Simon Lanzon

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1974)

- Barry Husband (aka Barry Younghusband) -- vocals, guitar, bass

- Simon Lanzon (aka Simon Commonknowledge) (RIP 2012)

  -- vocals, keyboards


  supporting musicians

- Steve Ashley -- penny whistle

- Andy McCulloch -- drums, percussion

- Sammy Melange -- drums, percussion

- Trevor Merritt -- drums, percussion

- Shawn Phillips -- sitar

- Giles Pope -- drums, percussion

- Tony Reeves -- bass



- Chumbawamba (Simon Commonknowledge)

- Gemini (Barry Husband and Simon Lanzon)

- Hapshash and the Coloured Coat (Barry Younghusband)

- Open Road (Barry Husband and Simon Lanzon)

- Sportchestral

- Tuesday's Children (Barry Younghusband)

- The Warm Sounds (Barry Younghusband)



Genre: folk-rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Nostalgaa

Company: Bradleys

Catalog:  BRADL 1007

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3521

Price: $100.00

By the late-'60s singer/keyboardist Simon Lanzon and singer/guitarist Barry Husband joined the band Open Road.  Open Road had just finished a stint as Donovan Leitch's backing band.  When n their own Open Road recorded a one shot 1970 album for Epic.  When Open Road called it quits Lanzon and Husband continued their musical partnership recording what was to become "Nostalgia" over a two year period (1972-74).


Signed by the London-based Bradleys label, their debut collection was co-produced by the pair and Rufus Cartwright.  Both principles were capable writers and singers, but musically the album offered up a highly ecclectic blend of styles that didn't necessarily connect all that well.  This may well be the most diverse set in my collection.  Just to give you a couple of examples ...  With Steve Ashley on penny whistle and Shawn Phillips on sitar, 'Westminster Bridge' offered up a slice of International String Band styled  acid-folk (if that genre actually exists). The pop-psych styled 'Silly People' sounded like something The Move might have recorded.  The glam rocker Ghetto' came off like something from a Marc Bolan album.  'Rain and Wind' sounded like the pair had retired to a Catholic Abbey and become singing monks.  It's certainly to an album that's going to appeal to a widespread audience, but it was so varied and darned strange, they'll be a small group of listeners who find the results fascinating.


"Nostalgia" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Communication Hangup  (Simon Lanzon - Barry Husband) -   rating: *** stars

A big, orchestrated ballad with "heavy" lyrics, 'Communication Hangup' sounded like an English version of something The Bee Gees might have recorded.  Pretty, but not exactly life changing.  Curiously, with a slightly altered title ('I'll Be with You Again and Again (Communications Hangup'), Bradleys subsequently released the song as a single credited to Gemini.  

2.) Ecstasy Express  (Simon Lanzon - Trappes - Barry Husband) -    rating: *** stars

Powered by Lanzon's electric piano, 'Ecstacy Express' found the pair marrying a jazzy pop melody with counterculture lifestyle lyrics that were guaranteed to get them banned by every radio station known to mankind.

3.) Do You Still Love Me  (Barry Husband) -   rating: ** stars


Accompanied by a full band arrangement, the ballad 'Do You Still Love Me' had a strange, '50s and '60s vibe to it.  And when Husband hit the falsetto refrain, a bit of Frankie Valli and the four Seasons crept into the mix.  Can't say the song did a great deal for me though that didn;t stop their label from releasing it as a English single:


1974's 'Do You Still Love Me' b/w 'Ecstacy Expres' (Bradleye catalog number BRAD 7508 A/B)





4.) Silly People  (Simon Lanzon - Barry Husband) -   rating: **** stars

The English lyrics were lost on my American ears, but 'Silly Paper' reminded me of something The Move might have recorded.   In spite of the freak-out ending, it was still one of the album's more conventional rockers.

5.) Westminster Bridge  (Barry Husband) -   rating: *** stars

With Lanzon and Husband sharing lead vocals, 'Westminister Bridge' was an acid-folk tune that would not have sounded out of place on an International String collection.  Steve Ashley on penny Whistle and Shawn Phillips on sitar ...  


(side 2)

1.) Ghetto  (Simon Lanzon - Blue) -   rating: **** stars

And just when you thought you'd begun to get your ears around these guys, along came the blazing rocker 'Ghetto'.  Husband turned in a blazing guitar solo on this one.

2.) Rain and Wind  (Simon Lanzon - Trappes) -   rating: **** stars

So musical transitions were clearly not their creative strengths.  'Rain and Wind' was a stunning slice of Gregorian-styled harmonies.  Very strange until you leaned Lanzon had attended school at Amokeforth Abbey, where the Abbey monks had ignited his original interest in music.

3.) Love So Divine  (Barry Husband) -   rating: **** stars

Another nice ballad, but this time around 'Love So Divine' added a touch of lysergic influences to the mix.  Not sure why (maybe Husband's treated guitar solo), but this one's sheer heaviness has always reminded me of something out of Zeppelin's early catalog.   Awesome performance.

4.) Lose Your Pride  (Simon Lanzon - Barry Husband) -   rating: **** stars

And just when I thought they'd run out of musical genres to explore, 'Lose You Pride' came out with a distinctive ELP progressive vibe.  And not over-the-top, pretentious ELP ...  the rarer, commercially oriented ELP.

5.) By the Time You Get This Message  (Barry Husband) -   rating: **** stars

Heavy orchestration actually didn't hurt the atmospheric 'By the Time You Get This Message'.  Not hard to imagine this on a Fairport Convention album, or as incidental music for a film.  





Not sure I understand the marketing ploy, but Bradley's released a rerecorded version of 'Communications HangUp' as a single under the name Gemini:


1974's 'I'll Be with You Again and Again (Communications Hangup)' b/w 'Changes' (Bradleys catalog  number BRAD 7402)





For anyone interested, Husband (aka Barry Younghusband) had an interesting musical background, having played in a number of mid-'60s English psychedelic bands including Tuesday's Children, The Warm Sounds, and Hapshash and the Coloured Coat.


Lanzon continued to be active in music and film, hooking up with a music collective that evolved into Chumbawamba (of 'Tubthumping' fame).  He passed on in 2012.  I can't decide if it's ghoulish, or a nice tribute to the man, but YouTube has a clip of some of his friends tossing his ashes across the Ilkley Moor: