Tag Archives: Trees

spirogyra’s electric eden

While Jeanette Leech was writing her fab folk book … Rob Young was working on another excellent volume – not just about folk: Electric Eden – unearthing Britain’s visionary music(Faber && Faber 2010-08-05, ISBN 9780571237524). I haven’t finished reading it yet but it’s a real treasure trove of information, making it an impossible task to list the acts he brings into view. (Kevin Ayers, David Bowie, Joe Boyd, Anne Briggs, Vashti Bunyan, Shirley Collins, Donovan, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Bill Fay, Forest, Fotheringay, Roy Harper, (Mike) Heron, the Incredible String Band, Bert Jansch, Kaleidoscope [UK], John Martyn, Mellow Candle, Mighty Baby, Mr Fox, Parchment, Pentangle, Pink Floyd, John Renbourn, Soft Machine, Steeleye Span, Traffic, Trees  ànd Talk Talk have been dealt with, of course. Surprisingly, Michael Chapman, Fresh Maggots, Mushroom and Tractor hardly get a mention.) On pages 512 & 513, for instance, Mr. Young describes the (three album) legacy of UK folk act Spirogyra (mainly Martin Cockerham & Barbara Gaskin) … Don’t confuse them with the US fusion jazzers Spyro Gyra who debuted in 1978!

Update: Rob Young has compiled an “Electric Eden – Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music” v/a 2cd (midprice via UMC)!



jeanette’s folk book


Jeanette Leech‘s book Seasons they change – the story of acid and psychedelic folk” (Jawbone 2010-11, ISBN 9781906002329) was originally going to have “experimental folk” in its title too, but it’s no less grandiose as it is – with a foreword by Greg Weeks of Espers and all. There’s more info (than on the publisher’s site, typically) via this Coptic Cat link … and for more acknowledgements and links click here (great concept, incidentally). Also, do check the third tab here for an interview with Jeanette. Finally, you can find la Leech’s folk faves here. Here’s some of mine, all culled from two excellent but out of print v/a compilations on the now defunct Sanctuary label: Gather In The Mushrooms (The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974)” (Castle CMQCD840, 2004) and Early Morning Hush (Notes From The UK Folk Underground 1969-1976)(Castle CMQCD1265, 2006).

For an expert review of the book (and another major folk resource), see http://www.psychedelicfolk.com/SeasonsTheyChange.html … though I disagree with the minor rant about Fairport Convention & Trees not being psychedelic enough…

Finally, here’s more info on Dave Brooks & “The Family”:

not trees (bis)


In the “Wicker man” post below (use the tags to find it), I wrote how, at the end of the eighties, us volatile postmod popsike freaks thought the Wicker Mansoundtrack was by Trees. “Must be. Who else could it be by!” Turned out to be (Paul Giovanni’s) Magnet – totally obscure. Anyhow, in those days, we were also quite nuts (and berries) about this killer track (as collectors and other salesmen like to say): “She looked down” (1988) is off the Fern Hill lp by Mick Wills, and can also be found on the Woronzoidv/a 2lp label sampler, both on Woronzow (1988). Electric guitar extraordinaire by Nick Saloman, of the Bevis Frond / Psychic Circle fame. The image above is the Hipgnosis sleeve to Trees’ On The Shorelp (CBS UK lp 1970, Decal / Charly reissue lp 1987, BGO cd 199X, Sony BMG deluxe 2cd 2007, Sunbeam 2lp 200X) – one of my favourite (psychedelic) folk albums of all time.