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HATFIELD AND THE NORTH

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Hatfield And The North picture
Hatfield And The North biography
Formed in October 1972 - Disbanded June 1975 - Some reunions thereafter (1990, 2005)

Excellent band from the Canterbury school, with extreme explored musicianship, led by the ex CARAVAN leader and bass player Richard SINCLAIR. His strong and characteristic vocals add a lot to the music, already rich in instrumentation. Keyboardist Dave Stewart is another big player here, bringing up the atmosphere with his valve saturation driven keyboard sounds.

Agreed. But both "The Rotter's Club" and their self titled first are easily the best albums of the mid 70s. Basically "TRC" is probably the next step the average prog fan should take into exploring Canterbury after CARAVAN's best albums. This is outstanding music - Canterbury at its best!

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HATFIELD AND THE NORTH discography


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HATFIELD AND THE NORTH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.28 | 839 ratings
Hatfield and the North
1974
4.21 | 608 ratings
The Rotters' Club
1975

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 34 ratings
Hatfield and the North Live T.V. 1990
1991
4.09 | 4 ratings
Access All Areas
2015

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.08 | 11 ratings
Classic Rock Legends
2001

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 22 ratings
Afters
1980
3.98 | 30 ratings
Hatwise Choice - Archive Recordings 1973-1975, Volume 1
2005
4.11 | 27 ratings
Hattitude
2006

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 9 ratings
Let's Eat (Real Soon)
1974
4.00 | 2 ratings
John Peel Session (12th January 1973)
2010

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hatfield and the North by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.28 | 839 ratings

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Hatfield and the North
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars If you join musicians from Caravan, Khan, Egg, Matching Mole, Gong and so on, the risk of getting an "explosive" mix is really high.

From these experiences came Richard Sinclair, Pip Pyle, Phil Miller and Dave Stewart who, also cashing in the collaboration of the great Robert Wyatt, gave birth in 1973 to Hatfield & The North. This experience will be one of the highest peaks in Canterbury Sound, only two albums, but which have left their mark. The debut album, of the same name, contains the best of the characteristics of the musicians and their musical histories. The wonderful cover "dresses" this work in the best possible way. The balance is perfect between the "Caravan" melodies and jazz-style improvisations. The overall sound - except perhaps only for the distorted electric guitar - is extraordinarily current.

After the introduction of "The Stubbs Effect", almost a backward music box, the evocative and unmistakable voice of Sinclair immediately brings us back to a distinctly Caravan atmosphere with "Big Jobs (Poo Poo Extract)", but it is with "Going Up To People And Tinkling "that the album immediately reveals its most genuinely jazz-rock vein thanks above all to the dynamism of Stewart's keyboards and Pyle's composed and precise drumming style. Wyatt for his part, recently back in business after the absurd accident that will force him into a wheelchair, makes his one of the best known songs of the album, "Calyx", creating perfect vocalizations in a song with original and unexpected arrangements as well as almost diaphanous sounds and melodies with anarchic and enthralling lines, typical of the Canterburian sound. Follows the long journey of "Son Of 'There's No Place Like Homerton'" that accompanies the listener for over ten minutes, with the 'Northettes' that at a certain point delight the whole performance with their angelic voices, making the diaphanous and enchanted atmosphere and in doing so as a fluid introduction to a sort of more jaunty and vaguely prog rhythm with which the valuable piece ends. And so, slowly, even the following pieces alternate unpredictable and jazzy rhythms with prog modulations (especially in "Shaving is boring"), often melancholy but never heavy or an end in themselves, always and in any case in the most typical style of Canterbury Scenes. The fifteen tracks are only a pretext for sublime improvisations and sound strokes of undoubted value. Finally, it ends, as in an ideal musical circle, with other "Stubs Effects" that seem to close the hypothetical music box.

What is striking, in addition to the quality of the music proposed, is also the experience in being able to enjoy all the songs without any interruption, in a single composition made possible by the effective final mixing, almost anticipating listening on Compact disc. It goes without saying that Richard Sinclair's presence and creativity, despite the participation of the other members in the musical composition, remain on the whole the demonstration of an undeniable talent within an excellent and historic album like "Hatfield and the North".

 Afters by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1980
4.20 | 22 ratings

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Afters
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars HATFIELD AND THE NORTH existed from 1972 to 1975 before disbanding and they released two studio albums over that time. So it's seems a little curious that their label would release a compilation album in 1980 when the band only had two recordings. Well a closer look reveals that this record has 16 tracks and of those four are from their self titled debut, and seven songs from "The Rotters' Club". The opening two tracks are alternate versions from the debut recorded the year after in 1974. Then we get three live tunes including "Halfway Between Heaven And Earth" recorded live in London in 1972 plus "Oh Len's Nature!" recorded live in France in 1975 and then "Lything And Gracing" live in France in 1974. Of course the band is beyond amazing and a legendary four piece with maybe the best keyboardist I've heard in Dave Stewart, plus Phil Miller guitar, Pip Pyle drums and Richard Sinclair bass and vocals. Not worthy! Guests include The Northettes, Mont Campbell and his french horn, Jimmy Hastings sax and flute, Robert Wyatt vocals, Lindsay Cooper bassoon and oboe and Tim Hodgkinson clarinet.

