Moon Over Man (1993)

TRACKLIST
1 Wanderlust (4:46)
2 Tropic Island (3:14)
3 Mallorcan Dance (5:46)
4 Make Yourself At Home (2:31)
5 Harry (3:32)
6 Moon Over Man (3:43)
7 Where Have I Gone (4:22)
8 Ice Cream (2:27)
9 Make A Brand New Start (5:15)
10 Moving On (2:47)
11 Lost In The Woods (2:09)
12 Reminiscermemoring (3:28)
13 Honky Dorry (3:48)
14 The Piano Player (4:48)
15 Back For Tea (5:05)
16 Here To Stay (3:58)
Bonus Tracks on 2006/2011 versions.
17 Make Yourself At Home
18 Ice Cream
19 Honky Dory
20 Make A Brand New Start
21 Here To Stay
LINE UP
Graham Flight - Bass (on tracks 3, 4, 9, 13)
Joe Gubay - Guitar (on track 7)
Mark Hewins - Guitar (on tracks 3, 4, 9, 13)
Tim Link - Vocals (on tracks 1-3, 9-10, 16, 18, 21)
John Murphy - Vocals (on tracks 5, 9, 12, 14, 17, 21)
Gay Perez - Vocals (on tracks 3, 4, 6, 8-9, 11, 13, 18-19)
Pete Pipkin - Drums (on tracks 3, 4, 9, 13)
David Sinclair - Keyboards (on tracks 1-16), Drums (on tracks 1, 2, 5-8, 10-12, 14-16), Bass (on tracks 1, 2, 5-8, 10-12, 14-16), Vocals (on tracks 3, 7, 8-9, 15, 21)
VERSIONS
year/format/label/cat/country
1993/CD/Voiceprint/VP119CD/UK
1993/CD/Blueprint/BP119CD/UK
2006/CD/Eclectic Discs/ECLEC01039/UK
2011/CD/Dogtoire/DGCD100110/UK
REVIEWS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES

Archival Tapes
This album consists of demos made in 1976, just after Dave left the group Caravan (for the 2nd time). Alas, 1976 was not a good year to be shopping sophisticated melodic tunes around London, as the music industry had just turned inside out and only non-musician punks singing non-music got through the door. After schlepping the tapes all over London without success, they ended up holding up books in his living room for the next sixteen years. Dave was one of the secondary composers in Caravan (behind Pye Hastings) but his contributions were always well-wrought and worthwhile. This album contains his usual interestingly-constructed pop-tunes, although obviously home-recorded and in preliminary condition. Dave himself provides vocals, keyboards and drums, as well as all the songs and production. On one track Joe Gubay contributes guitar, and most vocal duties are shared with Tim Link, John Murphy or Gay Perez. (Four songs were actually re-recorded with a full band, but still in demo quality.) In all it's a pleasant document of the time, reminiscent perhaps of Pete Sinfield or Grimms.
Robert Carlberg 3/5 12.04.2005 (AMAZON)

They are certainly inoffensive to the ears of someone who can dig a nice, perhaps McCartney-esque pop number.
An endearing work from deep in the Canterbury section. Keyboardist Dave was the craftsman behind some of Caravan’s most complex and instrumentally ornate toons (you need look no further than the contrast of his penned tunes on Cunning Stunts from those of Pye Hastings and Mike Wedgewood for an example); thus it may take some aback to encounter this collection of rather short, straight-ahead, jazzy, largely upbeat pop tunes. They are certainly inoffensive to the ears of someone who can dig a nice, perhaps McCartney-esque pop number; though structurally what we have here more resembles the direction Caravan was going without Mr. Sinclair on “Better by Far”. This is the co-composer of Matching Mole’s “Oh Caroline” mind you. But if you didn’t quite catch on to such efforts from Pye and the Canterbury gang, don’t automatically dismiss Moon Over Man. The tracks are all well played, sung, and recorded, despite being pretty much in demo stage. Lyrics and mood are quirky and intelligent, mostly lacking the tacky schmaltz of some of the man’s recent efforts. One wonders what better recording conditions would have brought us, but what we encounter bears some diversity, including elements of Afro-Cuban mystique (Apparently curtesy of Dave’s experience in Majorca interestingly enough), old-timy swing, and disco. My favorite track is the melodic and lugubrious opener “Wanderlust”. Perhaps it is a reference to Dave’s feelings on his former bands? Of greatest concern to many a fan of Dave’s is the ample presents of the wiz’s keys, including abundant characteristic solos and leads--solid, tasteful, and what we might expect—not too conservative--mostly played on the monophonic synths or piano—no fuzz organs a la the Land of Grey and Pink here.Read more ›
Trevor Attenberg 3/5 07.08.2015 (AMAZON)

