Friday, 28 January 2011

The Incredible String Band

Not a band that is or was easy to define. they were in part folk but also physceldeliac rock/pop. They defied convention in the same was as did the Mothers or The Bonzo Dog Doh Dah Band and yet thet were nothing like either. Mike Heron, Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer were the original three but their number waxed and waned with additional memebers coming and going at will. Licorice McKechnie, Rose Simpson,McKechnie, Malcolm Le Maistre, Gerard Dott, Stan Schnier, Jack Ingram,Graham Forbes, John Gilston, Bina Williamson, Lawson Dando and Claire Smith among them.
Their album titles left one scratching ones head with bemusment:

The Incredible String Band (Elektra, June 1966)
The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Elektra, July 1967)
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Elektra, March 1968)
Wee Tam and the Big Huge (Elektra, October 1968)
Changing Horses (Elektra, November 1969)
I Looked Up (Elektra, April 1970)
U (Double album, Elektra, October 1970)
Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending (Island, April 1971)
Relics (Elektra compilation, March 1971)
Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air (Island, October 1971)
Earthspan (Island, October 1972)
No Ruinous Feud (Island, February 1973)
Hard Rope & Silken Twine (Island, March 1974)
Seasons They Change (Island compilation, November 1976)

I find it both odd and sad that bands like this are no longer relevant in this the 21st century. The times we live in, certainly as far as music is concerned, has regressed as it has become the plaything of impresarios and X-factor fat controllers  Mores the pity.


They were thankfully anything but normal as this little ditty illustrates.


A fIDdLing IN tHE biG weE WaM


wastedpapiers said...

One of the first bands I ever saw as a young art student in Manchester ( I still have the battered Hapstash & The Coloured Coat poster somewhere)
and quite a revelation. I was instantly hooked into their world and went out and bought 5,000 Spirits - a favourite LP to this day.

Roger Stevens said...

Indeed. 5000 Spirits and Wee Tam and the Big Huge are solidly in my top twenty EVER albums.