Pete Ham

Golders Green - Ryko 1999

Tracks: 1:Makes Me Feel Good # 1 / 2:A Lonely Day / 3:Dawn / 4:Without You / 5:Pete's Walk / 6:Hurry On Father / 7:Goodbye John Frost / 8: I'll Kiss You Goodnight / 9: When The Feeling / 10: Shine On / 11: Gonna Do It / 12: Whiskey Man / 13: Keyhole Street / 14: I've Waited So Long / 15: Richard / 16: Midnight Caller / 17: Helping Hand / 18: Where Will You Be / 19: I'm So Lonely / 20: Makes Me Feel Good # 2 / 21: Piano Red / 22: Evening Sky


This longawaited second collection of Pete Ham demos comes two and a half years after the release of the first, 7 Park Avenue. I hope we don?t have to wait that long for third, because this one certainly lives up to the expectations I had in the light of 7 P.A.

What strikes me after the first listen to Golders Green is the great variety of styles that Pete throws himself into and how brilliantly he does it.

There are pop ballads like "Dawn" and "I`ll Kiss You Goodnight" - Rockers like "Richard" - Pop/rock melodies with hit potential like "Makes Me Feel Good" and "Helping Hand" - mellow folkish songs; "I"ve Waited So Long To Be Free?, "Hurry On Father" and "A Lonely Day". There are demos of well-known Badfinger tunes like "Midnight Caller" and "Without You" ( actually "If It`s Love" - before it was paired with Tom Evans` chorus ). A new new aspect which did not show very much on 7PA is the bluesy side of Pete Ham which here is represented by "Whiskey Man" and "I`m So Lonely". A few tracks are very short fragments or unfinished demos such as "Shine On" and "Pete`s Walk". "When The Feeling" and "Gonna Do It" show Pete having fun and experimenting, when recording.

One thing all tracks have in common is the great sense of melody which is characteristic for Pete`s songwriting and singing. Many tracks are greatly inspired by The Beatles but they never come off just as poor imitations of the Fab. Four`s work. Compared to 7 Park Avenue the sound quality is slightly better - a few tracks are almost in professional studio quality. The songs on Golders Greens equals those of 7PA in quality - there are no signs that the well is drying up. The overdubbing and general production is similar to that of its predecessor - you actually never really know for sure when the drums, bass or keyboards are Pete himself or if they were added later. A few tracks feature great guitar solo playing by Pete e.g. "I`m So Lonely", "Helping Hand" and "Pete`s Walk".

All in all I think Dan Matovina has done an excellent job again - we know that many of the tapes that contained these great songs were in poor condition and that it took a look of time, skill and love for Pete`s music to restore them to this highly listenable level!

Makes Me Feel Good (track 1), A Lonely Day, I've Waited So Long To Be Free, Helping Hand and I'm So Lonely

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