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Formed in Canterbury, England in 1970, Spirogyra was one of a group of young progressive folk bands signed to B&C Records at the same time as Steeleye Span. The band was formed by writer Martin Cockerham, vocalist Barbara Gaskin, Julian Cusack and Steve Borrill. Dave Mattacks played drums on their debut album in 1971. The sound on St. Radigund’s and the follow-up Old Boot Wine was similar to early Strawbs but also drew on the progressive ideas of the Incredible String Band. The songs sounded whimsically English and Gaskin’s voice gave them a pure, unsullied air. The final Spirogyra album, 1973’s Bells, Boots And Shambles, was recorded by Cockerham and Gaskin alone. Gaskin went on to work with Hatfield And The North and enjoyed a surprise UK chart-topper in 1981, in partnership with Dave Stewart, with a cover version of Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s My Party’. (NB: Not to be confused with the US jazz rock group Spyro Gyra.)

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1970 in Canterbury, England

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