Kiss Of The Gypsy were a British band formed in 1990 that came to prominence in 1992 with their debut album, then along came grunge..
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Kiss Of The Gypsy
ALBUM: Kiss Of The Gypsy
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Tony Mitchell – lead vocals, guitars, harmonica * Darren ‘Daz’ Rice – guitars, backing vocals * Martin Talbot – bass, backing vocals * Scott Elliott – drums, backing vocals * George Williams – keyboards, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Whatever It Takes * 02 Blind For Love * 03 Easy Does It * 04 Take This Old Heart * 05 Infatuation * 06 From The Dirt * 07 Keep Your Distance * 08 No Prize For The Loser * 09 Comin’ Back * 10 Promised Land
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Kiss Of The Gypsy were a British band formed in 1990 that came to prominence in 1992 with their debut album, then along came grunge. They seem to have passed us by way back then, and it’s only three decades later that we write about them. Poor effort on our part I know. From the town of Fleetwood, at the northern tip of Blackpool, these guys were good enough to attract the attention of Atlantic Records.
KOTG to me sound like a British version of Mr Big, I’m wondering then that this wasn’t a coincidence on Atlantic’s part, since Mr Big were also signed to the same label. Perhaps they were on the lookout? Musically I’d also throw in names like Thunder (UK) and Little Angels for good measure.
The overall sound of the album reflects the hard rock scene out of England during this era. Many bands were introducing bluesy elements into a hard rock framework, a good example being the two bands named above plus FM (UK) who by 1991 had moved right away from AOR towards a harder blues style. KOTG were in good company then.
Leading the way is ‘Whatever It Takes’, where the above reference points are apparent from the outset. ‘Blind For Love’ introduces sizzling riffs from Rice combined with the obligatory gang chants. The vocals from Mitchell on ‘Easy Does It’ emulates Steve Overland to a tee, the solo is a slide guitar, reinforcing the blues approach. ‘Take This Old Heart’ the first ballad is a jewel, worth putting this on repeat play.
‘From The Dirt’ is the album’s rockiest moment, fusing blues and hard rock to good effect. The back beat was kinda similar to the Poison track ‘Unskinny Bop’ but only just. ‘Keep Your Distance’ is a tightly wound rocker with a nod to Mr Big and Tangier, both influential bands during this era.
‘No Prize For The Loser’ is the album’s second ballad, a slow burn singalong. More Steve Overland sound alikes for mine. ‘Comin’ Back’ returns KOTG to standard melodic hard rock without too much influence from elsewhere, while ‘Promised Land’ changes shape throughout, part acoustic ballad with electric splashes here and there. It’s probably their most interesting and epic sounding track.
The album garnered some positive reviews in the British music press back in the day, though there wasn’t much love and support from the USA where the album was heavily marketed. Also, there was some confusion about the original release date being 6 August 1991, which was eventually shelved by Atlantic until the following year. It didn’t stop KOTG from hitting the road during late 1991, with slots supporting the likes of Tesla and Magnum.
The band folded a year later thanks to the grunge intrusion, but many years later in the current day (2022), KOTG are working on a new full album release for 2023, essentially the same lineup but without Tony Mitchell who is now a solo artist. The band released a three track EP in September 2022 as a lead-in toward next year. Watch this space.
Whatever It Takes
From The Dirt