Exposé Online banner

Sugarwood — Catch a Breeze and Fly
(Sweet Tree SW004, 1997, CD)

Sugarwood — Love, Loss & Carparks
(Sweet Tree SW005, 1998, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2000-05-01

Catch a Breeze and Fly Cover artLove, Loss & Carparks Cover art

Sugarwood have been kicking around parts of the UK for a few years now, and seem to have gathered a following (if internet activity is any indication). They fit in more or less with the current generation of “jamming” American bands – Phish, Blues Traveler, and the like, but with a British slant. They remind me of blues-pop keyboard-oriented bands of the 70s like Procol Harum, the Moody Blues, and Barclay James Harvest, a style not being done much these days. Keyboardist Mick Byrne uses piano, organ, and Mellotron, with very little in the way of modern technology. The most noticeable feature of the band is vocalist Steve Percival, who has a very forceful and dramatic style, maybe a little much for some people’s taste. The songwriting is generally quite good (if not overly complicated), though the band do take themselves a bit seriously sometimes. The lyrical topics tend towards the spiritual or mystic, with a few concrete touches thrown in, especially in “Finchale Road” off Breeze. There are gospel touches on a number of cuts from the full-length release, used to good advantage on “The Day,” which has a repeated phrase I like a lot: “There is more to life than living out the day.” 1998 EP shows a little variety is style, with “Home” picking up the tempo to a fast rock beat. The band shows potential – though I’d like to see them expand their songwriting beyond the confines of standard structures. That could get interesting.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1997 releases, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Sugarwood

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lard Free - Gilbert Artman's Lard Free, I'm Around About Midnight & Third – Artman's Lard Free project has received considerable amount of documentation in progressive periodicals, so I won't bore you with the details. Here's a quick overview; all are essential listens —...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues