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If like me you live in Oxford and like live music then there is a fairly good chance you have heard of The Shapes. They are a band with a great following and regularly play at all the local venues, creating many a fun night out with their upbeat, joyful sound.
At the end of 2019 they release 'Live in the Moment' a fourteen track album with some of the material played at the O2 on Cowley Road just before the lockdown. Incidentally The Shapes were supported by two of my other Oxford favourites The Dandelions and Daniel Ma'ani.
Living in the Moment is an album full with melodious, sing-a-long, well-arranged cheer. I particularly enjoyed the feel and harmonies between the vocals in the title track 'Live in the Moment'. The album's lyrics encourage letting go and having fun, going for a dance; embracing the world, not taking things too seriously. It all adds to a sense of enjoyment.
'Sometimes' swinging beat reminds me of Mersey Beat, if you are familiar with The Kooks and The Zutons then this track should be right up your street. The brass section, harmonies and instrumentals work fantastically together as they drop in and out, complimenting each-other.
The album slows down for a rest in 'Mr Sandman', a nostalgic ballad about times gone by, changing relationships, trying to find 'the spark once again'. It feels like a gentle cross between Pink Floyd vocally and The Beatles musically.
Although The Shapes are a stalwart Oxford staple, I am ashamed that I haven't listened to them before Anthony Kelly of The Shapes sent me the album and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The songwriting is consistently impressive and the arrangements although complex feel organic and natural, It sounds like a band who get on well and gel. I really enjoyed the sentiment of all the songs, they are joyful, upbeat, forward-looking and I feel I want to get on board The Shapes' 'New Train' where 'everything's moving and everything's grooving'
Great uplifting album for a bit of a boogie on a Saturday night or any other night for that matter. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Check out The Shapes lockdown video of 'Crashes'
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