Velvet Razor are a Rock / Classic Rock / Progressive outfit from Weybridge consisting of Dave Kent vocals lead guitar and additional guitar/keyboards;
Martin Wise bass guitar and backing vocals; Ian Pickering on keyboards and
Ian King on acoustic drums, electronic drums and percussion.
Having formed four years ago (2003), Velvet Razor haven’t wasted time in trying to establish themselves as a fixture in the UK South’s live music scene. 2005 saw the band play at Guilfest 2005 and proving to be a minor sensation of the festival. They were unknown late-comers to the festival, playing the notoriously difficult first slot on the Surrey Advertiser stage. Initially they played to a nearly empty marquee, but half way through their set, the crowd started to pour in from outside.
More recently they played at the Ents24 stage at Guilfest 2006 (The 2nd largest stage) and went back into the studio this sunmer to record a whole new disc.
I saw the band at The Hob, Staines last month. The band played a selection of their own-penned compositions plus a nice range of prog-jazz sounding covers from Stones through to Led Zeppelin via some more modern stuff. Their own material sounds a bit experimental (without being too avant-garde) allowing the boys to stretch the boundaries of the basic rock sounds. The band’s guitar-based tunes containing interesting percussive elements is reminiscent of Robert Fripp (King Crimson). It is obvious that the band enjoys exploring elements of jazz and funk whilst remaining loyal to a more solid rock foundation.
I heard plenty of old-style prog-rock (Pink Floyd, Yes etc.) but couldn’t really say that I heard ‘more modern’ prog-rock sounds like Porcupine Tree or Spocks Beard and I suppose this is not a surprise because the band are no spring-chickens…. not that I am being critical about their combined ages! As an example of their reliance on older sounds, I noticed on their website that they cite Genesis as an influence but are clear to note that it is the ‘Gabriel’ Genesis they are referring to and not the ‘Collins’ version (so in other words pre-1975.)
Perhaps the Hob is not the best venue for VR. The ‘jazzy & experimental’ feel of the group meant that, at times, their performance seemed lazy and a little self-gratifying. It is fair to say that the group seemed to lack the vigour and vim of some of the younger performers that night.
But, all-in-all, VR is a complex and multi-talented band worth exploring (you can get their disc from their website) and probably more suited to an outdoor event than a pub-rock venue.
Neil_Mach October 2007
Sat, Nov 17th 2007 8:30 pm Robin Hood Pub Guildford
Check their site at: