Recommended if You Like
Dexys Midnight Runners Small Faces The Jam

Genres You Will Love
Pop: Power Pop Moods: Featuring Guitar Rock: Mod

By Location
UK - England - London

The Reflection A.O.B.

The Reflection were formed in East London, March 1985, when brothers Ian & Stuart Shepherd (bass & drums respectively) joined forces with Harks (lead vocals & guitar), Rich Drury (keys), Wiggy & Barney (trumpets).

The early material's combination of blistering guitar, Hammond organ & brass riffs created a sound at odds with much of the music around at the time, and they quickly developed an avid live following, attracting attention from the emerging 80s mod revival scene.

The songs on 'No Compromise', a 7-track cassette only available at early gigs, showed a pop sensibility which would remain throughout the next couple of years. These, together with reworked classics such as The Action's 'I'll Keep on Holding On' & Dobie Gray's 'Out on the Floor,' would be the foundation of their early live sets at venues such as London's 100 Club & Dingwalls.

In 1986 the name was changed to 'The Reflection A.O.B.' which sought to avoid confusion with a similarly named band at the time. The year also saw the brass section bolstered by the addition of saxophonist Matt Godwin & a 9-date tour of Italy with The Boss. In November came the release of a 12" EP on their own label Keep It (named after the early Dexys track). Co-produced by Ed Ball, it included 'Only in my Dreams' & the stomping instrumental 'Mind the Gap' & has since gone on to be a rare collectors' item.

During 1987 the brass section was expanded with the addition of saxophonist Sarah Beale. The band continued to tour and further material was released via the Countdown compilation albums 'Smashing Time' & 'Final Countdown.' By May, however, other commitments saw the departure of Ian Shepherd & Barney. The final gig played by the full line-up was in Weymouth, Dorset in May 1987.

They continued for a short while afterwards, a final studio session producing the unreleased (until now) tracks 'Paint Some Colour" & Stand Up & Believe It!' with new bassist Robert Rickenburgh.

25 years after the release of 'Only In My Dreams' comes the compilation 'The Complete Collection 1985-87,' which includes their entire studio output plus a bonus demo of Harks performing 'Empty Life' (a song the band used to perform around 1987). Like several other equally good tunes, it unfortunately never got to be recorded by the band at the time. Those who were there would have got to hear those lost gems - but whether you were there or not The Complete Collection is a long overdue chance to catch The Reflection nailing the ones that didn't get away.

Penny Fielding
January 2012