical laws. The sounds are rough, sometimes sharp, but contrasted, both soft (voice, flute) and rough (saxophone, guitar). Note that the singer has a particular voice, rather serious, and timbre that may seem confusing as it is unusual. Although the harmony is rather tonal, the group does not hesitate to embark on modal colors, all on a rather classic rock rhythmic background. We slightly brush a zeulhique music, a bit like Knifeworld.

No introduction for this seven tracks, the album enters directly into the thick of the subject with a rather long title first eleven minutes very rhythmic. After a quick and quick second piece, the tempos slow down, with beautiful ballads, and the rhythm falters slightly before the last title, eponymous of the album 'The Last Harvest', big slow song which ends in fireworks , and interrupted by a magmatic dance, where the saxophonist takes us into a chorus of the most furious.

 In short, an interesting renewal, which is moving away from today's digital doxa. But despite everything, the compositions do not go far enough, and although the initiative is good and rather convincing, 'The Last Harvest' suffers from a lack of rhythm and originality.

Click here to link to the actual review

Neoprog... finally, a bad review! The amount of praise for our first album has been overwhelming, it's refreshing to hear from someone who didn't enjoy it.   18.08.2018

Today is the debut album "The Last Harvest" by the group The Kentish Spires. It is composed of: singing lady Lucie V, guitarist Danny Chang (known from the Fyreworks band from 20 years ago), drummer Tim Robinson (Magenta), Phil Warren on bass, Rik Loveridge on keyboards and playing wind instruments Paul Hornsby. They combine two things: a passion for the creation of groups like Caravan, Soft Machine and Matching Mole, who all came from Kent County in England. And like Kent, it's ... Canterbury. And so it really is.

The album was recorded with the help of techniques imitating (successfully!) the sound of the 70s with particular emphasis on the so-called inspiration. Canterbury scenes. On "The Last Harvest" album, The Kentish Spires provide the listener with a wealth of musical impressions - mainly the brass section works, which perfectly adapts to the musical foundation created by traditional sounds of guitars, bass and percussion - with synthesizers adequate for the era and genre and equally impressive, really strong vocal Lucie V. Lucie V grew up on the English folk stage, which certainly influenced her approach to the recordings included in the program of this album. Her quirky and very 'English' vocal style perfectly suits the direction chosen by The Kentish Spires.

Although "The Last Harvest" is not a conceptual album, a few of the compositions - you have to talk about them, because some of them last for several minutes - especially "Kingdom Of Kent", "Hengist Ridge" and the title track "The Last Harvest" tells about the traditions and past of Kent County. We are soundly on the Canterbury scene of the 21st century, relatively close to sounds from the many albums of The Tangent formation, with The Kentish Spires sounding much milder, more melodic and in general the music on the album "The Last Harvest" seems unexpectedly digestible and unusually easily absorbed, and with long moments getting closer to folk rock. After all, what can not be said about avant-garde, often bizarre jazz rock breaks with which Canterbury sounds are commonly associated.

At the end, one more interesting thing: one song, Clarity, was mixed by Rob Reed from the Magenta group. And this is - unlike the long compositions mentioned above that make up the real flywheels of the album, an incredibly shapely, less than four-minute song with an idyllic overtone, which with a bit of good will can even become a hit. Watch the music video on YouTube, enter the world of The Kentish Spires music, and you will not want to go out of it ...

Click here to link to the actual review

Another very flattering review of The Last Harvest - this time from MLWZ, Poland!   06.08.2018

Then there's news from good old England, and if you belong to those who miss good old-fashioned progressive rock, as it was screwed together in the 70s, then you can safely put the listening device to the new Kentish Spiers album, because here it is you swirled into a pocket of time from the time before Genesis went in the wrong direction.

Experienced musicians

The Last Harvest is Kentish Spire's debut album, but it is definitely a collection of talented and experienced musicians we are dealing with. The band consists of: Lucie V - vocals, Phil Warren - bass, Danny Chang - guitar / keyboard, Paul Hornby - wind instruments / guitar, Rick Loveridge - keyboards / guitar. In addition, Tim Robinson is instrumental in drums.

They all have a solid background with lots of experience, and so to speak, is a prerequisite for making an album like The Last Harvest.

The old Proghund comes back to life

Kentish Spire's debut album lasts throughout. In the press, the band writes that they were inspired by the 70's Canterbury scene (Caravan, Gong, Soft Machine) and it fits very nicely, though of course with their own personal touch.

In short, the album sounds like it was recorded in the mid-70s, and it seems good.

Personally, I like to buy a brown ryota rug, put on the Icelander, and turn on a corn pipe while floating in classic English rock.

