A five-piece from Yorkshire, Area 40 boast catholic tastes.
Drummer Chris Holden likes prog and reggae, bass player Mark Wilson favours Van Morrison and Americana, lead guitarist Pete McLoughlin first played with Paddy McAloon, singer and rhythm guitarist Steve Peacey errs towards Crsoby, Stills & Nash and ELO while violinist Wendy Ross likes The Tubes and Jon Anderson.
Together they’ve played at Grassington Festival, Ripley Live and Knaresborough FEVA.
Their debut album, recorded in Ripon and mixed in Hebden Bridge, has elements of folk, rock and indie with some clever lyrics (“An apology for summer came and went with no hurrah/The birds flying south for winter remind me it’s been a year”, “The hockey boys you know they’re harder than the ice”) and sweetly layered harmonies.
Their best songs bookend this album. Where Are You Now is a slow-burning, I Am Kloot-like strum tinged with regret; Boston is altogether rockier, with some nice interplay between McLoughlin’s guitar and Ross’ violin.
Mention should also be made of the driving guitar solo which erupts from Thick As Thieves with the delirious force of Ernie Isley’s ‘wig out’ in Summer Breeze.
An altogether impressive first step.