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Haight-Ashbury: Haight-Ashbury 2:
The Ashburys

Album Review

Return of the summer of love.

Glaswegian trio Haight-Ashbury are about as quintessentially Scottish as endless hot sunny skies, perfect tans and the Manson murders.

This is because, from the top of their flower-strewn heads to the tips of their ring-clad toes, Haight-Ashbury wish that they came from the California of hippie-heavy 1969, and they’re not afraid to lay it on thick. 

With close, floaty harmonies from joint front-women Kirsty Reid and Jen Thompson, they delve into the Age of Aquarius via psychedelic, eastern tinged guitars and a whole load of tambourine abuse. Their impeccably-chosen reference points come at a dizzying rate, the Mother Earth melodicism of Jefferson Airplane casting a looming shadow over this trio’s second album, while 2nd Hand Rose snaps shamelessly at the heels of the Velvet Underground’s Venus In Furs

She’s So Groovy ‘86 has the hazy blues-pop chops of Fleetwood Mac, while Everything Is Possible has the brass neck to hippify Queen’s ‘thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening’ lyric, exchanging speedy drama for a stoned shrug. 

It’s all pure cultural tourism, the trio’s rose tinted view of a generation and place they never knew, but there’s enough charm here to stop it plunging too far into parody.

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