on 25 September 2013
I pre-ordered this seemingly quite appealing magazine and had to wait a long time for it to arrive, and when it did I was a bit surprised, perhaps unjustly, discovering that it was not so much a book as a lavish magazine dedicated to discussing the ISB and other associated bands and solo artists. It was a feast of recognition, of course - alongside one to two page elaborations on every ISB record and a few early Heron and Williamson solo records, there are 2-4 page articles about Dr Strangely Strange, COB, Forest, Dando Shaft, Anne Briggs, Comus, Spirogyra and a few others, as well as an article about the (music of the film) 'The Wicker Man', which I would not have included as it's a bit of an oddity here (and a decidedly flawed film).
Practically all artists discussed here are well represented in my lp and cd collection and it was really nice to get some more background information about a few of them. But quite often, especially with regards to the ISB, I didn't really read anything I didn't already know, and its content even shows that it's most certainly not up to date as the article about Williamson's solo career tells us that 'The Iron Stone'' is his latest solo album - which is quite ridiculous as that album was released in 2006 (!) and at least two albums have been released on the Quadrant label since.
"Witches Hats & Painted Chariots" is a very well-presented and colourful music magazine, which I read with pleasure, but it's arguably on the shallow side, not up to date and not stating anything new. It's likely to appeal die hard fans of the ISB and acid folk in general (like me) and young people starting out in the field of acid/nu/new folk, providing them with useful information about some key players in the classic acid folk scene, but of no great interest.