Robert will perform at Fatea Festival

Robert came a narrow third in the recent poll by Fatea Magazine, and it’s was so close that Fatea have decided to invite him to perform at their festival in November;

 “We had over 5000 votes, 1000+ shares and thousands of hits on our website over the course of the competition, so huge thanks to everyone who voted, liked, shared and commented on the poll!

It was such a close call between the top three artists that we have decided to give third placed Robert Lane a guaranteed spot, closing our Open Mic.”

Big thanks to everyone who voted for Robert and shared the poll. 

Robert Lane
Fatea Poll

Thank you to everyone who voted in the Fatea Festival poll, your support was amazing and we got to 3rd place, with only about 50 votes in it between the top three! The comments and encouragement have been immense, and I would like to thank everyone who shared the posts and badgered their friends to get involved. Thanks to Fatea for running the poll, and well done to James and Trevor; enjoy the festival! Well done to all the acts involved, I enjoyed listening to everyone’s music.

Robert Lane

I’m in first place! Thank you to everyone who has voted and shared! The top two artists get a slot at Fatea Festival and the poll is open until the end of June so please keep the support coming. If you’ve voted already would you share and ask others to vote? It takes a moment to do, just follow this link

https://www.facebook.com/FateaMagazine/posts/1864057913650447‬

Thanks!

IMG_0415.PNG
Robert Lane

I’m in first place! Thank you to everyone who has voted and shared! The top two artists get a slot at Fatea Festival and the poll is open until the end of June so please keep the support coming. If you’ve voted already would you share and ask others to vote? It takes a moment to do, just follow this link

https://www.facebook.com/FateaMagazine/posts/1864057913650447‬

Thanks!

IMG_0415.PNG
Robert Lane
I need your vote!

The response to this has been pretty incredible and got me to 3rd on the poll. This is great but I’m still a fair few votes behind the leaders. The top two artists will get a slot at Fatea Festival, can I have your vote? If you’ve voted already would you share and ask others to vote? It takes a moment to do, just follow this link

http://www.facebook.com/FateaMagazine/posts/1864057913650447


Thanks!

Robert Lane
Joint Headline shows with Iona Lane

Big gig news! I’m playing some shows with the wonderful Iona Lane! In between gigs with Iona I’ve got two dates in Scotland.

27/07 - Joint headline gig with Iona Lane at Grassington Village Hall. Tickets at £8 in advance or £10 OTD: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/441802

28/08-House Concert Leith, Edinburgh (contact me for Details)

01/08-Nova Scotia Folk Club, Glasgow

02/08 - Joint headline gig with Iona Lane at Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds. Tickets at £8 in advance or £10 OTD: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/441899

03/08 - Joint headline gig with Iona Lane at The Gregson Centre, Lancaster. Tickets at £8 (£6 concessions) in advance or £10 (£8 concessions) OTD: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/442030

Robert Lane
Review from FabricationsHQ

 

British singer-songwriter Robert Lane is doing all right for himself, thank you very much (extensive support and headline touring in the UK; at last count five tours of Germany; tours of Scandinavia and Holland on the 2018 radar).

But when you listen to, and appreciate, the quality of Lane’s third offering Only a Flight Away (which follows on from his self-titled debut and extended EP Ends and Starts) you wonder how and why he’s not a bigger proposition in the great musical scheme of things and a staple of mainstream radio airplay.

The breadth of Lane’s songwriting skills are captured concisely and delightfully across the opening four tracks.
The short instrumental 'The Hundred House' has a distinctly 70s melodic vibe, as do many of the songs, including second number 'Man of the Moment.'
A rockier proposition with a punchy chorus, 'Man of the Moment' lyrically points to any (but with one very obvious Presidential target) where the seat of power is more important than what they do with that power:
"To sit in judgement on a gilded throne, what chance I wonder you’ll ever atone… if the pledge you made has come to nothing, it was always clear that you were bluffing."

The following two numbers, 'Baby Knows' and 'Right By My Side,' fall in to the category of classic singer-songwriter material but with very different stylings – the former is an effective and ear catching acoustic number backed by little more than hand-claps and a harmony chorus vocals while the charm of the latter is in its fuller, string-effected arrangement.

That Robert Lane should be seen and heard as a serious singer-songwriter force is reinforced as the album progresses – the slower and plaintive 'Far Too Busy' (a plea for those ignored by society) i
s a change of pace that sits comfortably alongside the acoustic guitar and Crosby Stills & Nash influenced harmonies that follow on 'The Instigator.'