It's a small miracle that this little gem of a record was finally released, 17 years after it was first recorded. Not only was the music out of style then, but it hardly fits in with the rap, metal and alternative sounds so prevalent today. Just goes to show that perseverance, industriousness and good taste in music can work wonders. Sure enough, it's the Voiceprint label - staunch supporter of everything Canterbury - that managed to release this CD, Dave Sinclair's only solo recording. He recorded the genesis of 'Moon Over Man' shortly following his second departure from Caravan in a university theatre in the summer of 1976. Later tracks were added at the country home of a musician friend, Joe Gubay. According to Sinclair's liner notes, his luck was 'incredibly bad. It was the height of the punk era, and companies were only interested in who could be the most shocking in the noisiest way." Sinclair later re-recorded four tracks with a live band that included guitarist Mark Hewins, Pete Pipkin (ex Pete Brown's Piblokto) on drums, and early Wilde Flower Graham Flight on bass. He tried selling his songs in London once more, unsuccessfully, then stored his rejected tapes in a loft for the next 16 years. As most Caravan afficionados would agree, Dave Sinclair's main contributions to that beloved group were his extended, keyboard-dominated suites (eg; 'Nine Feet Underground', and 'For Richard') Those hoping for a continuation of that songwriting style will be disappointed, as 'Moon Over Man' is undeniably a record evincing strong 'pop' appeal. But that doesn't undermine this CD in the least. Most of the 16 songs better reflect Sinclair's contributions to the 1982 Caravan reunion album 'Back To Front' (both projects are co-engineered by Jeremy Darby. My personal opinion is that 'Back To Front' was tarnished by Pye Hastings' overtly commercial songs, while Dave Sinclair's three contributions (plus 'Back To Herne Bay Front' by cousin Richard) provided the bright moments. In any event, 'Moon Over Man' 's greatest achievements are the beautiful melodic arrangements. Some of the songs are on a part with anything Hastings or Richard Sinclair wrote, even during early Caravan days. 'Wanderlust', 'Tropic Island' and 'Mallorcan Dance' open the record and give it a breezy, cosmopolitan feel, accentuated by the Spanish phrasings of the singer Gay Perez on the latter track. Perez lends her voice to a number of songs here, which brings up my first complaint: the peppy, commercial songs given her are in strong contrast to Sinclair's soft romanticism on other songs, creating a sort of split personality. 'Lost in the Woods', and the title track are both gorgeous tunes sung by Perez, but these are the exceptions. The other Perez-sung numbers sound like they're from a completely different record. Additionally, 'Moon Over Man' has its share of fillers. 'Ice Cream' seems a little too quaint, 'Reminiscememoring' sounds like a weak 'When I'm 64' and 'Harry' is just silly. But these weak points ,are easily compensated by other songs: the dreamy, evocative 'Wanderlust'; the painful self-examination in 'Where Have I Gone'; 'Here To Stay' as the record's optimistic closer; and (arguably) the stand-out track, the autobiographical 'Piano Player' (which appeared on Caravan's The Album'). I'd swear Pye Hastings sings on this cut, though the liner notes credit lyricist John Murphy on vocals. Sinclair himself sings lead on several tunes, as well as a guy called Tim Link. Recommendation? 'Moon Over Man' reaffirms the wide-ranging song-writing talent in Canterbury, proving that Dave Sinclair is a better writer of tunes than anyone thought. And besides, the artwork is cool… too bad we can't get an album sleeve.
Peter Kurtz (Facelift Magazine)