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Caravan - In the Land of Grey and Pink CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1821 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Review number 260!!!

The high strangeness of Caravan begins with 'Golf Girl' that is as bizarre as it sounds and not quite as silly as 'Group Girl', that features as a bonus track on the Remasters. The track encapsulates the blend of nonsense and virtuoso playing that is Canterbury prog at its best. The vocal style is laid back, feet up in the grass, non caring, and it is all complimented by meandering guitar and keyboards that soak us in the flower petals of yesteryear. Welcome to the Canterbury scene. 'Winter Wine' is a nice 7 minute foray into instrumental serenity and nice vocals. It all feels a bit psychedelic and hippy these days but it is still engaging in its upbeat positive style. 'Love to love you (and tonight pigs will fly)' is a sleeper track but a good one. The next track is a highlight - 'In the land of grey and pink' - which even features some weird burbling effects like 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' of all things. None of the lyrics make any sense but nobody cares when listening to this engaging off kilter band.

The next track is the one that everyone raves about and it is still played live in modern caravan concerts. 'Nine feet underground' is the huge 22:40 epic that is a multi movement suite that locks into an infectious guitar riff and then moves into a myriad of musical directions with an interchanging time signature. It is as good as Caravan gets played with virtuoso talent in 8 parts and bookended by memorable guitar and keyboard motifs. 'Nigel blows a tune' gets the thing going and this is followed by movement number 2 'Love's a friend' that hits a blues riff with heavy distortion. Movement number 3 is 'Make it 76' followed by the melancholy feminine 'Dance of the seven paper hankies' and then 'Hold grandad by the nose' that features heavy percussion throughout. The next piece is the organ heavy 'Honest I did!' and 'Disassociation' and all is concluded by the masculine rocker '100% proof' that blazes away until the ultimate conclusion. The softer feminine sections are balanced perfectly by the masculine rock sections akin to a symphonic suite. It is difficult to describe the music but it certainly keeps the metronome working overtime with shifting metrical patterns and songs within a song, but somehow it all comes together as one seamless epic masterwork. Sinclair, Hastings, D. Sinclair, Coughlan, J. Hastings and Grinsted have excelled on this track and they produced their magnum opus with this one track alone so it is well worth shelling out for just to experience 'Nine Feet Underground'.

Everything pales in comparison to the epic, but there are some nice moments such as the bonus tracks. They are basically different or earlier versions of the tracks on the original. 'I Don't Know Its Name', 'Aristocracy' and 'It's Likely To Have A Name Next Week' are recognizable earlier versions of tracks but it was great to hear a new version of 'Disassociation/ 100% Proof' that has a duration of 8:35 and therefore easier to digest than the track within the epic.

Overall this album is the best Caravan album and is highly recommended to any fan of the Canterbury prog genre.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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