The melodically framed 'Take as Long as You Need,' 'Hoping For anything (But You)' (a rhythmic, rocky and highly contemporary twist on the 'if I ever see you again it will be too soon' farewell) and the song that inspired the album's title, 'Bill Frost’s Flying Machine' (a spacious, primarily acoustic number that’s preceded by a reprisal of 'The Hundred House') more than make their mark before the album closes out with 'Who Do You Think You’re Talking For,' an acoustic singer-songwriter protest number that acts as the lyrical partner to 'Man of the Moment.'
  
Yes, Robert Lane is definitely doing all right for himself, but then if you’re selected to attend a song writing retreat course with Ray Davies, one of Britain’s most successful and renowned pop songwriters, to learn from and work out any compositional Kinks (sorry) 
 and then Davies himself waxes lyrical about you, you have little to worry about in terms of your craft.

Only a Flight Away confirms just that, and in seriously impressive style.

Ross Muir
FabricationsHQ

Robert Lane
Reactions to Only a Flight Away
Only a Flight Away raw image.jpg

It's a very nice thing to hear how people are enjoying my new album, Only a Flight Away. I'm proud of the album and feel that it has some of the best stuff I've written on it. It is a much more complete package than my previous records which featured songs collated slowly over time, sometimes from different studios and with different producers and musicians. That had it's own charm, and both Robert Lane and Ends and Starts were a lot of fun to make and include songs that people seem to respond to in a big way. The new record was conceived, written and recorded as a singular project.

Back in late summer 2017 I started a crowdfunding campaign and was quite moved by the response. It was quite gratifying to have people prepared to spend hard earned cash on a product that didn't actually exist at that point. It made me feel like an artist of old, as if people were saying "we like what you're doing and we want you to do more. Here's a commission, go and do it!" I realised this was a pretty wonderful position to be in and it gave me a beautiful reason to plough on and get the album made. If nothing else, I now had customers to please! Nothing quite focuses your mind like knowing people have paid and are waiting to hear it. Some of the songs were things that had been floating around for a while in various stages of completion, others didn't exist at all when the recording began. I found myself writing very quickly, sometimes starting and finishing two songs between recording sessions. Everything on the album was played by either me or producer Matthew Pinfield, plus a bit of violin contributed by Lucy Phillips.

The first people to hear the album were "pledgers" who had pre-orded it in the crowdfunding campaign, then reviewers and radio shows, many of whom were kind enough to make it "album of the week" or "featured album." I toured around the UK in March and April and the album was released on the 27th of April. It was a lot of fun to play the new songs at the gigs, to both people who had already heard the recorded versions and those hearing them for the first time.

Here's a selection of the reviews that the album has received so far;

Northern Sky Magazine
With commendations from the master of English songwriting Ray Davies, Robert Lane exercises his craft once again in this third release, an album of self-penned songs ranging in style from the folk/pop leanings of The Instigator, to the rock solid band arrangement of Man of the Moment. Impressive in its scope, ONLY A FLIGHT AWAY is almost a compendium of styles, all of which demonstrate Robert's versatility as a songwriter and tunesmith. The bluesy Baby Knows could not be more different from Hoping for Anything (But You), yet they're both distinctly Robert Lane through and through.

Review by Allan Wilkinson

Lonesome Highway
This is the third release from Robert Lane, a singer songwriter based in Birmingham. He has played mainly in a solo capacity in building a career that has seen him tour extensively throughout England and Germany. With upcoming tours in both Holland and Scandinavia, his momentum is building and his playing skills are very strong.

Lane has a clear vocal style and plays guitars, bass and piano on this album. He is joined by Matthew Pinfield on drums, bass and piano and Lucy Phillips on violin. The production, by Matthew Pinfield, goes for a much bigger panorama and a range of styles beyond his contemporary Folk leanings.

The instrumental opener, The Hundred House, is impressive with emotive guitar lines and a swell of keyboards and programmed backing voices. The following track, Man Of The Moment, a swipe at Donald Trump, has a very Rock driven guitar sound that reminds me of Wishbone Ash in the arrangement. There are songs that lean towards radio aspirations with the arrangement on Right By My Side channelling a Beatles/ELO string section.

The acoustic blues of Baby Knows is a song that highlights the great fretwork of Lane and on The Instigator, a finely melodic dissection of a one-sided relationship, his acoustic guitar shines brightly again. These simple Folk arrangements work best.

