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GO! ROCK: ALL ABOUT AN ENTRANCING ALBUM; Julianne Regan's voice sounds its ethereal best on her latest CD.

Byline: Alan Poole

THERE was a time, at the tail end of the 80s to be precise, when All About Eve were hailed as a potentially massive band in the making.

Fronted by Coventry's Julianne Regan, they offered a distinctive and beguiling blend of goth rock and hippy charm and, having paid their indie dues, seemed to have established a firm platform for that predicted major league success when Martha's Harbour and Scarlet & Other Stories breached the top 10 of the singles and albums charts.

That promise faded amid a familiar tale of band schisms and record-company rows, and they retreated to a cult status maintained by their hard-core supporters. But Julianne, a genuine Cov Kid who went to Barrs Hill School and lived all over the city from Chapelfields to Styvechale before setting sail for London, has continued to produce fascinating material in her own name and under the AAE brand.

The latest example, Iceland, is a 40-minute affair that could best be described as a mini concept album with seven tracks on a seasonal theme.

There are two revamped (in one case very radically so) versions of one of their best-known songs, December, and two new songs from Julianne and long-term AAE partner Andy Cousin, Cold, a lengthy instrumental, and Melting. And they are joined by three distinctly leftfield cover versions - Wham's Last Christmas, Snowman theme Walking In The Air and A Winter's Tale (as in Queen, not David Bowie) - all beautifully adapted to Julianne's ethereal vocal style.

It's perhaps intended as a stopgap while they refine new material that will be released to coincide with a full-scale UK tour next April, and in the current CD-buying climate it is probably unlikely to signal a fresh commercial breakthrough. But it is an entrancing piece of work, confirming Julianne as an artist of rare talent, and it certainly deserves to find a wider audience.

Iceland will be released on All About Eve's Jamtart label on December 2 but can be preordered now from www.allabouteve.net

CLUBLAND queen Kelly Llorenna, who has notched eight top 10 hits and sold over two million singles to date, unveils debut album All Clubbed Up on Monday. It includes four of those chart successes - Tell It To My Heart, Set You Free, True Love Never Dies and Forever - and new single Heart Of Gold, which is also released next week.

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MINI-CONCEPT ALBUM: Julianne Regan
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 22, 2002
Words:403
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