Nick Katona is one of those rare people, a person who not only loves music, but decided to do something about it and ensure he looks after his artists at the same time, so much so that I have never heard a negative work said against him. Years ago, he heard the band Echoes Landing, and decided to create a label to get their debut album out to the wider public. That was in 2006, and many things have changed since then (that band are now called Scarlet Hollow for one), but Nick has never lost his desire to share wonderful music and has not only expanded his roster but also now has multiple labels for different styles.
To celebrate the fifteen years of Melodic Revolution Records, in November 2021 he released a compilation album through Bandcamp which contains more than 100 tracks, from Echoes Landing all the way through to recent releases like GorMusic and Jack Dimension. This is not available to purchase, as it is streaming only, but I encourage everyone to go over to Bandcamp and gives this a listen. Read the notes which go with it, and think about some of those who have passed, including Phil Naro, Colin Tench and Peter Jorgensen, as this is dedicated to all three.
If that was not enough, Nick then started thinking about those who only ever buy physical product and have an aversion to streaming (me, for example) and has released a digipak containing 17 songs, which are different to the ones on the streaming release. However, this is not possible to buy either as Nick is providing this free of charge to those who are ordering other releases to ensure they are aware of just some of what is available on MRR. I have no idea how Nick managed to reduce the list of songs to 104, let alone to 17, and it must have hurt to have such a constrained number, but we still manage to get an understanding of the breadth and depth of the label.
Since Martin Springett revitalised his recording career a few years back he has been a man possessed, releasing album after album in different styles, and here we have another in the side gig of A Gardening Club Project and “Strange Kingdom”. He may be a world-renowned illustrator and artist, but it is criminal we have not heard more of his wonderfully arranged music which here finds him moving away from his normal Roy Harper/Camel style, into something which contains some jazz elements and early Seventies feel. We also have the sultry, soulful style of Paul D’adamo, showing the only musical constraint on this label is what Nick enjoys as opposed to any particular style. There is a rockier style with Blank Resonance, while Andy J Bradford’s “The Spider and The Fly” is reminiscent of classic Alan Parsons Project. The last of these is the chaos of Sheverb, which comes to us from the early Sixties in a barrel of distorted guitar to remind us of The Tornadoes. There are many different styles of music on this compilation, giving an insight and showing just how diverse they are.
Nick Katona loves his music, and that is his main concern when he signs people, not whether they are going to sell millions, but if it is a worthwhile endeavour which needs to be promoted. You may not be able to buy this, but I encourage you to visit Bandcamp and stream the set which is there, and once you have bought some of his CDs then possibly this will head your way.
8/10 Kev Rowland