I don't want to do a number-by-number review, but just note that The Last Harvest contains everything you would expect from an album, in that niche of rock music. There are the numbers over 10 minutes long, mixed with the slightly shorter cases. There is super cool song from Lucie V, and there are lots of instrumental passages, some are pretty jazzy, yes, almost Steely Dan-like, where the band is brilliant on various instruments. Hammond organ, flute and saxophone help to give the disc a nice warm laid back tone, and the production also sits right in the closet.


If you are into Caravan, Gong, Genesis or Jethro Tull, you will find a lot of fun at The Last Harvest, and overall Kentish Spiers can be very pleased with the debut. They probably won't get rich, but the album is a real pleasure for lovers of music played by real people on real instruments.

Click here to link to the actual review

A 5* review from Denmark - thanks Michael Møller Nielsen @ RockZeit   02.08.2018

Prolusion. UK band KENTISH SPIRES appears to be a fairly recent formation, at least as far as being visible as an entity to outsiders is concerned, as their internet presence wasn't a fact until the spring of 2018. I do suspect this venture has been developed a bit longer than that, however, but remained more or less undercover until they had their debut album ready. That album is called "The Last Harvest", and was self-released in the summer of 2018.

Analysis. One of the more mysterious sub-genres of the progressive rock universe is what is commonly referred to as The Canterbury Scene. Mysterious, at least in the eyes and the ears of people not insiders to the genre. This variation of progressive rock have had it's solid base of admirers ever since the scene came to be in the early 70's, and Kentish Spires are vocal and up front about their aim of exploring this particular subset of progressive rock. And they do come across as quite a vital band of this tradition at their best on their debut album. In fact, they open this CD with what for me comes across as their very best song, even if it is a creation that for me also features some of their not quite as impressive details too. The latter aspect the one item of progressive rock that often is the highlight: Namely the instrumental interludes and the instrument solo spots. Not that Kentish Spires is a let down in that department, but much more of a case of these being not quite as impressive as the verse, chorus and bridge sections. It is when vocalist Lucie V. is present that I find this band to be shining at their very brightest. She has a fine voice, calm and controlled but able to deliver more dramatic and emotional modes of vocals when called upon, but it is the manner in which her vocals are supported that for me combined into a creation of greater beauty. The elegant flute details, taking their cues from both Jethro Tull and Camel. The elegant saxophone flavoring, adding flow and momentum with careful grace. The bass and drums, both of which tends to hone in on a jazz-oriented mode of delivery. The guitar, more of a subservient presence most of the time, alternating between jazzier and more of a rock tinged approach, depending on need. The epic length opening song 'Kingdom of Kent' assembles all of those details into a greater whole, with the verse and chorus parts clear highlights as far as I'm concerned. One of those rare instances where I was anxiously awaiting the instrumental parts to be finished so that I could get back to the striking beauty of the vocal parts. The latter, of course, being just bloody brilliant in my view. As the rest of this album unfolds we are treated to many variations of this band's take on the Canterbury sound, and most of them are just utterly charming. The shorter cuts tends to focus in a bit more on the more jazz-tinged aspects of the style, while the longer compositions adds in some additional flavoring. For opening song 'Kingdoms of Kent', there are trace elements of Pink Floyd present. 'Introception' adds some classic rock and, arguably, some southern rock details to the mix. And the darker toned, slower paced concluding epic 'The Last Harvest" made me think of Procol Harum in places. Not everything gels to the point of coming across as a striking production overall, but this is a production with tons of charm throughout and with quite a few moments of sheer brilliance. A very good and promising debut album by a band that should have a field day among fans of the particular brand of progressive rock they have chosen as their field of operations.

Conclusion. Kentish Spires is one of those bands that come out of nowhere and makes a strong and favorable impression among just about everyone with a fascination for the type of music they explore. Progressive rock with concise nods towards and inclusion of folk music details and jazz is the name of the game here, a type of music otherwise referred to as Canterbury. If you tend to enjoy such productions, this is a CD you do need to check out at some point, and then sooner rather than later.

Click here to link to the actual review

Wow - thanks   01.08.2018

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales used the shrine of Thomas Becket as the excuse for his band of naughty pilgrims to visit said city, but for worshippers of the quaver and minim it has long been synonymous with story telling of a somewhat more “note” worthy kind. The Canterbury Scene is a saga of inter-band musicians and depicted by a jazzy vibe from many of its protagonists.

Aptly named The Kentish Spires are a group of like minded people brought together to bring us a body of work invoking the spirit of the region with their first album, The Last Harvest.

