Dave Foster Band

English Electric, 2023

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Maybe they can actually tour this album!


The Dave Foster band (Foster on guitar, singer and co-songwriter Dinet Poortman, Neil Fairclough on bass, Anthony Hindley on piano and Leon Parr on drums) released their debut Nocebo in 2019, but the Covid pandemic in 2020 put a stop to future tours. In that time, the duo worked on a number of new songs for what would become their second album, Glimmer.


Foster is a guitar player for English prog-rockers Big Big Train who also plays with the Steve Rothery Band and has a couple of solo albums to his name. He and Poortman had worked together on a couple of songs for those solo albums; the work went so well that the duo decided to form an actual band and release my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Nocebo. Big Big Train, always ones to take care of their own, released Glimmer on their own label.


One would think the prog credentials of these two (which also include Marillion) would make this a prog disc, but that’s not quite the case. It’s fairly standard electro pop-rock with only hints of prog, languid yet compelling. The second single, “…Or You Steal Some,” is a seven-minute affair with some great guitar work and an evocative lyric about standing strong when things seem hopeless, while opener “Every Waking Moment” starts off dull but slowly grows into something dramatic and “Run” has a sort of alternative pop-rock feel that calls back the 90s scene.


Those latter two make up the opening punch of the record, and the rest struggles to live up to them. Neither “Memory Box” nor “Chasing an Echo” make much of an impact; the latter, in particular, is a little too slow and short on melody to make a lasting impact. “Dive In” is fine, more so for Poortman’s vocals, though the song kicks into gear about halfway through with a spooky ascending series of chords. However, closer “The Rules Have Changed” is a great rocker, with a tricky but catchy rock riff, buffeted with a dreamy midsection and a “Kashmir”-like outro.


Glimmer isn’t groundbreaking nor does it call to mind the more ambitious prog-rock of the other bands these guys play with, but that’s not really the point. It’s a satisfying and well-made album, and here’s hoping they have a chance to further enhance the songs out on the road.

Rating: B

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