|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.0 cm|
Gateway 23 is a trio based in northwest Sydney and consists of Dez Williams on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, Selina Rowe on mandolin, bodhran and backing vocals and Karen Williams on acoustic bass guitar and backing vocals.
Recently completing the recording of their debut album ‘Old Street’ the Singer Songwriter/Folk Rock group performs original songs written by Dez Williams whose primary songwriting influences are Bob Dylan, Rodriguez, Van Morrison, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. Two of the group’s songs were shortlisted in the 2010 ASA Songwriting competition.
Tone Ranley of the Songwriting Society of Australia wrote in its magazine ‘Connections’; “Dez Williams sends me, I can’t put it plainer than that, his songs are as good as you can possibly get, people like Dez can stop you in your tracks with a wise observation about life and its foibles”. Enter through Gateway 23 into a lyrical collage of tales woven around kaleidoscopic eyes, bludgeoned, broken streets, dreamingtime deserts, timeless mountains and lines of crazy, lonely men. Gateway 23 – Old Street Review by Chris Spencer Gateway 23 is a trio based in Sydney, and they describe their music as singer-songwriter, alternative country and folk rock. Upon first listening, they reminded me of Peter Paul and Mary, but on subsequent spins, the comparison became less obvious. All the trio’s material is written by Dez Williams who plays guitar and sings all the songs. Karen Williams and Selina Rowe provide the backing vocals and other instrumental accompaniment. Strongest tracks are the title track with its strong melody and interesting arrangement of the female backing vocals, and ‘Just Me and You’ which also has a strong melody. Both are reminiscent of some classic song from the 60s. I particularly liked this couplet: “My hair’s growing long, But it can’t do me wrong, Only death will stop it from Growing” – from ‘Old Street’. ‘No Time No Age’ features the mandolin playing of Rowe. Love songs and ballads include ‘Soft Rose,’ ‘Midnight Cries,’ ‘On Love and its Departure,’ ‘Love can Build,’ ‘Only as I am’. Perhaps the strongest ‘message’ song is the last track on the album, ‘Come to Peace’. Two songs have religious connotations: ‘A Handshake or a Kiss’ which also is critical of hunting or perhaps war in general and ‘A song for a Stranger’ could be about finding religion as a blueprint for life. I would suggest to the band that either or both the women take on lead vocals occasionally to provide some contrast and variation – both women who provide backing vocals on many of the songs have good sounding voices. The music and arrangements are measured, conservative, but well-recorded. The lyrics are easy to understand. I can’t work out where the name of the band comes from though! This album is a competent debut and I look forward to hearing some more of Dez Williams’ writing and that of Karen and Selina. Apparently, they have written songs too, but they were not included on this recording.
6 in stock (can be backordered)