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Caravan - Live BBC

Review: 044
Date: 1 Oct 01

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Mike Wedgewood – Bass
Richard Coughlan – Drums
Geoff Richardson – Violin, Guitar
Pye Hastings – Guitar, Vocals
David Sinclair – Keyboards

Tracks Listing:
1. Love In Your Eye
2. For Richard
3. The Dab Song Concerto
4. Hoedown

 


One of the wonderful B.B.C. in concert series released from the dusty vaults of the Government run British Broadcasting Corporation. The band is introduced by D.J. Pete Drummond sounding very serious whilst extolling the virtues of these fine musicians. You must remember that this was March of 1975 when progressive rock was in its heyday all trying to look deadly serious whilst wearing kaftans, beads, and 30 inch bell bottom hipsters. No wonder twelve months later Johnny Rotten and Punk Rock come along to breath some fresh life and fun back into Rock ‘n’ Roll.

But does the music of Caravan stand the test of time after 26 years? Surprisingly, yes very well indeed.

Back in the late sixties “The Wilde Flowers”, the senior rock band of Kent, garden county of England, split in two, spawning “Caravan” and “Soft Machine”. Caravan helped create a musical style that has become known as the Canterbury sound, a name that has stuck to this sub genre of progressive rock ever since. Surrealist lyrics, humour, and a rock style that incorporated elements of Procul Harum, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd. The Canterbury sound was a jazzy-classical-folk-ish sound that was still very unique.

Caravan were definitely one of the founding progressive rock bands having already recorded seven albums by the time they went into record this concert at the London Paris Theatre.

By then the 3 original members of David Sinclair, Pye Hastings, and Richard Couglan, had added Geoff Richardson on violin and replaced David Sinclair’s cousin, Richard Sinclair with Mike Wedgewood on bass, who came in from “Curved Air”.

There are only 4 songs on this hour long concert, 3 of them clocking in just under the 20 minute mark before the final rave up of the short and sweet audience fave rave, “Hoedown” from Caravan’s fifth album “For girls who grow plump in the night”. The original album sleeve, depicting a naked pregnant women, was vetoed by record label Decca, but a compromise was reached and the women appeared wearing a night dress. Ho-Hum such are the politics of mid seventies rock. “For Richard” comes from Caravan’s 2nd album “If I could do it again I’d do it all over you” which appeared way back in September of 1970. Regarded by many fans as their best work it became a perennial favorite in the live set.

As you can see there were some marvelous titles from Caravans history none better than the trickly titled “Cunning Stunts” from which the other two musical pieces on this album come from.

This album is a fine showcase for the rich musical talents of a band whose unique contribution to pop music history is unlikely to be forgotten.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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