So "Afters" is well worth it in my opinion and man how can you not give anything this band has done anything less than 4 stars? So melodic and humerous and yet challenging. Distortion!

 Hatfield and the North by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.28 | 839 ratings

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Hatfield and the North
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by dougmcauliffe

4 stars Short Review//

This is a very pleasant and cozy record full of very free flowing and generally pretty, mellow music. The lineup is incredibly stacked, but honestly, just having the name Dave Stewart attached is already enough to sell me on it. There are parts of this record that actually make me laugh out loud. The pure absurdity of having the sound of someone picking up a ringing phone, just to hear Richard Sinclair singing the chorus of the song on the other end always gets me. Robert Wyatt pokes his head in for the memorable and psychedelic "Calyx," but it's the following track where for me, the album really hits a stride: "Son of There's No Place Like Homerton." I love the big celebratory sounding payoffs in this track and the brilliant interplay between the four members, which is a sentiment I can echo for pretty much all the material on this album. These guys are dialed in, and most certainly on the same wavelength. While this track has those big energetic moments, there's a lot of quieter, intimate, female vocal led passages as well that offer a nice contrast within the music. I also really dig the track "Aigrette" being a very upbeat and melodic shorter piece. It reminds me of something you might see on a Camel record around the same time. The North Fol De Rol is very meditative and flowing, giving you some room to breathe before the more chaotic and frantic "Shaving is Boring." The last track i'll highlight is the menacing and evil sounding "Gigantic Land Crabs In Earth Takeover Bid." What a song title! Overall there are some moments during this albums runtime where my attention drifts a little bit during. Mostly in some of the mellower passages. I'd say I prefer the more calculated sound of the follow-up band of sorts: National Health. But there's certainly a time and a place for this memorable release, I love walking through the woods to some Hatfield.

4 stars

 The Rotters' Club by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.21 | 608 ratings

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The Rotters' Club
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Psychedelic Paul

3 stars HATFIELD & THE NORTH were a two-album Canterbury Scene band, named after the well-known A1 Motorway sign on the Great North Road from London to Edinburgh. Their first eponymously-titled album passed by virtually unnoticed at the time of its release in 1974, but their second album "The Rotters' Club" (1975) is much better-known. The line-up for this second album featured Dave Stewart on keyboards, Phil Miller on guitar, Richard Sinclair on bass and lead vocals, Pip Pyle on drums, a 4-piece brassy horn section and a 3-piece female choir of Barbara Gaskin, Amanda Parsons & Ann Rosenthal, collectively named The Northettes.

The opening song "Share It" sounds strangely familiar, even upon first hearing. This upbeat jaunty Jazz-Rock number is very reminiscent of both Caravan and Camel. There's no doubting that Hatfield & the North are an English band from Richard Sinclair's clear-cut vocals, which sound as English as fish & chips. The obscure lyrics are a riddle wrapped in an enigma though, but that only adds to the quaint English charm of this catchy tune . Here's a brief opening taster of the lyrics:- "Tadpoles keep screaming in my ear, Hey there! Rotter's Club! Explain the meaning of this song and share it" ..... The bizarre meaning of this particular song will perhaps forever remain shrouded in mystery, when even the singer sounds baffled by the abstruse lyrics. And now for a little instrumental lounge music with "Lounging There Trying", which sounds like the kind of sophisticated improvisational Jazz you might listen to whilst coolly sipping a gin and tonic in a trendy cocktail lounge. There's no clue as to what the strangely-titled "(Big) John Wayne Socks Psychology on the Jaw" might be all about, because it's a brief 43 second instrumental, and the slightly discordant music bears little relation to the bizarre song title. This leads us into the even shorter "Chaos at the Greasy Spoon", which does indeed sound chaotic and a bit of a tuneless mess to be absolutely honest, so it's something of a blessed relief that it's less than half-a-minute long. Next up is "The Yes No Interlude" which is not so much an interlude, but more of an extended 7-minute instrumental jam session, where the musicians throw caution to the wind with gay abandon and let loose with some wild and improvisational Canterbury Scene Jazz. We're back to more familiar territory with "Fitter Stoke Has A Bath", which sounds like a typical lively Jazz-Rock song that Caravan might have recorded, although the meaning of the weird song title and lyrics are just as obscure as Hatfield & the North's instrumental numbers. Here's a brief example of the totally nonsensical lyrics:- "Bing billy bong - silly song's going wrong, Ping pong ping, clong cling dong, Tie me up, turn me on, Bing billy bang, Desperate Dan, frying pan, Cling clong cling, Bong bing bang, Michael Miles, Bogey man," ..... Yes indeed! Song lyrics don't come much sillier than that! They sound like the kind of wacky lyrics you might have heard in a typical Eurovision Song Contest entry from the 1970's. There's a return to some kind of normality - or whatever passes for normal in the bizarre musical world of Hatfield & the North - with "Didn't Matter Anyway". This is a gentle Caravan-esque song floating on a mellow wave of flute and delicate keyboards. It's the most approachable and easy-to-listen-to song on the album. You can just relax and let the worries and cares of the day slip away listening to this gorgeous insouciant song, because whatever might have been troubling you, it probably "Didn't Matter Anyway".

