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Friendliness

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Reseña de álbum

Although The Man in the Bowler Hat is without question the most fully realized and lavishly produced (by George Martin) Stackridge album, most fans of the band would probably gravitate toward Friendliness as their favorite. Here can be found every quality that endeared the West Country five-piece to a loyal — but never quite large enough — following. There's Beatlesque melody, gently surreal humor, and considerable instrumental dexterity that ranged freely between the worlds of pop, folk, jazz, classical, and prog rock. The rollicking instrumental "Lummy Days" is a perfect scene-setter, with Mike Evans' violin and Mutter Slater's flute lyrical one moment and bucolic the next as the melody sweeps between hoedown, bolero, and Vaughan Williams — all in less than four minutes. Next comes the weightless beauty of the title track, with James Warren's choirboy vocals multi-tracked to bewitching effect. That's followed, even more improbably, by the '30-style foppery of "Anyone for Tennis," and not long after by the Eastern-tinged "Syracuse the Elephant," at over eight minutes long and with Mellotron aplenty, clear evidence that Stackridge could have staked their share of the prog market if they could have kept a straight face long enough. But they couldn't, and to prove it, the next track is a piece of cod-reggae about a cow, called "Amazingly Agnes." In truth this and the heads-down, no-nonsense boogie "Keep on Clucking" (a whimsical diatribe against battery farming) always did sound like grudging concessions to commercialism, and decades later they still do. But the album finishes in triumph with the haunting "Teatime," arguably one of the most convincing fusions of folk, jazz, and classical music in the entire prog rock canon, with none of the ego-fuelled blowing that so discredited the genre. [The CD reissue contains three extra tracks, including the instrumental stage favorite "Purple Spaceships Over Yatton."]

Biografía

Se formó en: 1969

Género: Rock

Años de actividad: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Stackridge, one of the most singular rock bands to grow in soil sown and enriched by the British Invasion of the '60s, coalesced in late 1969. Andy Davis and Jim "Crun" Walter were playing together in the Bristol blues band Griptight Thynne when Davis began seeking new bandmates. Mike Tobin (who became Stackridge's first manager) introduced Davis to Mike "Mutter" Slater, then playing in the folk duo Mick & Mutter. James Warren answered a newspaper ad and connected very well with Davis, and they...
Biografía completa
Friendliness, Stackridge
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