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DELIVERY

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Delivery biography
Also known as CAROLE GRIME'S DELIVERY, this outfit has an impressive line-up: brothers Phil and Steve Miller on guitars and keyboards, Roy Babbington on bass, Pip Pyle on drums, Lol Coxhill on saxes all backing up singer Carol Grimes - you would expect one Mother of a Canterbury group dishing out some killer jazz-fusion-rock. Well not quite! The results gives a bluesy-rock with slight Canterbury leanings and it probably reflects the fact that they existed since 66 but never recorded anything until 70.

This album will certainly appeal to those following the careers of the afore-mentioned musicians.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM`: : :

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Fools MeetingFools Meeting
Cuneiform 1999
Audio CD$10.35
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3.45 | 38 ratings
Fools Meeting
1970

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DELIVERY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Fool's Meeting' - Delivery (70/100)

As was often the case for progressive albums released on the cusp of 1970, Delivery's one and only LP Fool's Meeting sounds torn between prog innovations and the blues and psychedelic obsession of the late 1960's. In the case of this Canterbury Scene proto-supergroup (most of the members would go on to great success with the likes of Caravan, Gong and Soft Machine, among others) it's the fetishized American blues rock that keeps them grounded in the past. Although they do it well, it ultimately holds Fool's Meeting from being as distinguished and memorable as some of the records these musicians would work in later incarnations of their careers.

When it comes to this late Sixties' British response to longstanding American blues tradition, I'm most inclined to point the finger at the first two records from Led Zeppelin's career; there was no doubting where most of Zeppelin's influence was coming from, but they added a new kick that made it interesting. Delivery does much the same on Fool's Meeting, with the notable exception that while Led Zeppelin amped up blues with the fuzz of hard rock and proto-metal, Delivery has imbued the style with the nuance and interplay of jazz music. It's an incredibly promising combination, and when Delivery successfully manage to pair the two, the result is significant. "Miserable Man" in particular is a fantastic example wherein Delivery nail the atmosphere of both styles. Disappointingly, as the album progresses, the jazz aspect becomes less prominent, leaving the dated blues rock to preside, complete with predictable 12 Bar songwriting patterns. Delivery's jazz rock still finds its way through the cracks in the form of the occasional saxophone solo (as is the case in "Fighting it Out", but the excellent promise of Delivery's style doesn't feel realized here. Very fortunately for after-the-fact listeners however, the scaled fusion of jazz with psych and rhythmic rock would found the basis of the Canterbury Scene.

While the musicianship on the album is appropriately strong, the most memorable element of Delivery's music is undoubtedly the smoky voice of Carol Grimes. Although she's the only member that wouldn't have a lasting impact on the Canterbury Scene past Delivery, her vocals are excellent, wrapped up in a confident vibrato and charismatic presence that might warrant comparison to Robert Plant's bluesy howling on the early Zeppelin albums. More common comparisons to Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick are not beyond reason, but Carol Grimes takes a fiercer approach to her vocals. She would go on to play with a host of blues and jazz acts as the years went on, and while her post-Delivery albums might be worth checking out for her voice alone, it's something of a disappointment that we didn't get to hear her voice in any more progressive rock. With a voice like hers, I'm surprised she didn't become more of a legend. There's a gaggle of female vocalists in the 'occult retro rock' scene today that are trying to sound exactly like her, most probably without ever knowing it. Of course, none have ever truly succeeded.

To my chagrin, the Canterbury Scene has generally alluded my progressive rock listening experience. For what it's worth, Fool's Meeting is more than enough to pique my interest in the style, with the full knowledge that the album has only scratched the surface. Carol Grimes and Delivery have earned their respective spots as quiet legends in the British rock pantheon. Especially if you're a fan of Caravan, Gong, Hatfield and the North, National Health, Soft Machine or any of the other bands these guys would play future roles in, Delivery should stand as an excellent history lesson.

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by DeKay

4 stars This is a legendary album. The year of release and the band line-up make "Fools Meeting" somekind of a proto-Canterbury classic. Formed by brothers Steve (later in Caravan) and Phil Miller (later in Caravan, Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, National Health) on keyboards and guitar respectively, Pip Pyle (later in Gong, National Health, Hatfield and the North, Soft Heap) on drums and Jack Monck (later a member of the legendary Stars with Syd Barrett and Twink) on bass, who was replaced by Roy Babbington shortly afterwards, Delivery came to life with the addition of singer Carol Grimes. Legendary saxophonist Lol Coxhill, Roddy Skeaping and Caravan's Richard Sinclair appear as guest musicians in this album.

