Please use the 'Broadband' button to hear better quality stereo clips! Who are Spot the Dog? Richard (Plug) Thomas and Keith (Smoke) Abingdon first joined forces in psychedelic band Breakthru and their first compositions date back to that time. Following Breakthru, Keith headed west to Woodstock, where managed by Albert Grossman at Bearsville Records, his unique guitar style was in demand on sessions for many top bands in that highly charged and talented artistic studio community. Working live primarily as an instrumentalist, audiences were all the more amazed at what they heard when he took lead vocal on a song. Here was an effortlessly accurate voice with a range worthy of the best of front men. Meanwhile Richard drummed along with various luminary UK outfits including depping work with SuperTramp and blues legend Alexis Korner. As a member of the band Gold he was produced by 'fifth Beatle' George Martin, and in such esteemed company he learned the art of using the recording studio to good effect. Richard soon set up his own studio and moved into the world of film composition to make a living. On Keith's return to the UK their collaboration was quickly re ignited. Now seasoned composers, multi instrumentalists and studio savvy engineers and producers, many songs were written and recorded in a flurry of creativity. Refusing to be restricted to any one style (figuring if the 'Beatles' Revolution 9 and Ob-La-Di could exist happily on one album who were they to argue) nevertheless Keith's soaring lead vocals and guitar work along with Richard's keyboard playing, drumming and sequencing are signature features of their unique sound. This long standing partnership continues, as more songs are always in the creative pipeline. 'Something Special' then, is the result of hard earned experience and above all an abiding and deep love of creating good music. There is the funky opener, 'The Circus Of Life', and the soulfulness of 'So Naked'. Later the hard edged Zeppelin-esque 'I'm Mad', then the punky quirkiness of the intriguingly titled 'People Stick Fingers In My Eye', and finally the psychedelic melancholic yearning of the title track 'Something Special', and for good measure more rock and blues influenced songs and even a couple of more accessible pop tunes along the way. Pretty much nothing is out of bounds. Such breadth maybe marks Spot the Dog as something of a marketing man's nightmare, but there is a cohesion to the whole, and engaging variety for the listener. And that is surely no bad thing... there was after all a time when albums did not have to be 'all of a sort', and they were perhaps better days for that. This is about good songwriting first and foremost, then making recordings where ideas can be explored and weaved in along the way, switching easily between old tech and new tech as and when required, or combining the two seamlessly. Other musician friends have helped contribute to the mix. The Rickenbacker bass of Mike O'Donnell or John Currie's flawless fretless bass appear on some songs, and on others the backing vocals of R&B singer Anna Leon and Linda Allan (who famously sang backup on the worldwide hit 'Video Killed The Radio Star'). In a 21st century music industry dominated by the bottom line, it often seems nowadays that a lot of joy got lost somewhere along the way. Spot the Dog are determined to buck that trend. George Martin himself once said 'making music should be fun'. There has been a great deal of fun indeed in the making of this collection of songs, and much love and craft too. Here then is Spot the Dog's first album. Welcome dear listener, and come on in, there is much to savour!