Saturday, February 04, 2006

I was Lord Kitcheners Valet

Andy Partridge of XTC sums it all up very nicely in the book 'Song Stories' by Neville Farmer... 'I loved British psychedelic music from 1967/68....For England it was garden parties and Edward Lear and school uniforms on boating lakes which turned to jelly.' So inspired were XTC by this period of music that they formed their own spoof band, 'Dukes of Stratosphear'....the joke backfired when the Dukes albums outsold the contemporary XTC ones.

Dukes of Stratosphear- Vanishing Girl

Vanishing Girl is probably the least 'far out' of all the Dukes songs but it has the harmonies and poppiness of The Hollies who dutifully 'went psychedelic' in 1967. Ultimately it was a bit of a gesture which sent Graham Nash packing for California for more like minded company and left The Hollies on the northern club circuit. 'King Midas in Reverse is a classic though.

The Hollies- King Midas in Reverse

The Move and Tomorrow really sum up the fuzzed up, manic glory of British psychedelia. 'I Can Hear the Grass Grow' has recently been covered by The Fall who really capture its dynamism.

The Move- I Can Hear the Grass Grow

Tomorrow played the same underground circuit as Pink Floyd but never broke big. Guitarist Steve Howe went on to join other space cadets in Yes.

Tomorrow- My White Bicycle

I love the daftness of all of these tunes but most of all I dig their lack of cynicism....more Laughing Gnomes if you please...more tea Vicar?

I've already linked 'Dukes of Stratosphear' elsewhere but here it is again.

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