WE REVIEW THE NEW SINGLE FROM TILLERMAN – NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN
Tillerman list The Beatles, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac as influences. This makes them covering The Moody Blues about as surprising as a Gallagher feud (incidentally they also list ‘90’s nostalgia bands like Oasis as further inspiration).
However, credit should be given where it is due. The Huddersfield band have hardly chosen an easy song to cover. ‘Nights in White Satin’ is grandiose. This is orchestrally lush psychedelia.
The lead vocal alone is so unabashed to be bombastic that it makes Michael Bolton sound like a whisper. This is a challenging performance to nail on every level.
Impressive then that Tillerman’s vocalist Jon Kulczycki glides to the higher notes consummately. His voice is obscured slightly behind a watery instrumental soundscape, but it’s not far off Hayward’s original belting.
The reproduction is largely faithful in its symphonia. Given the original was so psychedelic it was used as the basis for an American theme park ride, subtitled ‘The Trip’, it’s apt that guitarist Shaun Mallia’s noodling melts and amorphously moulds itself to the song’s orchestration, which itself is as even as a finely blended smoothie.
For all the similarities, it is more upfront than the original. The Moody Blues approached the song with an unsettling distance. Hayward sung with an aloof reticence, an achievement when confessing ‘I love you’ throughout the chorus.
Also different is Tillerman’s centring of Mallia’s soloing, resembling something altogether more brazen than the subtlety of Hayward’s songwriting, but it’s the smallest of qualms. Tillerman took on something bold and did it boldly – Hayward would like it that way.