lördag 18 juli 2015

Spirogyra - St. Radigunds (2nd Album of Rare UK Folkrock 1971)

300:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Deras 2:a album folk/folkrock från 1971. Gavs ut som Mini LP 2005 och är sedan länge utgången och mycket svår att hitta.)

Spirogyra were a British folk/prog band that recorded three albums between 1971 and 1973. Martin Cockerham (vocals/guitar) and Mark Francis originally formed Spirogyra as a duo in Bolton, Lancashire in the summer of 1967. When Martin went to University in Canterbury in 1969 he expanded the band to include fellow students Barbara Gaskin (vocals), Steve Borrill (bass), and Julian Cusack (violin). They were soon spotted by student union entertainments officer Max Hole, who offered to manage them and got them a deal with B&C Records. Their debut album, St. Radigunds , was named after the street that their student house was on. 

It established them as a cult act on the underground club circuit, and sold respectably. Its follow-up, 1972's Old Boot Wine , appeared on Peg Records and showcased a harder-edged sound than their predominantly acoustic debut. After the release of Old Boot Wine , the band was pared back to the duo of Cockerham and Gaskin, who were by now romantically involved. Their final album, Bells, Boots and Shambles, appeared on Polydor in April 1973 and sold very poorly. Widely regarded today as one of the great classics of British 'acid folk', it featured guest appearances from the band's former members, as well as contributions from Henry Lowther on trumpet. Copies of all three albums are rare and expensive today, with Bells, Boots and Shambles almost impossible to acquire.

This is a welcome return for Spirogyra, one of the more intriguing bands of the early '70s. The quartet of singer/guitarist/songwriter Martin Cockerham, singer Barbara Gaskin, violinist/keyboardist Julian Cusack, and bassist Steve Borrill were obviously short a member, with future Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks coming on board for the recording of St. Radigunds, the group's debut album. 

The group's sound was unusual, with Cockerham's brittle, almost adenoidal vocals counterpointed by Gaskin's crystalline tones. Musically, too, the bandmembers played their instruments off against each other, with soaring, sometimes searing violin rocketing around strummed guitar and striking keyboard work. Stylistically, Spirogyra were determined to clash genres as well, and although much of their sound was grounded in folk-rock, Spirogyra interlaced it with proggier elements and psychedelic leanings. 

Thus they never quite fit comfortably into the contemporary Canterbury scene, into which they were often lumped, and effectively drew in a much more diverse audience. This eclectic approach was also reflected in the lyrics, heard in the working man's view of WWII and its aftermath on the strident "The Future Won't Be Long" and the -isms that infect "Time Will Tell," notable in the acid-drenched imagery of "Magical Mary," and found in the poetry-laced lyrics of "Island." With occasional use of unusual rhythms, intriguing blends of styles, innovative arrangements, and lyrics to ponder, St. Radigunds had it all, and quickly established Spirogyra as one of the most creative and innovative groups of the day.

Steve Borrill - bass
 Martin Cockerham - guitar, vocals
 Julian Cusack - violin, keyboards
 Barbara Gaskin - lead vocals 

Guest musicians:
 Dave Mattacks - drums
 Tony Cox - VCS 3
 Bill Bruford - drums

01. The Future Won´t Be Long (4:27) 
02. Island (3:39) 
03. Magical Mary (6:20) 
04. Captain's Log (2:00) 
05. At Home In The World (2:40) 
06. Cogwheels Crutches And Cyanide (6:00) 
07. Time Will Tell (5:32) 
08. We Were A Happy Crew (5:29) 
09. Love Is A Funny Thing (2:00) 
10. The Duke Of Beaufoot (7:08)