A single whack on the snare and singer Lucie V’s folky lilt throws us head first into the battle for the Kingdom of Kent. A chronicle of Germanic marauders musically minor keying with great tracked saxophones and that flute which defines this sub-genre. Danny Chang’s guitar Barres in to the fight and provides the rock, then a change of tempo as the ancient Britons re-load. Nostalgia for the olde days of good music is further enhanced by the excellent drumming of Tim Robinson, an actual Hammond imbuing shades of Richard Wright’s finest, and then Paul Hornby’s sax does nothing to dispel the Floydian connection. We’re off to an excellent start to the album, but not so good for the bloodline of the British.

Spirit of The Skies could almost be an early Caravan song with a lady guest as Phil Warren’s precise bass matches the kick with aplomb, whilst Anchor Man flute dances with the organ and on the oak tables, Trower-esque 6-string fills the gaps, and the masterful vocalist keeps the boys in check.

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Thank you Andrew Halley @ The Progressive Aspect for this review of The Last Harvest   24.07.2018

If not the epicentre of prog, Canterbury is nevertheless synonymous with the genre, and perhaps its spiritual home, spawning bands like Camel, Caravan and Soft Machine.  Inspired by the Canterbury scene, and using recording techniques sympathetic to the 1970′s, The Kentish Spires pay homage to the era with their debut album The Last Harvest.

No ‘new kids on the block’ the five-piece bring a collective wealth of experience to the project.  Bassist Phil Warren came up with the idea, rekindling a musical relationship of 30 years with Danny Chang (production, guitars, backing vocals, percussion and additional keys) who, in the mid 90′s, formed Fyreworks with Rob Reed (Magenta).  Perhaps of little surprise to find, therefore, that Reed mastered the album for Tiger Moth Productions, as well as filming and mixing the video for the song Clarity.

Central to the band’s sound are the sublime soprano, alto and tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute and recorders of Paul Hornsby, Rik Loveridge’s vintage keys (naturally enough including Mellotron and Hammond), and vocals (and violin) courtesy of Lucie V, who used to front Tinderstick (ex Iron Maiden/Samson). Non-group member Tim Robinson plays drums.

With a typically proggy mix of shorter and longer numbers, proceedings begin with the 11 minute ‘Kingdom Of Kent’.  It’s a melodic corker, with so many enchanting facets that the unnecessary ‘Great Gig in The Sky’ vignettes can be forgiven.

‘Spirit Of The Skies’ is an irrepressibly effervescent, jazzy blend of keys and flute, and the dreamy, almost bossa nova like ‘TTWIG (That’s The Way It Goes)’ features more delightful reed and lead guitar work.

‘Introception’ has mild hints of Tull/Gentle Giant, while ‘Hengist Ridge’ is an evocative tour de force that would grace any prog album, of any decade.  ‘Clarity’ has an eccentric, medieval minstrel flavour, and the epic closer, and title track, throws the kitchen sink into a number that blends elements of The Moody Blues and King Crimson circa Lizard.

But The Last Harvest is far more than just a celebration of the past, and is one of the most cultured releases you’ll hear this year.  Beautifully crafted, the unusually clean production allows every note and nuance of some truly outstanding performances to be fully appreciated.  It’s also nice to hear a vocalist who doesn’t sound like a clone.

So if you thrilled to the woodwind and reed instrumentation of Ian McDonald and Mel Collins back ‘in the day’, and even if you didn’t, make sure you check out this exquisite debut from The Kentish Spires.  A band we’ll hopefully be hearing a lot more from in the future.  *****

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Thanks Pete Whalley of Get Ready To Rock for giving us our first 5 star review of The Last Harvest   17.07.2018

The Gentlemen behind the Summers End Festival, Huw Lloyd-Jones and Stephen Lambe, have branched out into a record label as well, Sonicbond, truly covering all progressive bases and, following on the release of the excellent Talitha Rise album, they now unleash this album, described as a spiritual successor to the classic Canterbury Scene. With a wonderfully rich and warm sound, this is an assured and impressive debut album.

The band’s members are no stranger to the contemporary prog scene, with guitarist Danny Chang bringing his considerable influence to bear and Rik Loveridge’s wonderful Hammond flows throughout the album. Phil Warren and Tim Robinson on bass and drums provide the impressive back beat that allows the guitars and synths to paint wonderful musical pictures, while the woodwind of Paul Hornsby adds a wonderfully English feel. I am a sucker for bands that use woodwind and brass like The Home Service, Brass Monkey  and Supertramp and this definitely ticks all the boxes for me. Topping it off are the sublimely soulful vocals of Lucie V, who brings her warm, smokey soulful voice to bear on these superb tracks.

