Common Sense Dancing
“Common Sense Dancing” marks the fifth album release from Duncan Parsons. Titled after a quote from Clive James, the album continues progressive music’s determination not to be defined. With themes taking in humour, nostalgia, the arts, and social science, it digs its own furrow with songs of love, dance, tribute, remembrance, and nonsense. Stylistically, there’s rock, jazz, pop, folk, minimalism, sci-fi sound-scape – pretty much anything lying around the studio..
Packaged as a double album, the first disc contains 15 tracks of songs and instrumentals. Ladybird weaves a brief history of the children’s books between 1948 and 1971; Play’s Cool pays tribute to the golden age of British Children’s Television; Green Cross Code, Man is the ultimate extrapolation of the social programming messages of 70s Public Information Films; Furry Leaves brings a fresh interpretation of a classic Romantic era piano piece; Family Entertainment bemoans standards in broadcast arts; and A Breakthrough In Sound tells the true story of when a TV signal was interrupted one teatime in Hampshire, 1977.
Disc two has a half hour ‘radio play’ about the history of Ordnance Survey maps based around a walk in the Peak District interspersed with music, followed by arrangements of the incidental music set for Mellotron. The atmosphere is pastoral, the tone reminiscent of Detectorists, and the terrain taken in its stride. NB – hills can go down as well as up.
Packed to the rafters with Mellotron sounds, including from less-than-common tapes, Common Sense Dancing sees the return of John Hackett’s flute and Nick Fletcher’s lead guitar work, along with stunning violin work from Clare Lindley (Stackridge, DLM) and Sarah Sharp (Tzarsi), and saxello from Mick Somerset (Floy Joy, Clock DVA).
Throughout the album one might catch glimpses of the likes of Supertramp, Nick Drake, 10cc, The Feeling, Bruford, Vangelis, Strawbs, Stackridge…
“Gentle, wistful and evocative with beautiful arrangements” Cherry Cant (widow of Brian Cant)