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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Alistair James - 'Run For Their Money' a review...

Alistair James is a name that many of you don't need me to mention twice. Since I've been going to gigs Ally has been a force on both the local and national scene pulling in big crowds whenever he's graced the stage and gaining widespread praise from both the Modernist fraternity and general musos's. Ally began his musical journey with his band 'The Master Colony' they supported the likes of Twisted Wheel, From The Jam and The English Beat among others. The band split in around 2011 and Ally rose from the ashes to embark on a solo career. This period brought some of Ally's best songwriting to the fore and gained him a regular fanbase across the length and breadth of the country. He's a lad who is a true disciple of his craft and one with a very bright future. 

In October 2020, Ally stepped back into the studio with Teesside producer Paddy Jordan and laid down, "Run For Their Money" in just four hours, not a bad days work eh? This is a track which has been in Ally's set for some time now and is well known across the sussed crowds of the U.K. The recorded version is a great refresh of an already album-ready tune oozing with class and craftsmanship. I've always wanted to hear this one reworked and reimagined and this is exactly what Ally and Paddy have done. 

Opening with harmonic tones which sound superb (the production is mega) "Run For Their Money" eases you in from the off and lets you know this is an artist who knows his craft. "You found yourself again..." a line I've heard many times over the years, finds rebirth in this new and improved version. "Run For Their Money" sounds more and more like a modern ballad in this recording which once again showcases Ally's versatility as an artist. Guitar work that pops in all the right places and gets feet tapping immediately is always the sign of a song which will go the distance both in the studio and live. I can't wait to hear this one live again as I feel its taken on a whole new life since being reimagined. This track shows Alistair's maturity as an artist due to the fact he doesn't need clashy guitars to make an impact, just sheer fire and skill from the off. 

"Run For Their Money" is a tale of greed and envy a tune which speaks from the heart and pulls the listener right to its centre. It doesn't hold back and tells it like it is. Ally's vocal is superb on this tune and he carries notes with ease, spreading his gospal. "You better keep it in your sights, keep it in your sights tonight" builds up to the chorus emphatically bringing it all together. "Run for their money, run for their money tonight" it's Teesside inspired Springsteen which has your foot tapping and you humming along after just a single listen. Keyboards, perfect harmonies and intricate guitar work line the path of the chorus and bring it all home to a calm exit. Alistair is someone who has real love for his craft and it's once again shown in abundance in this triumphant return to recording. 


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In loving memory of Denise Pottinger