Record Duggie Chop's into, right this moment:

Record Duggie Chop's into, right at this moment: Muswell Hillbillies - The Kinks (1971)

Duggie Chop recommends:

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Albion Band - Rise Up Like The Sun (1978)

Duggie's fallen asleep. So I'll address you directly, again. But with no 'stage directions' this time.

Gives me the chance to talk about folk rock. Duggie's not into it, hippy wot nots he calls it. Blimey, wait until we get onto The Incredible String Band, then.

The Albion Band. Rise Up Like The Sun. Got my copy from a car boot sale. £1. Lovely.

I can float away on this kind of thing. Opens with a nice trad sounding couple of folk-rock sing alongs, 'Ragged Heroes' and 'Poor Old Horse' then you're thrown into a raga-style instrumenal piece mixing jazz with folk and partly played on a synthesiser. Typical of The Albion Band, mixing it up.

In fact, Ashley Hutchings, Albion Band stalwart, always pushes the boundaries. On 'Rise Up Like The Sun' he's brought a few Fairport friends with him to push those boundaries further than the Convention would go and brought a Gryphon member - an experimental folk/prog rock outfit - with him.

I'm not going to overdo it. The whole thing sounds pretty standard folk rock by today's standards. But that's only because musicians like these pushed it.

I think I'm pushing it going on like this. But, hey, we live in an age of eclecticism. Wasn't the case in 1978. Punk was on its last legs. Prog had disintegrated. Synthesisers cost as much as a car. People like 'Streetband' (featuring Paul Young) were in the charts singing about 'Toast'.

The Albion Band. A breath of fresh air. The sun rising and breaking up the fog. Of course I'm going to push it. Of course. Wow...just then...I was taken by the wonderful fiddle line in 'House In The County' on side two and drifted for a moment. 'The Primrose' follows, with a jarring - yet addictive - oompah-oompah sound, blended with a kyboard. reminds me of the theme tune to one of the 'On The Buses' films...

...and from the ridiculous to the sublime. The LP rounds out with the lengthy, opinion splitting masterpiece 'Gresford Disaster', an epic song about the death, in 1934, of 265 miners in North Wales. Stretched and jammed out into a synthesised slab of wonderfulness - despite the harrowing subject matter.

[So, he wanders back to the river, the sun's losing it's warmth, time for sustenance. He nudges Duggie, unscrewing the lid of the thermos and offers his friend a sweet tea. Duggie nods and nudges back - his float's bobbing up and down, surely he's got a bite...]

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