The Astronauts - Urban Planning 1979-2013

The Astronauts - Urban Planning 1979-2013

Original Release Date


Release Information

UK CDR 2013 (All The Madmen/Doctor's Tonic - MADCD002)

1 Flashpoint
2 Melissa's Party
3 Gold At The Top
4 Sod Us
5 Seagull Mania
6 Heresy
7 Baby Sings Folk Songs
8 Young Man's World
9 Donkey Riding
10 Don't Think About It
11 Faraway
12 Have It
13 Not Doing It
14 One Wave
15 Protest Song
16 Suburbs

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Reviews & Opinions

FRANK BANGAY, LOUDER THAN WAR: This CD traces their history from 1979 to 2013 and through the dedication of singer and songwriter Mark Wilkins, better known as Mark Astronaut, the band are still active and will no doubt continue to be so. I didn’t get to hear The Astronauts until the mid-'90s, at a Mad Pride gig. Mark Astronaut has shown continuous support to such causes and although it was a late introduction to the band, I’m glad that I discovered them. Over the years they’ve had a number of different line ups and this is reflected in the varied musical styles displayed on this CD. Some tracks – like Sod Us and Seagull Mania – are folk songs, both featuring a lively fiddle. In recent years Mark has teamed up with a group of teenage musicians and recent song Hersey is about the loss of community – something that’s happening too often in these days of gentrification. It shows the band tackling '70s dub reggae in fine form, while Have It (about modern day DJ culture) sees them taking on rap and techno sounds. The Astronauts put gentle tunes to harsh lyrics, as on Baby Sings Folk Songs. The music gets gradually tougher as the song moves on and at one point Mark sings about the Fulham nightlife and how it’s controlled by the knife; he reminds us about the time when parts of Fulham were quite rough. Don’t Think About features some nice saxophone playing from Lol Coxhill, which takes the song to somewhere else before Mark brings us back again with his lyrics and vocals. Mellisa’s Party deals with the down side of hedonism. Musically and lyrically it has a brooding sense of menace running through it, a sense that extends to the epic Protest Song. Since The Astronauts started out in the late 1970s Mark Astronaut has shown himself to be a fine singer and a gifted songwriter. The new songs here show how his songwriting and singing gifts continue to shine brightly. Mark Astronaut is a national treasure.

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The Astronauts - Urban Planning 1979-2013 - UK CDR 2013 (All The Madmen/Doctor's Tonic - MADCD002)The Astronauts - Urban Planning 1979-2013 - UK CDR 2013 (All The Madmen/Doctor's Tonic - MADCD002)

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