Free From Gravity is led by Vince Barnes (Lead Vocals) and his personal agenda shows through the intimate and often heart-warming songs and lyrics. For the recording of his album, he was joined by top notch musicians like Andy Mitchell singer and guitarist of 60s Supergroup ,The Yardbirds, (with founding members such as Eric Clapton/Jimmy Paige/Jeff Beck), as well as the other band members: Ali Hakini (Rhythm Guitar and Engineering), Lew West (Drums and Producer), Ed Dampler (Lead Guitar) and Alex Moore (Bass).
Normally I try to avoid the hype machine that surrounds a band referenced, name checked or filled with big name players. But something about the single, “The Long Road”, spoke to me in a way that few on the radio has in quite a while. I also remembered previewing the group’s debut single, “I Have A Dream” some months before, so I was curious. I can say I was pleasantly surprised.
The current project – The Long Road, is creating awareness of alternative cancer treatments. Lead singer, Vince Barnes, wrote the song about his mum’s own battle and recovery from cancer.
I was quite astonished at how classically constructed Free From Gravity’s songs are. The Long Road drives forward with an active bass line, articulate drumming and intertwining electric and acoustic guitar ostinatos. The song also makes use of terraced dynamics – changes in volume level and intensity caused by instruments entering and exiting within bars. This is how the song is carefully divided into three parts; namely verse, pre-chorus and chorus. A nod to early 60’s music is also suggested by shifting harmonics and chord relationships. I don’t know if Vince Barnes has studied music, but he is clearly evolving from a songwriter into a true composer, and the result is extremely satisfying.
Lyrically the song moves from sad melancholy to joyous and uplifting. It is without a doubt a very personal and intimate interpretation for Vince, but its theme is of significant interest to anyone who has ever endured the burden of a serious illness.
The Long Road is the story of Vince’s mother, Valerie Richards, and her battle with cancer. After Valerie had been taken to hospital with fluid on the lung (after having been diagnosed with cancer one month earlier and having started chemo and gone through 2 courses by then), Vince went to visit her in Spain during August 2010. On arrival at the hospital, he actually thought that he had gone into the wrong room, as he did not recognize his mother whom he had seen only 3 weeks earlier. Hence the opening lines of the song; “I saw you lying there – it was such a shock, it was plain to see how much your world was rocked”.
All the cast and crew who worked on the “The Long Road” video, have either travelled their own Long Road, fighting and overcoming critical illness, or have loved ones who have or are taking such a journey. The lead character (the Bandanna girl), for example has Asperger’s syndrome ( a form of autism).Prior to the making of the video she had not smiled in two years, and doesn’t like to be touched either. Amazingly in the video, not only can she be seen smiling but she also embraces the characters who play her father and mother.
Overall, Free From Gravity produces solid, deep and mature music that washes over the listener. Vince Barnes’ rhyming differs from the norm and the music justly complements the beautiful words he composes. Much of the musical writing relies on swelling guitar chords and beautifully textured 60’s and 70’s type pop harmonies. The best of many musical worlds have been incorporated into Free From Gravity, making for very interesting listening…especially if your heart still beckons for clean soft-rock, influenced by the golden era of melodic music!
OFFICIAL LINKS & WEBSITES: