Last Great Dreamers – 13th Floor Renegades (Ray Records)
The majority need a pigeonhole so you can file things away nice and neatly to make everyone happy. You put this here, that there and, what’s this? Last Great Dreamers? Where the fuck do I file that? Cue much disarray and panic from the stiffs. Luckily, not everyone is the majority and some can let in a little sparkle and embrace those who are forever out of step and time.
Only to be outdone by The Quireboys in the outfit stakes, Last Great Dreamers unleash album number four. Yes, we can look back at the past and fondly remember the “what might what have beens” in the 1990s following Kerrang! nominations and yadda, yadda, yadda. With 13th Floor Renegades, and since their rebirth in 2014 really, the cheeky chaps are doing things on their own terms and they’re all the better for it.
The familiar bounce is on display with opener New Situation, complete with Roger Daltrey stutters, and Broken Things later on down the line cements the power pop prowess. The most telling lyric comes from the title track: “In my delusion, we could be champions.” If there was ever words to sum up the Dreamers’ tide swimming antics, then this is it.
Big choruses are aplenty courtesy of I Think I Like It and Who’s Side Are You On, whilst Miles Away plays musical homage to the Faces. A mid album diversion on For Your Information takes us down a swinging 60s Carnaby Street escapade with The Kinks and there’s time for an Ian Hunter wink on Primitive Man too.
Last Great Dreamers have called on every influence for 13th Floor Renegades, and that’s no bad thing. Play to your influences, twist them, add your own spin and have fun. They may still be too poppy for rockers and too rocky for poppers, but as the latter half of album closer Going Home rings out in a show-stopping Mick Ronson guitar haze, you can envisage the ticker-tape falling onto Slyder and Marc Valentine’s three button hand me downs. If the band name ever rang true, then it’s now more than ever.
Ginge Knievil - Mass Movement
HRHAOR Festival - 10th March 2018
“Last Great Dreamers brought their genre of pop/rock to the stage in arena 2, glam rock influences with riffs and attitude thrown in, the guys who are currently touring have an edge to their music which takes it from pop to something much more gritty and sleazy. Only catching part of their set, I am not qualified to give a wider review but I would recommend catching the band for one of their live dates.”
Lindsay Smith-Boam - Down the Front Media
Last Great Dreamers – 13th Floor Renegades (Ray Records)
"Hot on the (Cuban) heels of their last album, the UK's most eligible dandies Last Great Dreamers have settled on a line-up and hot-footed it into their Oxfordshire Studio to fill their (well-worn snakeskin) boots to the brim with a collection of 11 tunes that have the feel of what they've done before, what they have listened to all their lives and what the people want and have evolved into their finest, most accomplished album to date.
From the first floor offering of the rather splendid rocker 'New Situation', the line is drawn in the sand and were off and motoring it’s a foot stomping with plenty of fuel in the tank as the song rocks and rolls to the chorus and the band is humming nicely like a finely tuned motor. The title track is up next, and we ease back with something of a quintessentially British feel as we swing our pants to the chorus, where we can all join in and bounce around together. It's brimming with power pop goodness and a cheeky smile and a nudge, nudge, wink, wink to its influences.
As we ease back on 'Speed Of Light' and the intro for 'No Sunshine', we're lulled into a false sense of security, as the boys sling a cheeky one out and rock and roll for our listening pleasure, turning the guitars right up for some purposeful solo before the rhythm section lay back on an infectious groove. I think LGD have embraced aspects of North American rock and roll and managed to perfectly marry them to something very British that's being handed down from the likes of The Kinks and The Who through Bolan and Bowie: whilst I'm not saying this is as good as them, it is made up of their parts and the finished album flows really well and the songs sound great. Already I think it’s fair to say that’ from the first offering of 'Retrosexual' through their existence’ this is their finest moment so far. Offering variety, 'For Your Information' with its Ray Davies crafty swagger and gentle delivery, to the glam bang thank you, ma’m, of 'Primitive Man' that I'm sure Bolan and Ronson would have loved. It’s got lush vocal melodies ('Whose Side Are You On') with great gang chorus.
'Miles Away' has feeling, as does the fist-pumping 'Broken Things'. Like I said, this is the bands finest hour and everything they've worked on before is pulled together to make their best record to date. Pledgers are gonna love it, and new fans will be kicking themselves as to why they've not gotten on board sooner. I'd be delighted for this to lift off like Willy Wonka’s lift and soar away too much success and to finish off with a Hoople-esque 'Going Home' is the cherry on the icing on the cake. Have yourself a slice folks… it's a killer record. Last Great Dreamers have made an album that sounds original and, most of all, damn bloody good. Now going up through first-floor menswear, jewellery, haberdashery and soft furnishings, up to the 13th floor, where we find these renegades purveying their high-quality rock and roll. Buy it!"
Dom Daley - Uberrock - 14 March 2018
Last Great Dreamers – 13th Floor Renegades (Ray Records)
"The Last Great Dreamers (LGD) are back with their fourth studio album, a lot earlier than envisaged by guitarist Slyder who remarked in 2014 that the band would hope to have a further album out by 2034. The remark was probably in reference to the gap in the bands back story. Formed originally in 1990’s and going under the name ‘Silverheart’, they hit the scene with their own brand of rock n roll swagger, commonly referred to as power pop rock, think ‘Cheap Trick’ and ‘Bad Finger’. After many gigging line-ups, their hard work paid off and just before they secured a record deal ‘Silverheart’ decided upon a name change and so ‘The Last Great Dreamers’ were born. Dressed to thrill in stack heels and 70’s flared bottom suits, and signed to Bleeding Hearts Records they went about to record their first album ‘Retrosexual’ but it wasn’t without its ups and downs and come the mid 90’s, the band tensions, and further line up changes etc had taken its toll. As an attempt to reinvent the band they briefly changed names to Jet/Jet City but now the music industry had taken a fall and these power pop rockers decided to call it a day in 1997.
So what now? After a long hiatus and playing in other bands, vocalist, Marc Valentine and Slyder reunited and reformed ‘The Last Great Dreamers’ in 2014 along with original drummer Ginge and ex SH/LDG roadie, Ian Scruffkid on bass; they released an album of rarities and hit the road opening up for acts like The Darkness, Terrorvision, Hey Hello & Cherie Currie (Runways ex singer), they again, began to leave their mark on the scene, promoting their aptly named 3rd album ‘Transmission from oblivion’. They embarked on a 20 date tour Supporting ‘The Quireboys’ – which is where I first saw this band and I couldn’t believe they had passed me by!
Now after a successful run of shows in the UK, LGD took to Europe playing a 10 date tour in Spain. Now back in the UK they are due to promote ‘13th Floor Renegades’ with an official album launch show at the Asylum in Birmingham on 7th April, after which you can catch them on said tour and at numerous festivals!
I would expect to hear blinding tracks off their latest album like ‘New Situation’ a stand out rock n roll number, upbeat and full of energy. ‘Speed of light’ with its electro synth rock pulse, sucks you in with its melodic cool drums beats. ‘I think I like it’ is very bouncy and a typical LGD pop rocky number, which reminds me a little of ‘the Ramones’. LGD delve into some hard rock on ‘Primitive man’ and ‘Miles Away’ is reminiscent of ‘Boy Dylan’ meets ‘the Faces ‘. These guys have definitely been there and have bought the tee-shirt but they are still here with their vivacious rock n roll sound. I wouldn’t say this album has a sleazy reputation like it’s predecessors, but rather has a more accurate representation of where the band is now in life and despite the rigours of the music industry ‘The Last Great Dreamers’ are still confident, full of prowess and are not letting up, playing real rock n roll to the bone. You must check them out live because that’s where the real magic happens, on stage!!"
Alex English - Planet Mosh - 12 March 2018 http://planetmosh.com/the-last-great-dreamers-13th-floor-renegades/
Last Great Dreamers (supp. Quireboys) - Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 15 September 2017
“Last Great Dreamers draw a healthy sized early crowd and with good reason ... The band punch out a dandy set of catchy top hat Rock ‘N’ Roll. ‘You Don’t Work’, ’Ashtray Eyes’ and the infectious ’White Light (Black Heart)’ provide more than enough proof of their undoubted songwriting quality. With a new album on the Pledge horizon, the Dreamers show no sign of slowing down. The standout ’Oblivion Kids’ along with ‘Last Great Dreamer’ end a top-notch, energetic and highly entertaining support slot.
Guy Shankland - Original Rock 19/09/17
Cambridge Rock Festival - July 2017
"Falling into the caught by accident category come Last Great Dreamers, and I am absolutely thrilled that I did catch them, if the term power pop was not invented for them then it should have been. Think of a more pop minded Jam and you won’t be far off the mark, the song from which they take their name is a thing of joy and beauty, as is “Oblivion Kids” . They won’t solve the complexities of Brexit, or potholes, but an hour in their company will enrich the lives of many, and I am expecting CDs from a major online retailer any day now."
Ian Ambrose - The Grapevine - August 15th 2017 http://www.grapevinelive.co.uk/2017/08/15/cambridge-rock-festival-2/
Camden Rocks Festival - June 2017
After all the excitement of Duncan Reid and the Big Heads I just have time to hot-foot it up to the extreme Northern fringe of the Camden Rocks Festival - actually the Fiddler's Elbow is more Chalk Farm/Kentish Town than Camden, but it is worth the walk. The reason for my hike is Last Great Dreamers.
This band were apparently well known back in the early to mid 1990's and part of the same scene as The Quireboys and Dogs D'Amour, but somehow they completely slipped under my radar. I can't understand quite how this happened and I have only recently heard songs of their's such as 'Oblivion Kids' and 'Dope School'. These songs impressed me so much that I really wanted to see the band live - so here I am.
I was not disappointed - this band are very very good indeed. They look great and they sound amazing. Their songs are excellent too - catchy and poppy, but with a gritty slightly punk edge. There is a definite '70s glam rock influence and also a 1980s/90s trash glam look like the Quireboys and Dogs D'Amour, but there is also something more sleazy, and decadent about them - plus an element of danger.
Last Great Dreamers are possibly the best band I see all day at this year's Camden Rocks Festival - they really are the whole package and the band drips charisma and stage presence. They come across as very slick, polished and professional, but without being bland and squeaky clean. On stage they act, look, and sound like major rock stars - and it's hard to believe a band this good never reached that status, and in fact remained unknown outside the underground rock scene.
The Dark Lord of Barnet - Blog - August 1st, 2017
"If this is the return of a glam-trash band that trod the toilet circuit 20 years ago, they must have been cryogenically frozen when they split. Still pouting on the sleeve in their top hats & kohl like nothing happened since the 70s except Hanoi Rocks, they uncork a suitably defiant romp, boosted by Clash-style harmonies, Slyder's skid-mark guitar salvos & Marc Valentine's animated yelp and his preoccupation with death in the lyrics. The band's experience hot-wires Oblivion Kids, Glitterball Apocalypse & Dope School while You Don't Work shines as a blast of Doll-style attitude"
Kris Needs, Classic Rock - December 2nd, 2016
"the band are Dickensian visual vagabonds and if ever a group sounded like they looked it’s the LGD"
Guy Shankland, Vive Le Rock - November 30th, 2016
"the most dapper outfit on the weekend’s (HRHAOR) bill, they display a naked, punky attitude in their high-energy rock ‘n’ roll"
" the band are Dickensian visual vagabonds and if ever a group sounded like they looked it’s the LGD"
"Just when you thought those super-cool and hard-rockin’ Last Great Dreamers cannot possibly surpass themselves, along comes yet another scorching album comprised of 14 tracks that will cement the band’s reputation as one of Britain’s finest. " 5*
"Transmissions From Oblivion is quite simply wonderful. It impressively merges styles from the band's younger days to create a contemporary gem full of tracks which will appeal to many and will sound pretty awesome live."
" Last Great Dreamers cover a mixture of styles and sounds but somehow still manage to keep a spark of individuality. Is it glam, rock, punk, new wave, a little sleazy? Whichever label you use it’s a lot of fun. Transmissions From Oblivion is a nostalgic slice of glam punk brought expertly into the modern age."
"Clearly, this is now more than a comeback; it’s an attempted stayback. Transmissions From Oblivion sees the band looking to the past to process the present. No longer ‘that old glam mob in the funny suits’, they’ve reinvented themselves for the 21st century while retaining everything I ever loved about that old glam mob… except for the funny suits. In short, Last Great Dreamers are back, properly back, from oblivion. And I can’t imagine them transmitting on a more resonant frequency."