From the wonderful opening 11minutes plus opener Kingdom of Kent, this well and truly sets the scene with evocative lyrics (and distinctions between Kentish Men and Men of Kent – having lived there in the Medway towns for a while, this is an important distinction for residents of this garden county,) stirring musical moments, wonderful woodwind and keyboard work, and oh, those vocals. Lucie adds soul to the music that is full of heart and, as an opening track goes, it acts as both a statement of intent and as an opening to a new album by a new band. It is assured and has plenty of verve and swagger. The bonus track Clarity (mixed by one of progs busiest men Rob Reed) is a wonderfully direct song about indecision and direction (something we can all identify with) and, again, Lucie’s vocals add the world-weary element to this, while the band are sublime.

The Canterbury vibe filters its way through the album with the wonderful flute on TTWIG (That’s the Way it Goes) sounding like it snuck in the back from a ‘70’s Tull album. Along with the sax, the woodwind and the wonderfully organic Hammond organ sound, this album reminds me of other great English bands like Kapreker’s Constant or Big Big Train circa ‘The Underfall Yard’ era.

With only 8 tracks on here, the album has room to grown and breath and while it is not a concept album, several of the tracks do link into the history of Kent, songs like Hengist Ridge (not to be confused with a Mike Oldfield album of a similar name) and the opener deal with the subject of the regions wars and battles.

My favourite track on the album is also, funnily enough, the longest at 13 minutes plus. The Last Harvest is a wonderfully English epic where Chang’s guitar soars and Lucie’s vocals take the music to another level, almost reminiscent in points of either Pink Floyd or Mostly Autumn. The closing organ piece that rounds the track off is both sublime and elegiac, reminiscent of Harvest festival celebrations in Churches and Village Halls, the haunting sound you only get from a traditional organ.

This album is a fantastically mature and accomplished debut with some wonderfully English influences drawing from things as wonderfully diverse as folk rock, progressive rock and the Canterbury scene and it weaves them all into an incredibly rich tapestry of sounds and styles. Never jarring and in keeping with the rich musical seam of talent that runs through this album.

I really enjoyed this record, and it is one that will grow on you just like it grew on me and, in Lucie V, we have another wonderful singer with a unique voice who is integral to the success of this record. If you like your English progressive music, and want to try something new, The Kentish Spires are exactly what you need.

Click here to link to the actual review

Thanks James R Turner of ProgRadar for giving us this fantastic review of The Last Harvest   17.07.2018

"This album, quite apart from being something of a long overdue homage to the classic ‘Canterbury’ sound, also stands tall as a fresh and exciting achievement in its own right. Warm, familiar, and yet managing to stand apart from an often generic ‘Prog’ scene, ‘Last Harvest’ is quite an achievement. Favorite track: The Last Harvest."

Big thank you to Mark Arnold for his kind appraisal of The Kentish Spires debut album, "The Last Harvest"    05.08.2018

I heard about The Kentish Spires from a FB group about the wonderful Canterbury music scene.

The cat, Davy Hoo, suggested checking your group out. I was gobsmacked at what I heard!! Brilliant is a complete understatement. Wonderful instrumentation/exquisite musical interludes/passages, great horns, vocals and so much more!

So glad that I found out about and bought your incredible "The Last Harvest". Hope that you guys do more!!! I love it! Fresh

Big thank you to to David Freshman who left this very encouraging review on our Bandcamp page.    01.08.2018

Click here to link to the actual review

The Last Harvest is the debut album for the new band The Kentish Spires, and the music is a fun and delicious Canterbury prog. Disc is released in a month. Unlike many other bands in the genre, Kentish Spire's female vocalist in the form of Lucie Vowles or Lucie V, as she is also called. The band has some You Tube videos, but none of them are especially good so those who want to listen to what the English band has to offer can do it on Bandcamp .

On the song Clarity, Kentish Spire far out into people rock country and it's a refreshing song that Rob Reed from Magenta has mixed. Lucie V has a past in various folk rock bands and it also affects Kentish Spire's sound. Lucie V has an archangel vocal style and is exquisitely eccentric. The other musicians are not nearly as eccentric as Lucie V, but they are also experienced musicians and can to the degree their instruments.

Lyrically, there is no concept that permeates the disc, but some of the songs have the theme of certain common features. Kent in England has a fairly violent past, and a fierce battle between various tribes in prehistoric times is a fact. Another fact is that the songs Kingdom Of Kent and Hengist Ridge both discuss the devotion of this violence from truly old days.

Click here to link to the actual review

Thank you Many thanks to Ulf Backstrøm of Permafrost for our first review of The Last Harvest   28.06.2018

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