Ex-Swell Map recruits famous mates for career-topping set

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Nikki Sudden – Treasure Island

With a dream band that features Mick Taylor, Ian McLagan, pedal-steel guitarist BJ Cole and saxman Anthony Thistlethwaite, Nikki Sudden’s Treasure Island has all the hallmarks of a career record. Certainly it’s more focused, more seamless than the lion’s share of Sudden’s prolific post-Swell Maps work, though it hardly veers from his beloved archetypes. Like a ’70s fugitive wandering through the long-lost songbooks of Ronnie Lane, Ian Hunter, Johnny Thunders and Elliott Murphy, Sudden writes evocative songs hatched in the church of rock’n’roll and performed with a true believer’s gospel fervour. Best song: “Stay Bruised”, a gorgeous bit of ensemble brilliance.