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

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH

Hatfield And The North

 

Canterbury Scene

4.29 | 477 ratings

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Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Hatfields were a fine band that represented a musical middle ground between the sophistication of National Health and the more relaxed sounds of Gilgamesh, and featured the cream of the Canterbury crop. This, their first, can be inconsistent but the good cuts are excellent and showcase both Dave Stewart's learned keys and guitarist Phil Miller's penchant for jazz. At ten minutes, 'Son of There's No Place Like Homerton' is the epic here, with careful phrases from Stewart, playful horns that brighten things and is filled with many changes in direction, Miller's guitar responding in turn with ornate intertwinings of organ, electric piano and Richard Sinclair's bass. And 'Rifferama' is an upset little number, almost avant garde, with fuzz-rock meeting light jazz in a most strange way. 'Shaving is Boring' has a mellow start but becomes a driving jazz-rocker with a tangibly live feel, accenting just how well the core of this unit could play together, Pip Pyle's insistant and sporadically changing drum lines, a good dose of space toward the end and much playfulness, and 'Gigantic Land Crabs in Earth Takeover' finishes in a chaotic jam. Granted, there are moments on this album that remind of the soundtrack to a bad 1970s movie, with keyboards trapped in some sleazy images flickering on the screen and enough wah-wah to date this old thing with dispatch. But don't let that stop you from enjoying one of the better bands from the illustrious school of the Canterbury, though the word is that their next, 'Rotter's Club', is superior. And points for the great cover... how many faces do you see?

Atavachron | 3/5 |

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