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Pip Pyle - Seven Year Itch CD (album) cover


Pip Pyle


Canterbury Scene

3.51 | 13 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'll always remember when Pip Pyle passed away because it was the day after I joined this site. I have experienced so much joy from this genre over the years and Pip Pyle has been a big part of that. On this particular solo album he enlists the help of the "who's who" of Canterbury. John Greaves, David Stewart, Barbara Gaskins, Richard Sinclair, Hugh Hopper, Phil Miller and Elton Dean to name a few.

"Seven Sisters" is maybe the best track on here. In fact the lineup for this song includes all four members of HATFIELD AMD THE NORTH, together for the first time since 1975 ! It's very laid back to begin with. Vocals from Richard Sinclair 1 1/2 minutes in. It starts to pick up and the piano and bass become prominant 4 minutes in.They all sort of improvise to end it and the guitar is fantastic from Phil Miller. "Chinese Whispers" is a mellow track with the vocals of Jakko Jaszyk being the focus.The highlight is the angular guitar from Phil Miller 3 minutes in. "Strawberry Fields Forever" is of course a BEATLES cover. Barbara sings lead here. Lots of horns and it changes 3 1/2 minutes in to a fairly loud and busy soundscape to end it. "7 Year Itch" is where John Greaves shines both with his theatrical vocals and fuzz bass. A lot of negative energy in this one. Pyle says this song is his "Life's a bitch and then you die song, and I tried to make it as violent and scary as I could".

"I'm Really Ok" features Barbara on vocals with percussion leading the way. Pierre Marcault from MAGMA does the percussion work here. The highlight though is Barbara's vocals. "Once Around the Shelves" has a good rhythm to it as guitar plays over top. It settles 2 minutes in with some nice bass coming out of that. "Long On" is a good track with Jakko on vocals. I like the guitar to end it.

"Shipwrecked (With Idle Hands)" features Jakko on vocals with Richard Sinclair backing him up. Freedy Baker is on bass and is outstanding. Lots of slide guitar on this one. "L'etat Des Choses" is my favourite.This one is completely different from the other tracks. And yes this is where Hopper does his thing playing fuzz, wah wah, double speed & backwards bass. Haha. Pip used a "battery of ancient lo-tech effects pedals, wah wahs, harmonizers, flangers, an old WEM copycat that Dave Stewart left lying around and something called a Synthi Hi Fi which Alan Gowen gave me..." This is soundscape music that is dark and experimental. A very cool track. "Foetal Fanfare Fandango" features 3 sax players, 2 trumpet players, along with trombone and tuba, with Pyle playing military drums. He says this was included almost as a joke. For me this sounds like a high school marching band and joke or not it's brutal in my opinion. I know I should lighten up right ?

This certainly has it's moments just not enough of them.The songs for the most part are nice but not Canterbury or even jazzy, just pleasant songs for the most part.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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