Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Has Anybody Here Heard Of Aardvark?

Formed in Canterbury, some time in the 1960's, Aardvark's original four piece line-up included Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke, who bailed to join Free before the band could record their only record as a three piece, forgoing a guitar player altogether. It was released on Deram in 1970, and you can buy an original MONO copy for only $775.

Or, might I suggest a fantastic collection called "English Weather," compiled by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, two thirds of the band Saint Etienne. This CD or two-LP set features the Aardvark track posted above, which is admittedly the best track on their Deram debut, and also includes some truly amazing and rare tracks that represents the transition from psychedelia to prog as the '60s moved into the '70s. Some artists will be familiar to you--Caravan, John Cale, Bill Fay, Camel and Matching Mole. But others like The Parlour Band, might not be. The Parlour Band also recorded only one record for Deram and this splendid track "Early Morning Eyes, sounds like a cross between The Zombies and early Yes.

Like my new obsession, the "Come Join My Orchestra" boxed set, which I wrote about here, "English Weather" is a great listen, with one surprise after another. Of course, it will help if you have a particular taste for this very specific style of English music.


Anonymous said...

I have never heard of Aardvark or the Parlour Band - nice stuff. I'll check out that comp. This was one of the failings of Dave Weigel's history of prog rock, "The Show that Never Ends" (besides being poorly edited) - he only paid lip service to local scenes like Canterbury and wrote very little about all the second- and third- tier bands that followed in Floyd, Yes, Genesis and Crimson's wake. I would have preferred more focus on the labels than on the big acts.

Bill said...

This comp features one of my favorite John Cale songs. I never really considered it prog or pre-prog or even psychedelic, just a good vibe. May have to reconsider where Vintage Violence fits in the grand scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

Sal, been meaning to write and thank you for turning us/me onto Come Join My Orchestra. Still digesting it, but a lot of great stuff. I was surprised I only knew like 2 or 3 tracks.

Bruce H

Bill said...

I have to second Bruce's kudos for the Come Join My Orchestra recommendation. I don't think I would have ever picked it up without reading about it here, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit. I currently have it in my car and it's a good soundtrack for steadying one's nerves while driving in New Jersey.