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Ian McLagan & the Bump Band

Spiritual Boy (Maniac Records)

Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., April 28, 2006

Texas Platters

Ian McLagan & the Bump Band

Spiritual Boy: An Appreciation of Ronnie Lane (Maniac)

Ian McLagan first encountered Ronnie Lane in 1965 when, struck by his son's resemblance to the elfin bassist onscreen, McLagan's dad called him to the telly to see Lane's Small Faces on Ready Steady Go! Mere weeks later, the look-alike Londoners were bandmates and fast friends, a kinship preserved in the warm amber of McLagan's Spiritual Boy. Lane would've been 60 this year but succumbed to MS in 1997; Mac, as Austin now knows him, honors his mate with 10 well-chosen covers that emphasize Lane's pastoral, soul-searching side and leave ample room for the twinkle-eyed lad of "You're So Rude." Still, even "Itchycoo Park," which briefly broke the Small Faces in America in 1968, sports a tinge of elderly regret inside its youthful nature infatuation. Invoking old sailors and cobwebs, "Nowhere to Run" and "April Fool" spell it out even clearer: "I take my dreams to bed now where they belong." Staying Lane's fatalism was love of family and friends, which his songs show in abundance. Appropriately, McLagan's reflective interpretations, autumnal but never funereal, hint at the Band's "It Makes No Difference": "It makes no difference night or day, the shadow never seems to fade away."

***.5

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