It has been a quiet year for camel-spotters, but the wait has been worth it. Camel are back with a bang - or, to be more exact, with a new album called "Rain Dances", a new line-up featuring Richard Sinclair on bass and vocals, and their first British tour for eighteen months. "Rain Dances", released on August 26th, is a stunner. It had to be, really. After the resounding chart success of their two previous albums, "Snow Goose" and "Moonmadness", and after being voted Brightest Hope in the Melody Maker Readers Poll, Camel had quite a reputation to keep up. The album is the product of seven months studio work, and Camel are delighted with the result. Says keyboard-man Peter Bardens: "We've branched out into different directions, ranging from jazz to classical, yet "Rain Dances" is more accessible than any of its predecessors. It's a very optimistic album, compared with a lot of material around at the moment. We're really excited about it. We think it's the best thing we've done." Richard Sinclair's vocals, familiar to followers of Caravan and Hatfield & the North, adds a touch of magic. "His voice totally enhances Camel's music," says Peter Bardens. "Richard has fitted in perfectly." The Camel sound is further enriched by the saxophone of Mel Collins (who also did the brass arrangements and even the redoubtable Eno turns up on one of the tracks
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With Memories of their concert with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Albert Hall still lingering, connoisseurs will soon get a taste of the new-style Camel. Their 14-date U.K. tour kicks off in Manchester on September 23rd. With the added talents of Sinclair and Collins, and specially tailored light-show, it promises 14 nights to remember.....

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