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Hatfield And The North - Hatfield And The North CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.27 | 585 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars It's comparatively rare to find progressive rock that's virtuosic, jazzy, poetic, delicately melodious, homely, humorous, unpretentious, unflashy, neo-classical, pastoral and absurdist all at once - but Hatfield and the North were all those things, and more.

If you're American and you've never heard these musicians, imagine a good-humoured, non-misanthropic Zappa using only British vocalists, and you're coming close.

From time to time I've had my doubts about Hatfield and the North or other Canterbury bands from the same period, because my favourite Dutch novelist (Geerten Meijsing), a keen jazz lover, once described their style as 'puppet show music'. To be honest, parts of this album do sound a bit like that, and not just because of the march-like melodies, or Dave Stewart's electric piano; I guess it has something to do with the influence of Igor Stravinsky - after all, he wrote his most charming ballet score (PETRUSHKA) about a farcical puppet show.

But any fleeting doubts I may have when I start playing this album are soon dispersed, because the music keeps moving constantly. It's a delightful mixture of styles: in a brief period of time you're taken from chirpy music-hall style singing to crisp electric guitar solos, delicate flute salads and angelic girl choirs. A marvellous concoction.

fuxi | 5/5 |


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