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Brilliant Bits. And bits that make you go and brew a cuppa.
on 14 July 2009
I first heard 'in the land of grey and pink' as a 14 year old, when I borrowed it from the local library because I saw it in the LP rack and I thought the cover was nice. I rushed home and put it on my dad's turntable and immediately thought 'Bluuuurrgh'.
A (much) older and wiser woman heard 'golf girl' again on the radio. The late English psychadelia, and the gentle folk rock thing captured how I remember the time, and awash with nostalgia I decided to invest in another listening, safe in the knowledge that, frankly, nothing with a mellotron it has EVER been that bad.
Listening to it now, 'Golf girl' is just as catchy as it always was, conjouring up a cosy english vibe. Tea is involved, and nothing bad can happen here. 'Winter wine' is delicate and folky initially before opening up into a more racy folk rock which doesnt hesitate to mention both wandering minstrels and dragons and throw in a bit of keyboard noodling. I dont imagine 'Love to Love You' ever made the charts, but it certainly had the potential. The title track follows, folky, but with an indidious kick beat. I have no idea what they are singing about, but its a bit dreamy. Sailing away somewhere and smoking something. And drinking more tea. Exquisite light elegant piano solo. and a bit more mellotron. Oh this is good ....
Ah then what took up the entire 'B' side on the LP. Clocked at 22:40. The first element is a bit more Jazzy, but really still totally 1971 - like the sort of background music you would get at the odeon during those short features before the big picture and highlighting the many moods of the saxophone. And a bit more mellotron. Goes on a bit. Eventually some vocals kick in, and it gets a bit heavier, even though you can tell that Caravan are really not annoyed about anything.
Although something running 22:40 would normally scare me off, this does vary enough to be interesting. Tho perhaps not that much. Oh please! Stop! Im not a muso! It does include one movement called 'Dance of the seven paper hankies'. And if you want you can use some of the 22:40 to go and make a cup of tea, because by now you definitely fancy one.
Lots of quality bonus tracks, so all in all this is a pretty cool deal. I really hate long tracks tho. And I cant imagine how those not from these isles would deal with it, but I find it charming that they do.
You sort of get the feeling that Caravan dont take themselves too seriously, Which is probably quite a good thing. Though you start to wonder about that after about 15 minutes of instrumentals. But I still like the cover.