The musical style here is a blend of blues, jazz and prog rock, which defined the sound of many british prog rock bands for the rest of that decade. The level of experimentalism which made the Canterbury sound unique in the years that followed this release, are not so evident, mainly because the songs are vocally orientated and include many late '60s psych influences. However, "Fools Meeting" is the transition point to the sound of the bands which were later formed by these superb musicians. Phil Miller's distinctive (and so beloved) guitar style, Pyle's innovative drumming and Coxhill's incomparable improvisations in Delivery are the best hints for what happened from then on in Canterbury and expanded throughout Europe.

Two things concerning this album are sad. First, the blues influences (especially in side B) seem to restrict the band's jazz-prog obvious inclination. Second (not bad for the album, but still sad), this is the only participation of Carol Grimes in a Canterbury prog album and it is a real shame. Grimes moved on to a solo career as a singer, performance poet and vocal animateur, but I think that nothing of that matches up to her powerful singing in Delivery's sole album.

Favorite songs: "Blind To Your Light", "Miserable Man", "Home Made Ruin", "The Wrong Time".

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Another unknown act from the UK that I had never heard about it until recently. This group compromises of powerful singer Carol Grimes, backed by a dream team of musicians that would eventually become quite famous through the so called Cantebury Scene. Anyone vaguely familiar with that will recognise names like Steve Miller (Caravan), his brother Phil (National health and others), Roy Babbington (Soft Machine) and Pip Pyle (Hatfield & The North, among others). So it is an all star group, although no one knew it at the time. This rare LP was released in the CD format with a good remastering and four bonus tracks (two live tracks, one alternative track and one non LP track).

The music inside is very strong and impeccably played, of course, but nothing of what you might call groundbreaking or even too original. It is the blues rock style of the day, with some jazz influences. If you like this kind of music, then go for it! Carol Grimes may not have the most beautiful voices in rock but, boy, does she know how to deliver! (pun intended). She reminds me of early Jefferson Airplaneīs singer Signe Anderson and does a great job here. What a pair of pipes! It makes you wonder how they were in front of an audience (the live tracks give a hint that they were very promising). This LP should have had better luck at the time it was released.

All tracks are good and the production is ok for the period (quite enhanced by the new remastering).

Rating: even for a non blues rock fan like me, it was obvious that this band could have gone very far if they stayed together a little longer. it is a shame they didnīt. And this release is proof of that. It deserves 3,5 stars at least.

Do you like jazz tinged blues rock? Then listen and judge for yourself. You wonīt be disappointed.

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Do we need another Jefferson Airplane ?

Or make that a plain plane crash. This band is a so-called super group. Carol Grimes is doing a good job on the vocals, singing in the typical US west coast style Grace Slick made famous. Behind her, she has musicians from Gong, Hatfield & The North, National Health, Caravan and Soft Machine. All of them makes does their best on songs that goes nowhere. The music is a mix of blues and jazz. The mix is very unoriginal in a scene who was overcrowded with pub bands and major acts who did this type of music. You could not even walk into a bar at that time without being confronted with sounds and bands like this.

That was my gripes with this album, as you may have guessed. That and the weak standards of the songs. On the positive side, this album closes with a good jazz tune called One For You where everyone chips in and saves this album from the turkey yard. Besides of that, this album is pretty dire.

2 stars

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fools Meeting - and what a meeting it is !!! This album features an eclectic blend of Blues and Jazz with a very progressive approach. Starring an impressive cast of (future) Canterbury luminaries ; Phil Miller (Guitars), his brother Steve on Piano, Pip Pyle (Drums) Roy Babbington (Bass Guitar) - one cannot help but to expect something special. Add to this the sweet, sweet voice of one Carol Grimes (and boy, does she sing her heart out). Her vocal styling is full of tremolo, something akin to Grace Slick or Signe Anderson from the early Jefferson Airplane, and also special guest Lol Coxhill (Saxophones), whose contribution to the songs is priceless. Phil M's trademark style of Guitaring can be witnessed here, as he holds many solo spots, and is the main composer. Steve M's jazzy Piano playing has a unique air to it - at times his Piano doesn't have sustain, so his notes are short and sharp, making for a more interesting sound. The rhythm section is quite excellent - Babbington is already playing with amazing skill and dexterity, those that are familiar with the Karl Jenkins led Soft Machine should agree that he is quite a Bassist. Pyle's Drumming is very busy, and he shows often that he can play outside the confines of regular 4/4 beats. Coxhill is up there with the likes of Elton Dean and Gary Windo, with his lungs full of fury, blowing up a whirlwind of seldom heard sounds with his affected Sax. Of the 8 tracks on the LP (Tapestry re-issue, couldn't afford an original - been searching since around 1990) there is rarely a dull moment, each song is constructed in such a way that changes tempos regularly and never stays too long in one place. The music is not particularly indicative of 'Canterbury', the more Bluesy moments are when Grimes is singing, the instrumental parts suddenly take off in another direction, be it Jazz, Avant-Garde or Rock. I suppose if Steve utilised some fuzzy organs and e-piano it could be a genuine Canterbury sounding article. Best songs are possibly 'Miserable Man' (8.28), 'Home Made Ruin' (3.23), 'The Wrong Time' (7.50), and 'Fighting It Out' (5.48), but the album as a whole is an enlightening experience.

