The Julian Laxton Band
Celebration

Celebration

Tracks:

  1. Blue Water (van Blerk/Laxton)
  2. Johannesburg (van Blerk/Laxton)
  3. I Get High (van Blerk/Laxton)
  4. Celebrate (van Blerk/Laxton/Rabin)
  5. All I Need is You (van Blerk/Laxton)
  6. Man to Man (van Blerk/Laxton)

Produced by Julian Laxton & Patric van Blerk
Arranged by Julian Laxton
Recorded at Satbel Studios

All these tracks except for 'I Get High' appear on the Julian Laxton Collection CD (1994)

Release information:

1977, Jo'burg Records, PVA 13

Review:

While the name Julian Laxton appears on just about every second South African rock album from the 70s (as guitarist or producer), the Julian Laxton Band were not that prolific. 'Celebration' is one of the few albums produced by this band.

Opening with 'Blue Water' this is a great mixture of rock, funk and disco. From the start two things stand out; Julian's guitar work and the strong falsetto vocals of Eugene Havanga, the latter being reminiscent of Jon Anderson of Yes fame. The guitar work is tight but not clinical, it flows in a determined to be laidback kind of manner.

There is not one duff track on the album, with 5 of the 6 tracks making it onto 'The Julian Laxton Collection' retrospective CD released in 1994, but it's 'Blue Water' and 'Celebrate the Rain' that are the highlights. 'Celebrate the Rain' starts with the sounds affects of a torrential downpour with some thunder in the background, a sythn is introduced, and then it's into some heavy tribal beats and chants. This gives way to more of Eugene's vocals and Julian's guitar, but goes a long way to encapsulate the feel of a highveld storm.

The album closes with it's funkiest track - 'Man to Man' which chugs along at pace, forcing everything in it's way to dance. Clocking in at over 8 minutes this track has enough false endings to make even the most hardened DJ wary of playing this.

'Celebration' is just that, a celebration, of love, life, music and dance. A feel good album, that made disco cool for rock lovers.

-- John Samson, February 2001

Webpage:

All info supplied by John Samson, March 2001.


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