Crippled Giant – Unleashed

Who could have envisaged four guys from very different backgrounds coming together to produce such a unique sound?

Crippled Giant was formed in the mid 1990s as a vehicle for the songwriting talent of Chris Pitts and were described on publicity material as “Colchester’s premier Folk/Rock Band”. However there was much more to it than that!

Chris Pitts, (vocal/acoustic guitar/harmonica) spent much of his working life in the care system and the social injustices he encountered played some considerable part in shaping his songs. His love of the Suffolk countryside where he was born and brought up, and his religious faith have also played a huge role in the uniqueness of his songwriting.

The majority of tracks on this album were featured in live gigs, but also included are some that were only ever studio recordings and are prime examples of Crippled Giant’s versatility.

Chris Gibson (violin) was classically trained but always liked dabbling, integrating other forms such as traditional folk (“Queen of the Ferris Wheel”), jazz (“Wait of Time”), and of course classical standards (spot the quote from Ravel’s Bolero in “Dancing in the Dark”).

Neville (Big Nev) Dean (fretless bass & lead guitar) was an extremely versatile power house. His stonking intro to “Physical Jerk” certainly made audiences sit up and take notice and it was always the first song that was played. Nev was one of the few bassists who would take a lead riff, and when he and Chris Gibson duetted towards the end of “Tributaries of Youth” the effect was worthy of any Heavy Metal band!

Bruce Root (drums) was of the old school – Rock Steady and dependable. He was the cement holding the band together with none of the excessive kit and equally excessive histrionics. The bell shots in “Dancing in the Dark” are a masterpiece of understatement. Notice how he keeps hold of the reins in “Queen of the Ferris Wheel” and how his quirky ‘soft shoe shuffle’ towards the end of “A Wait in Time” perfectly accompanies the violin and bass conversation.