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by Doc_Mao

4 stars A very great combo! I had to admit I first buy this album because I'm attracted by the canterbury-school line-up. When you first play the cd you're shocked by the bluesy sound that this band produces. But when you accept that's really Steve Miller Caravan's player that plays a really beatiful bluesy piano, you could really love the lp. The best newly element is the voice of Carol Grimes, a warm and rich voice that's really fit the music. Throughout the disc you could really listen the canterbury atmosphere too, and it's really interesting ear these genious musicians at work with a so different musical genre. Really a good addition to your music collection!!!

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by Gigi

4 stars Delivery is a band built up through great musicians, who will make Canterbury scene's fortune during the seventies, to support the fabulous voice of Carol Grimes ( not by chance also the group is known as CAROL GRIMES' DELIVERY). All that she needed was a guitar (Phil Miller), a piano (Steve Miller), a bass (Roy Babbington), drums (Pip Pyle), and a saxophone (the incredible Lol Coxhill).

Her voice is typically bluesy, very delicious, but amanzingly the outcome is not not just blues: it is a clever mix of rock-blues, rock-jazz, free-jazz, and so on. The explenation is due to the time gap between the foundation time (in the 1966) and their only record (in the 1970).

In my opinion, the music is really anchored to the voice of her. But when it rises from the stuff it becomes excellent (listen to "Miserable man", "Is it really the same", "The wrong time", or "Fighting it out"). Then it's difficult to understand the fantastic development of Canterbury scene if you don't know this (unluckly very rare) album. Highly recommended!

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by juha.ridanpaa

5 stars It is a tiny lapse to link Fool's Meating just with cantenbury scene, though on the grounds of artists playing there, it's quite understandable. I think that progressive 60-s' jazz/blues would be a much better categorization for this one.

DELIVERY has quite unique sound and oringinal style but if you have something against not- so-well-produced-carage-sounds, then this one is not for you. Even though you wouldn't like the songs, the record is enjoyable enough because of Carol Grimes's beautifully frenzied rasp voice (caused by eating gravel - as mentioned on the sleeve). The reason why Fool's Meating eventually became neverheard undergound record lies propably on those sudden epileptic free-jazz outbursts that their saxo-player sometimes has; for example in the middle of "Blind To Your Light". But I think every prog-lover has already adjusted to those pratfalls - some even like these things.

As mentioned, if sound quality is a big issue for you, then avoid this one. The whole thing of DELIVERY is based on shabbiness, not only in terms of sound quality, but also in terms of their inactivity to try to prove their playing skills. It's a kind of joke: "Mirerable Man" needs miserable sounds and miserable players (though you know these guys/girls are not so miserable). There are many reasons for why Fool's Meating deserves to be valued as essential masterpiece of progressive music and why it lies on my Top 5, but propably the most important reason lies one that moody shabbiness in their songs. "Miserable Man" really feels miserable. And that has been only connection with cantenbury scene that I have found there - that paradoxically melancholy joy of life which CARAVAN sometimes has ("life's too short to be sad..."). Fool's Meating is a good record if you don't already know why blues is named as being blue and together with its creative compositions and Carol Grimes's adorably frenzy voice, well, I can give only 5 stars, though I'd love to give even more.

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

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Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars It would diserve a third star if the personnel was not so star-studed. Also knowm as Carol Grimes's Delivery, all of these superb and crazy musicians along with not anyless superb and crazy guests should have done a real masterpiece. Alas , deception is around the bend as his appears to be just a bluesy rock album and not even wild at that. I expected much more of this album , so I resist the temptation to give a real low rating to draw your attention but because this is not bad in itself I will give it a For Fans Only.

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 Fools Meeting by DELIVERY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 38 ratings

BUY
Fools Meeting
Delivery Canterbury Scene

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

3 stars DELIVERY was founded in 1966. This is a reissue of their very rare 1970 album that has been out of print for close to 30 years. It has been a rare collector's item with a used price of $250 and up. The reissue contains the original album, a non-LP single, an alternate take and two live tracks.

The music is a mix between blues, Canterbury, Jazz, psychedelic and progressive rock. The musicians on this album has found fame in other bands since this release. This was their first recordings before they went on to band such as CARAVAN, GONG, HATFIELD & THE NORTH, MATCHING MOLE, NATIONAL HEALTH and SOFT MACHINE. My favorite tracks are "Blind To Your Light", "Miserable Man", "Is It Really The Same" and "Harry Lucky".

The CD-booklet is very informative with a full history of the band together with rare photos. I really enjoyed this album and I think that many of you will too, especially if you're into the Canterbury bands mentioned in this review.

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