Nikki Sudden & The Last Bandits
Treasure Island, CD (Rookwood 001)

Itīs very tempting to say that if youīre only buying one record this year, Treasure Island is that one! But Iīīll try not to use too many cliches here, though they seem quite right when it comes to such good rockīn roll as this. This is Nikkiīs ninth solo record and already hailed by many as his definitely best one. I think Iīll join that league, though Iīm a huge fan of Red Brocade and thatīs the one Iīve played the most hell out of, Treasure Island havenīt left my stereo since it arrived two weeks ago! I take it everywhere, in the car, to work, when Iīm visiting friends and itīs my companion during sleep. Itīs the soundtrack to my dreams! Treasure Island picks up quite rightly after Red Brocade, especially the ballads. Stay Bruised is one of the most beautiful songs Iīve ever heard, itīs just what a broken heart need. But Treasure Island takes off like a boozed-up party in Looking For A Friend. What a smashing opener! Boogie-woogie like a Jerry Lee Lewis maniac, and thatīs none other than Ian McLagan from the Faces doing the piano. A pretty tough guitar riff sets the pace, remind me of Stonesī Respectable, and no wonder either, itīs Dave Kusworth laying down those good feelings. Ah rockīn roll through my veins, itīs better than anything else! Itīs always a true delight to listen to Nikkiīs songs but this time heīs gone over the top. From country ala Gram Parson to slide guitar perfection in the very bluesy High And Lonesome (slider Darrel Bath is present on six tracks), through gospel with the most endearing church-choir to singing guitars in the adventurous title track. Favourites? I guess they all are in their own way, though it tickles all over as ex-Rolling Stone Mick Taylor makes love to his guitar in House Of Cards.  Itīs amazing how Nikkiīs sewn it all together with all those brilliantly picked guest musicians. And all honour to The Last Bandits, John Barry and Stephane Doucerain, they seem like loyal buccaneers whoīll keep on searching for Treasure Island. Maybe theyīve already found it, but thereīs always another one...
Ps: A big, big bonus for the exquisite digi-pack artwork. Breathtaking really, so enjoyable to read those old-time blues adverts and fucking great pictures! Canīt wait for the vinyl!

26. july, 2004
**Ringo Kid**