"This album conforms to no modern music boundaries and it cares not one jot for any modern internet obsessed world. It's retro but in a good way I hasten to add, as it has plenty of rock 'n' roll attitude and enough cool tunes to match.... A gloriously dishevelled comeback from a band who should have never gone away."
"Last Great Dreamers are proof indeed that you can play poppier songs without compromising on power... ...this is a strong return with songs that should totally kill live"
"MV had said on these pages that the Last Great Dreamers album, when it arrived, might be one to cherish. Now it has, we can say for certain that it is. No longer in oblivion, these transmissions could still have the power to transform them in the way they hoped twenty years back."
"Last Great Dreamers opened the day in some style, in both the music and fashion sense." - Steelhouse Festival 2016
"Opening the second day of Steelhouse festival on a soggy Sunday lunchtime were rock's dandies Last Great Dreamers....I was very impressed with their live set, it was simply electric."
"We definitely think that their rock ‘n roll energy and talent blended very well with Tigertailz. They play great songs from the past years and new ones too, they definitely have a strong back catalogue and aside from their talent they know how to give a great time to their public."
"the sound of a band taking their 70s glam influence & putting a good 21st century spin on it to drag it kicking & screaming into the current era" 4/5*
"...they still sound as great as ever and their trademark harmonies are a key part of their sound. Most importantly, they have some really brilliant songs... If you’re in a band you should really go and see this group to see how to play live. They put on a show even though the vast majority of fans are there to see the headline act. Last Great Dreamers should really be playing headline, sold out shows. The songs deserve a packed crowd of devoted and loyal fans, they really should be the UK’s Cheap Trick! What’s particularly exciting, is that the new songs suggest that the new album they are currently working on, could be some of their best stuff ever!"
"Full of glam stomp, rock sheen, a chorus to die for and a hook big enough to stick your coat on, ...Last Great Dreamers are a very special band, and their forthcoming new album might be one to cherish."
"With a singer looking like Marc Bolan (complete in seventies suit and 'Clockwork Orange' bowler), plenty of lurex scarves and waistcoats, Last Great Dreamers are delightfully retro. Think Dog's D'Amour crossed with Slade and The Clash and you're getting there."
" the band’s new release ‘Glitterball Apocalypse’ is still chock full of catchy hooks, a punchy rhythm and an irresistibly melodious chorus" 5/5*
"it's a great slice of glam rock that reminds me of Rats and Mott-era Mott the Hoople with some really cool soaring guitars over a very catchy chorus. It's a song about all the friends who have lost the fight against their bad habits, but there are some really nice harmonies going on and it's the sort of song that's hard to get out of your head once you've heard it a couple of times."
"It’s not often that a support band leaves you yearning for more, more, more – especially when the main act consists of none other than ex-Runaways Cherie Curry. But the recently resurrected Last Great Dreamers delivered a half hour show that not only rocked Edinburgh’s premier rock dive to the very foundations but the lads were rewarded with a rapturous vibe from the audience. ...the place truly stomped when the Dreamers blasted through their recent hit ‘Dope School’ – it was quite frankly awesome, and an exercise in accomplished teamwork"
" This is the second incarnation of the band, but this is definitely them at their very best. The pressures of the 90’s have been put aside and this is simply four guys putting on a good old fashioned rock n' roll show as it should be."
"Last Great Dreamers are back and it is nice to see how eager and energetic they are. And if you like Mott the Hoople or Manic Street Preachers, you’re sure to love these musicians. They are properly indestructible. And incredibly talented."
" A Venn diagram of their musical influences would reveal them playing where glam, new wave and classic rock meet – slashing riffs, gang vocals, stomping beats and killer choruses. The band looks the part too: louche seventies ne’er do wells, their shambolic look and demeanour on stage disguising musical chops and stagecraft that made for a thoroughly entertaining set."
"the “Retrosexual” stuff gives you an idea as to why they were quite so highly rated in the first place. “Far From Home”, with its fine melodies and killer chorus, is the best song Mott The Hoople didn’t write!"
"This is a refreshing blast of crunchy pop rock in the vein of a pumped-up Flamin’ Groovies; melodic, infectious and a lot of fun."
" They appear onstage like a cross between The Quireboys and the “droog gang” from Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” and proceed to blow everyone away with a power-set of punky, glammed-up showmanship. A must-see live act..."