The message of Far Too Busy is one of frustration at the loneliness in the world and the marginalised in society; prostitution, old age and child abuse are addressed in a plea to slow down and recognise the quiet desperation in the faces of those around us every day. Take As Long As You Need is a message of support for a close friend who is going through a grieving process and is a well thought out song. The final track, Who Do You Think You’re Talking For, with just solo acoustic guitar, speaks to a friend about toning down a brash ego and taking stock.

The artwork on the album is somewhat odd and unrepresentative of the music. A more fitting image might have been to represent the song that inspired the CD title and Bill Frost’s Flying Machine, a Welsh legend about the first man to attempt to fly, is an excellent tune.

All songs are written by Lane, apart from three co-writes with musician/producer Matthew Pinfield. An interesting release that enhances a growing reputation as Robert Lane continues to hone his signature sound.

Review by Paul McGee

Folking.com
Following his excellent EP/mini-album, Ends And Starts, Robert Lane has been touring and writing and is back with a full length album with a startling cover design. Made on a crowd-funded shoestring with producer Matthew Pinfield again supporting on drums, bass and piano, Only A Flight Away adds one new name, Lucy Phillips, to the cast and turns the wick up.

Where Ends And Starts was largely acoustic with electric bits, Only A Flight Away is mostly electric. It opens with a bit of prog nostalgia, a short instrumental called ‘The Hundred House’ which gives Robert a chance to show off his electric guitar. At first, you may wonder what you’ve let yourself in for but Robert is a clever and inventive song writer and it always pays to wait and listen.

‘Man Of The Moment’ starts in the same vein. It’s an unveiled attack on a certain US politician but these days you can pick your own target. The clever thing is that, having blasted it’s way through three minutes it suddenly ends in a few bars of a solo acoustic something – probably guitar, but I’m not entirely sure. Having brought things down, Robert switches to the bluesy finger-picked ‘Baby Knows’ and then builds up again through the acoustic opening passage of ‘Right By My Side’ into a rich string-drenched song..

‘Far Too Busy’ has one of the best opening couplets I’ve heard in years. ”She won’t say dirty words, you find they stick in her throat/But she will do dirty things, she never said that she won’t” suggests one kind of song but I think it’s about isolation in the modern world and is probably the best song on the album. The title comes from the penultimate track, ‘Bill Frost’s Flying Machine’, a philosophical song with just a touch of whimsy, and finally we have ‘Who Do You Think You’re Talking For’, a sort of companion piece to Man Of The Moment’. Actually, this could be the best song on the album, too.

It’s a cliché, but Robert and Matthew use the studio like an instrument with multiple overdubs and tracks merging into one another. There are just three musicians here constructing a variety of sounds and styles. I doubt that this album can be reproduced on stage but the songs are strong enough to stand alone with just an acoustic guitar. This is a bloody good record.

Review by Dai Jeffries

Fatea
The early albums for any artists are notoriously tricky. That first album can get you noticed and garner you a little bit of attention and a following. Then comes the difficult second album, and presuming you come out of that relatively unscathed, you have to tackle the third one. Stay in your comfort zone and you risk criticism over being too safe and samey. Try something too different, and you risk alienating those who fell for your sound in the first place. Given you could class 2016's Ends and Starts as an extended EP, this could be seen as either Lane's second or third album, which makes even more difficult. It's all a bit a tightrope walk.

Fortunately, it's a tightrope that Robert Lane walks effortlessly, throwing in some somersaults for good measure. Both the eponymous debut and the extended EP are strong releases (I loved both of them), but Only A Flight Away is an astonishing step up in quality. When Right By My Side was released as a single last year, it demonstrated a maturity both lyrically and musically, and it's nice to see it on the album. What is even nicer to see is that every other song on the album is on the same level, if not better.

Picking songs from the record to highlight is ridiculously hard. Baby Knows begins with a bluesy guitar riff that builds wonderfully, and you can't help but nod your head and tap your feet when the drum kicks in. Take As Long As You Need is heartbreakingly touching, the story of a loved one going through loss and grief, and feeling like there's nothing you can say to help, and nothing you can do except for just being there for them. Bill Frost's Flying Machine, which gives the album its title, is a gentle melodic track which focuses on Lane's vocal talents. It reaches for the sky and achieves it, soaring majestically in places.

