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Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris

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alanabit 30 Sep 05 - 09:39 AM
SINSULL 30 Sep 05 - 10:36 AM
alanabit 30 Sep 05 - 12:11 PM
Pistachio 30 Sep 05 - 05:46 PM
My guru always said 01 Oct 05 - 05:34 AM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Oct 05 - 03:45 AM
George Papavgeris 03 Oct 05 - 04:31 PM
Chris in Wheaton 04 Oct 05 - 11:17 AM
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Subject: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: alanabit
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 09:39 AM

"Ordinary Heroes", by George Papavgeris, is a powerful statement of intent by one of Britain's finest songwriters. I had only previously heard "Silent Majority", another fine piece of work, but this album is an improvement on even that.
Three of the best songs from the earlier album have been re-recorded and enhanced on this album, which is more richly textured, with additional instruments and voices. The simplicity remains however, so at no stage is it overplayed or over produced. The vocals are generally more assured and the song writing has actually improved. I had felt on the previous album that there was a slight tendency to allow too much poetic licence to the syntax and grammar to fit lines into songs. There is no trace of that here. Even the most striking lines sound natural.
Listening to the cheerful opener, "Friends Like These", I thought, "He can't keep this standard up for long". I was wrong. The stunning "Empty Handed", which tells of the misery of a hard working man returning home with nothing for his efforts, had me in tears. I was taken back to the days when I beat my own face in anger, despair and shame at failing to provide for my own family. Perhaps the most poignant line in this song is the one at the end of the third verse, when this desperate man states that the very sun, which has withered his crops, is the one which makes it such a beautiful afternoon. This is the touch of the master, who can open your eyes with a casual touch. I was reminded of Bill Boazman's,
"Bless this artist whose lines are so fine/Whose delicate touch can open our eyes/To a moment which might have been lost for all time/Bless these children".
There is nothing else as powerful as "Empty Handed" on the album, but there isn't on any other album which I have heard for years either. "Memory" does not miss by much though. The songs portrays an old man, struggling with a suspect memory, which he can neither control nor accept. The relentless chorus, "There are things he can't remember/There are things he can't forget", drives the message home.
There is the witty "Bite of the Underdog" and the pastoral "Hole House" along with the inspired romance of "Vassiliki" to put the smile back on your face. "Valentine" is well executed and sincere and the liner notes place it right next to a photo of Vanessa (the big softy!) "Put in the Hours" and "Langemarck" are reminders that compassion should not only be offered to the desperate or the attractive. The re-recordings of "Vassililki, "Flowers And The Guns" and "Circles In The Air" all add to the originals. The harmony vocals and instrumental supplements are rounded and supportive. Only on the final track, "The Ending Of The Day", does George's intonation sound a little unsure. It is an adventurous arrangement though, cello based and with no guitar. Being prepared to fail is part of getting better though. As a whole, this is better.
For any songwriter anywhere, this album sets a demanding standard to live up to. For a writer who has only been at it seriously for less than five years, this is a bloody miracle. There is more to come folks, but that is no reason to miss out on this lovely album.


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Subject: RE: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 10:36 AM

Will it be available at the Getaway? Some of us have a CD budget. Most of us screw the budget when we get there.
SINS


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Subject: RE: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: alanabit
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 12:11 PM

I should PM George, Sinsull. Believe me, you will want this album.


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Subject: RE: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: Pistachio
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 05:46 PM

Thankyou for reminding me to put this CD on again - it slipped down the playlist but really belongs on or very near the top. George's words are so powerful, explaining only too clearly the feelings of those within the songs. Ordinary Heroes makes me smile and it makes me cry. Thanks George!
Hazel.


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Subject: RE: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: My guru always said
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 05:34 AM

Ah yes, isn't it fantastic how George is putting the essence of life into his songs? Can't wait for his 6th CD to come out, shouldn't be long now......


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Subject: RE: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 03:45 AM

Great Work George - I'll be looking forward to your Awards Night!


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Subject: RE: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 04:31 PM

Thanks Alan - such a review coming from you is to be treasured; and thanks Hazel and Hil, touching two such lovely ladies is reward enough.

I know that came out wrong, but you know what I mean...

Sins, there will indeed be CDs at the Getaway.


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Subject: RE: Review: Ordinary Heroes by George Papavgeris
From: Chris in Wheaton
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 11:17 AM

really good interview with George on last week's Celtic Heartbeat - BBC Radio Wales - Frank plays George a lot, so worth tuning in or listening to the archive.
Chris yn Wheaton


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