"LAST GREAT DREAMERS won’t have much time for dreaming left if new single ‘Dope School’ is anything to go by! Impossibly catchy and with a generous sprinkle of glammed-up pop-rock and gritty attitude, the band are back with a whack and I predict that they are here to stay! Second track ‘WHITE LIGHT BLACK HEART’ (only available on CD but not the download) evokes that golden 70’s era when songs started out with smoking riffs, followed by a melodious refrain reminiscent of that oh so cool Ramones vibe. It smashes through over three minutes of a wicked little arrangement that boasts dynamic vocals, aforementioned smoking riffs and a punch-laden beat and yeah, you just wanna hear more!"
"‘Dope School’ is a very catchy piece of glam tinged pop rock with a suitably massive hook filled chorus. The other new song is ‘White Light, Black Heart’, again this band know their way around penning a big chorus." 4/5
" it might just be the finest three minutes forty two seconds of their career so far. A fine tune indeed with a neat riff and punky rhythm section very impressive....The B-side isn't too shabby either..."
"This is the sound of a beat up ‘n’ roughed up Last Great Dreamers and I must say it might just be the finest three minutes forty two seconds of their career so far. A fine tune indeed with a neat riff and punky rhythm section very impressive. If this is a flavour of what’s to come via the new Dreamers line up then bring it on. This is a very impressive single indeed."
"Last Great Dreamers have bottled a bit of lightning"
"Their songs, filled with pop-type hooks and big choruses...exuding proper rock n’ roll spirit they are more than worthy of your attention"
"this was the best gig I’d seen the band play since they reformed. Energy-wise they found a fresh peak to scale, and Slyder’s guitar had an untamed edge that pushed their 1970s glam-rock influences forcefully to the front of the stage"
"maybe the greatest band you’ve never heard, a four-piece that blended glam, stomping indie and punk, to create an infectious, hook-laden racket, full of swagger and balls (think a supercharged Beatles or Big Star meeting The Ramones and The Quireboys head first in a glorious musical collision). The Last Great Dreamers have it all, the style, the substance, the swagger and a fistful of bona-fide sing-a-long anthems, what’s not to like?"
"every song rides in on a turbocharged hook and is packed with harmonies...They don’t write them like this anymore"
"the stuff of teenage boys and girls dreams"
“Last Great Dreamers are quite the phenomenon these days - returning to the scene some 20 years after the release of their debut album, looking and sounding not only better than they ever did before, but better than many a band half their age or with twice the road miles!”
"Last Great Dreamers pick up where they left off, this venue has not seen so much fun on a Sunday night for a long time."
"These are classic pop-rock songs, written to be played live and loud... Great songs and great entertainment will always endure though, and armed with a back catalogue as strong as theirs, this could just be Marc, Slyder and the boys’ time."
"...it's an entertaining, spirited and infectious 2nd album...The Last Great Dreamers have all the ingredients to be popular again."
"The release of 'Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven' represents one of the more breathtaking returns in some time and, irrespective of the hows, whys and whos, more than deserves its moment in the sun - hell, it's been in the shadows for way too long. One of the releases of the year...Essential."
"thoroughly embracing a sassy nod to the 70s Glam scene whilst simultaneously gripping the tails of classic Rock'n'Roll moments offered up by the likes of Sex Pistols, The Kinks, Oasis and many others...this album is infectious and essential"
"youthful rock ‘n’ roll exploits ... energy and spirit ... Last Great Dreamers are doing it right"
"The Dreamers were among the very best, adding hearty doses of Bolan boogie and Kinksesque story-telling to the template. 1994's debut album Retrosexual was chockfull of classic songs". "this follow up is enthralling from opener No. 1 Wonderboy to closer Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven. Single Ashtray Eyes is foot-stamping, singalong powerpop monster. Ballads Hello and Gold Painted Butterfly are redolent of stadia, without pretension, full of heart. Sci-Fi Louise’s dubby verse building to a huge chorus. The rest filter the best of Britrock from the 60s on with glorious results." "Marc has one of the great lost rock voices. Slyder’s lead work is always tasty, tasteful, rich and inventive as Mick Ronson. The duo’s songs deserve a huge audience."
"New dandies of British Rock"