The high point of the album comes in the second half, with the outrageously fun Hoping For Anything (But You). It's a track I've returned to again and again, and it never fails to put a huge grin on my face. This is Robert Lane as you've never heard him before, all pounding drums and rock heavy vocals, and demands to be sung along to at the top of your voice. The record ends on a more familiar acoustic sound, with the superb Who Do You Think You're Talking For. There have been some great political-tinged songs over the last year or so, and this is up there with the best of them.

To call Only A Flight Away an unexpected pleasure is a bit of an understatement. There's enough of a connection here to the first two releases so you know it's a Robert Lane album, but the musical evolution on display is staggering. Not only has his songwriting matured, but he's married it to a wonderfully produced and layered sound. All this makes for an outstanding release that may just be one of the first essential albums of 2018.

Review by Adam Jenkins

Roots and Branches
The end of the month sees the return of ROBERT LANE with his self-released second album, Only A Flight Away, one that shows a marked increase in confidence and prowess. Opening with The Hundred House, short blues guitar instrumental that calls to mind the work of Gary Moore and early Peter Green, it kicks into gutsy life with the melodic blues rock Man of the Moment, the vocals slightly back in the mix Beatles influences mingling with shades of Thin Lizzy, switching to bottleneck mood for Baby Knows, acoustic guitar underpinned by a bass drum thump and handclap percussion.

They’re a tad misleading though, with the album then switching musical tack for the acoustic Right By My Side which feels like a folksy Lennon while, backed by piano and what sounds like a cello drone, the orchestrated ballad Far Too Busy suggests Jeff Lynne back in the Idle Race days.

Featuring fingerpicked guitar, The Instigator’s another folksy acoustic ballad, woodwind (synth) briefly introducing a vaguely ethereal renaissance mood towards the end, switching to electric piano for the George Harrison colours of Take As Long As You Need before the tempo picks up again on Hoping For Anything (But You) with its clattering drum pattern, keyboards and stuttering guitar swirls and riffs driving the nagging chorus hooks. Bizarrely, it reminds me of a rock version of early Gilbert O’Sullivan.

Following a 54-second reprise of The Hundred House, it takes flight on the summery Bill Frost’s Flying Machine, a whimsical simple acoustic number that nods to the psychedelic folksy pop of the late 60s embodied by the likes of Mark Wirtz, Simon Dupree, Orange Bicycle and Kippington Lodge before ending with the crowd friendly strummed acoustic protest swayalong Who Do You Think You’re Talking For. I wasn’t fully persuade by his debut album, but this makes me a convert.

Review by Mike Davies

Robert Lane
Radio round up 25th April

Tracks from Only a Flight Away have been played on several radio shows recently. Here's a list of some of them, with listen again/mixcloud links where available. (The list will be updated as more shows become available via listen again)

22nd April
Magpie's Folk Cafe
Frome FM

Interview and featured album

20th April
Start The Weekend
Cullen FM

Mixcloud 32:12
Track "Baby Knows"

8th April
Gary Hazlehurst Folk Show
Nova FM
Mixcloud

Live performance and interview

Along The Tracks
Blues and Roots Radio
Only a Flight Away album of the week

25th March
Gary Hazlehurst Folk Show
Nova FM

Mixcloud 1:07:26
Track "Who Do You Think You're Talking For"
"a brilliant musician and singer and he's also a very good raconteur"

Patrick Moss' Magpie's Folk Cafe
Frome FM

23rd March
Brian Player's Acoustic Cafe
Blues and Roots Radio   

Rob Powell's Indies&Allsorts
NLive Radio
Mixcloud 30:24
Track "Bill Frost's Flying Machine"
"I've been left well and truly astounded and stunned by the epic quality of this new and third record from Robert...I'd even go as far as to bring out that word masterpiece" 

22nd March
Steve Clarke's Strange Brew
Cullen FM

Mixcloud 43:43
Track "Hoping For Anything (But You)"

21st March
Liz Franklin's Eden Folk Show
Eden FM

Only a Flight Away album of the week

20th March
Roger William's World of Difference
Blues and Roots Radio   

Only a Flight Away album of the week

18th March
Gary Hazlehurst Folk Show
Nova FM
Mixcloud 09:20

Track "Bill Frost's Flying Machine"

16th March
Rob Powell's Indies&Allsorts
NLive Radio
Mixcloud 1:31:48

Track "Man of the Moment"

14th March
Chris Arscott's Folk&Acoustic Music
Mixcloud 20:11
Track "Baby Knows"

9th March
Neil King's Along The Tracks
Blues and Roots Radio

Robert Lane