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Hatfield And The North - The Rotters' Club CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.20 | 504 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The album starts out with a poppish song that would have been right at home on an early 70's Caravan album, "Share It" Richard Sinclair's vocals has that warm quality I love when it comes to Canterbury music. Yet, on the second track and onward, it's pure unadulterated Canterbury with its melding of jazz and English fusion with a bit of psych. Songs like the instrumentals "Lounging There Trying" and "Underpub" are short jazzy ditties that you'll typically hear by Canterbury bands, soft sounding with a smoothiness to them, they''re perfect bridges to the tracks that follow them. "(Big) John Wayne Socks Psychology On The Jaw", (love Canterbury song titles!) begins with fuzzed out horns that whams you straight out! Guitars and fuzzed out organs prove that the Hatfields can rock if need be. There's a cool sax that blips and burps midway through. A very challenging song that is plain perfect. But the main reason to purchase this album is the monster track, "Mumps". Starting out with the Northettes crooning and purring, it's everything that's wonderful about Canterbury music. It's a 20 minute track that takes multiple plays to appreciate all that goes on. It switches and turns all over the place, yet its as smooth as silk. The playing by the band is impeccable with the added bonus of Jimmy Hastings beautiful flute. The only negative I can heep on the track is the somewhat dated "la, la's" that are sprinkled about by the Northettes, otherwise its's a masterpiece. Rounding out my version on disc are 5 extra tracks culled from the "Afters" album. The highlight being the last track, a live version of "Lying And Gracing" which smokes!! If you'd like to try the genre, I wouldn't recommend any albums by Hatfield and the North. I would go with Caravan first. But if you like what you hear by Caravan and want to try something a little more adventurous, give this and their first album a spin. You won't be disappointed.
NJprogfan | 5/5 |


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