Waiting For The Lightning
Source: NWN Media and The Leader (Wrexham)
Waiting for the Lightning has been worth the wait. As expected, the lyrics and the melodies are as strong as ever, performed well by Colin and immaculately produced and engineered by Andrew Jones.
The album opens with If You Hear Me Singing, a song that gives us some insight into the mind of the songwriter. This is followed by the title track Waiting for the Lightning. A strong finger style guitar backing, with some very effective slide guitar, gives this a distinct ‘country’ feel and ‘lightning’, in this case, relates to the inspiration, or ‘muse’, that all songwriters hope will come to them eventually!
Don’t Look Back is a familiar theme of how we are all shaped by our past and yet we can never go back to it. The song, with its catchy tune and chorus gives us all pause for thought. The next track, I Want To Go Home, expresses the longing we all have when the world gets on top of us to bolt down the nearest rabbit hole, or its equivalent. However, when you do, be wary, – look what happened to Alice! Two simple but effective love songs follow, You’ve Been On My Mind, and I Can’t Believe My Eyes, as the album settles into a quiet and reflective phase.
However, Will You Be Satisfied, lifts us out of our comfort zone pretty quickly with its driving guitar and questioning lyrics about how we think we would rate our contribution to this oh so fragile planet at the day of judgement. Colin tells me that the song was inspired by the following quote attributed to the native American Chief Seattle: “When the last tree has been cut down and the last river runs dry, mankind will finally realise that you can’t eat money.”
Now, every album, almost without exception, seems to throw up a couple of gems and this one is no different as I found when I listened to the next track I Was Only Dreaming. It was almost mesmeric in its effect and, although the Strangest Dream theme has been covered before, this song elevated that to a different level and I particularly liked the twist in the Middle 8 of turning the lyrics on their head from, “I was only dreaming” to “I wished that I was dreaming”. The final verse lyrics, “Peace lay gently all around”, is almost heart breaking in its yearning for the unattainable and yet none of us should ever give up trying to make these dreams a reality. A really cracking song and one that deserves to be taken up by other artistes.
I Wish It Would Rain is another song full of allegorical references, the rain being a cleaning of the soul and I particularly liked the use of a change of key to lift the second half of the song. Another Chance Has Gone reflect s on the lost opportunities of generations who, through war, famine and disease, never had the chance to make a difference to our World. An interesting concept and a strong guitar backing with some tasty bass lines and effective use of harmonica mark this track out too.
The penultimate song, Water and Light, compares these two earthly elements to time and you get the feeling that the weather plays a big part in Colin’s life – well, what do you expect living in the Wirral?
Finally, another gem, the last track– Why Not? – brings the album to a close. The acapella opening, courtesy of, The Jones Family “choir”, gives the song a definite Gospel feel and, as with all similar songs, it has that infectious feeling that makes you want to join in. It is, ultimately, a song of hope that says, “you got nothing to lose, so why not?”. In other words, let nothing stop you or get in the way of achieving your dreams, just take each day as it comes and live it. This was a really positive end to a mostly reflective but strangely soothing album. Well done Colin.
This is another triumph for Wirral’s finest. The joint efforts of Colin’s pen, voice and guitar supplemented by the musicianship of Brian and Andrew Jones (who also produced, engineered and mixed the album) and the harmonies of The Jones Family (including Brian’s daughter, Laura Parsonage, on I Was Only Dreaming) have lifted this above the usual humdrum “local”, home produced CD to a fully-fledged, professional production that can stand alongside any of its “big brother” labels. I am happy to add this to my collection and I urge you to do the same too.
Visit Colin’s website www.colin-henderson.com to order your copy, at just £10, or catch him at one of his gigs.