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Khan - Space Shanty CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.27 | 638 ratings

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4 stars Space Shanty was a one-off shot by a little-known group led by soon-to be Gong star Steve Hillage. This inspired work is almost certainly the rockiest and least jazzy album to emerge from the vibrant Canterbury scene, thus rendering it among the most accessible. Khan's lyrics and vocals may be passable at best, but there are some incredible exchanges from two Canterbury icons Hillage and keyboardist Dave Stewart (who also starred in Egg, Hatfield And The North and National Health) and that alone makes this record indispensible.

Khan is not as typically quirky as the likes of Hatfield, no does it have quite the trippy vibes of Gong or indeed the Hillage masterpiece Fish Rising, but my goodness when our heroes get going, this is truly compelling stuff (I must say that the rhythm section of bassist Nick Greenwood, who also handles most lead vocals, and Eric Peachy aren't outstanding, but they are far from weak either).

My favourite pieces are the free-flowing (and occassionally hard-rocking!) title track, Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains (which starts off with a great blues-rock riff before launching into a kick-ass exchange of solos between our two heroes, with some great basswork from Greenwood thrown in as well) and Driving To Amsterdam (which alternately rages and reflects) but they are all good. Stranded is a dreamier, laid-back electric piano dominated piece that curiously evokes an image of a ragged-sounding America, also features a rare acoustic guitar solo from Hillage. Hollow Stone Escape Of The Space Pirates is a charming Caravanesque psych epic that includes a mesmerizing multi-tracked solo from Hillage and Stargazer also has some dizzying moments.

Even though it's a hard album to track down, I'm going to have to insist that you do. I seriously doubt you'll regret it. ... 84% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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