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Spirogyra - St. Radigunds CD (album) cover

ST. RADIGUNDS

Spirogyra

 

Prog Folk

4.17 | 131 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Spirogyra's first album is the closest thing that comes to Comus's First Utterances. It actually pre-dates it by a few weeks! Please note that Dave Mattacks will drum on al three albums but will never be a member! He was busy in Fairport Convention at the time and will also drum for Jethro Tull during the 80's. Barbara Gaskin is also known for her work with Hatfield And The North (as one of the Northettes along with Amanda Parsons) and her work with National Health and in the 80's with Dave Stewart and Bill Bruford!

What we have here is superb folk rock , avoiding some of the clichés (no done-to-death covers of traditional tunes) , inventive enough to be classified as folk-prog. The main writer Cockerham is also often engaging in great duos with Gaskin and this is , along with the violin of Cussack and Borril's great bass lines, the main reasons for sounding so close to Comus! But where Comus was dark and demonic, Spirogyra is more political and romantic.

Many tracks are stupendous as they work very tightly and have great interplaying. Future , Island and Magical Mary are all very enthralling tracks. Comes in two of the three shorter and more reflective tracks (Captain's Log and At Home In the World) but also slightly less interesting! Cogwheels is absolutely fascinating with Gaskin underlining Cockerham's acidic vocals (much the same way Grace Slick , Balin and Kantner did in Jefferson Airplane). Time Will Tell shows how politically conscious the band was. Happy Crew is relatively slow starting because of lenghty and not entirely successful string arrangement and when it does take off, it is too short. They saved their best track to close the album. The Duke of Beaufoot is simply riveting and really holding your attention much the same way that Traffic did with John Barleycorn Must Die.

I simply cannot recommend this album enough if you are into intricate folk rock ambiances.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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