Crikey! I saw this ensemble two or three times in the early seventies
and remember thinking them rather clever at the time. It's been a very
interesting (not to say somewhat unsettling (Tempus Fugit etc, etc...)
experience to hear 'In Spite Of Harry's Toenail', their debut album, once
again after more than forty years passing (it was first released in 1972).
I think it was the tricksy time signatures of their sonic inventions which
first attracted me (King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Egg and Henry Cow were all
prominent figures in the soundtrack to my life at the time) but the ensemble
also had a quaint Englishness, bordering on the Medieval, about them which
set them a tad apart from their big-hitting prog peers. They were nicely odd.
Good then to have this re-mastered edition back in the frame (thank God someone
takes the time to do these things!) and it deserves not to have sunk without a
trace. I'd almost go as far as to say it represents a bit of a period benchmark.
Colin Golding sings, plays guitar and all manner of other instruments; brother
Stewart manages the lead guitar; Nigel Pegrum is a solid and inventive drummer
and Peter Cowling delivers more than adequately in the bass department.
If I had to choose one track from the seven which make up the whole it would
have to be 'Snails', which, with more than a nod and a wink to 'Lark's Tongues
In Aspic' period K.C., is a cracking example of their complex smart-arse style.
Who's kidding who. It really has dated but I was more than willing to submit to
its particular charms once more in the name of the spirit of 70's sonic archaeology.
For listeners of an enquiring and nostalgic disposition.