It's time now to don a dinner jacket and order a dry martini - shaken not stirred - for the Side Two opener "Underdub", because it's another pleasant cocktail lounge diversion to while away four minutes of spare time whilst waiting for your dinner date to arrive for the evening. And finally, we arrive at the 20-minute long suite "Mumps" to close out the album. The music is divided into four parts with the kind of weird and crazy titles that we've come to expect by now:- 1. "Your Majesty Is Like a Cream Donut (Quiet)"; 2. "Lumps"; 3. "Prenut"; 4. "Your Majesty Is Like a Cream Donut (Loud)". The Jazzy Canterbury Scene music is just as eccentric and off-kilter as the titles suggest, featuring another wild excursion into uncharted realms, occasionally sounding atonal and disjointed, but always unexpected and totally unpredictable. It's an endlessly complex arrangement that deserves to be listened to several times to truly appreciate the musical diversity on offer here.

"The Rotters' Club" is undoubtedly an essential album for fans of the Canterbury Scene sound, but it's not so essential for Prog-Rock fans generally. The album won't be to everyone's taste, because this is wild and improvisational Canterbury Scene music that's nowhere near as approachable and easy to listen to as the more melodic and harmonious sound of Caravan and Camel for instance. "The Rotters' Club" album is not for the uninitiated. If you've dipped your toes into the Canterbury Scene with Caravan, then Hatfield & the North by contrast are like jumping into the deep end. Their complex music veers more towards the Jazz Fusion end of the musical spectrum, than the more traditional British Jazz-Rock sound. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for some uninhibited and unrestrained Jazzy flights of fancy, then head on up the Great North Road to the sound of Hatfield & the North.

 Hatwise Choice - Archive Recordings 1973-1975, Volume 1  by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.98 | 30 ratings

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Hatwise Choice - Archive Recordings 1973-1975, Volume 1
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Hatfield and the North only release two albums in their brief existence - but those albums were such classics of the Canterbury scene that it's no wonder fans were left adamantly wanting more from their archives. Whilst some of the "new" song titles on here actually related to different recordings of familiar material, this mixture of radio, TV, and live recordings offers an insight into a more improvisational side of the band that the polished delivery of their studio material glosses over. I wouldn't put it on the same level as their two studio albums, but I wouldn't put it that far behind either.
 Access All Areas by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Live, 2015
4.09 | 4 ratings

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Access All Areas
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Demon Music Group Ltd has released a series of concert CD+DVD sets under the title Access All Areas. Artists in the series include e.g. Caravan, Gong, Ian Gillan, Wishbone Ash and Belinda Carlisle, but I'm not familiar with other releases.

The legendary Canterbury band Hatfield and the North was active in 1972 - 1975 and released only two studio albums. In 1990 "they were summoned by Central TV to make a one-off appearance in their Bedrock series of one-hour music showcases". Three members out of the definitive quartet were present: bassist-vocalist Richard Sinclair, guitarist Phil Miller and drummer Pip Pyle. Original keyboardist Dave Stewart was replaced by French pianist Sophia Domancich. Before going into music, I wish to point out that the sleeve notes by Michael Heatley serve also as a good introduction to Hatfield and the North in general, in addition to shedding light on the gig itself. An amusing anecdote told by Sinclair: "A relatively small audience was apparently under the impression that it was a heavy-metal gig", and so "while Caravan [five days earlier] had an audience of 400, ours started at 250 and dwindled to around 100 when most of the Hell's Angels left".

Admittedly the gig lacks notable interaction between the musicians and the audience; the camera views favour close-ups while wider perspectives of the venue as a whole are not really shown at all. However, this is not necessarily a big minus as the the camera work, ie. the visual quality, is fairly good, as is the sonic quality too. Sophia (Pip Pyle's girlfriend, as the sleeve notes reveal) looks like a teenage girl from the 80's with her permanented hair and a serious-looking concentration on the keyboard. But she's an amazing player! The longest piece 'Blott on the Landscape' is composed by her. Music is enjoyable all the way, the whole quartet is doing great job.

What is disappointing is the shortness of the release, 51 minutes (identical contents for both the CD and the DVD), even though it was an 80-minute performance. The set list here contains nine tracks. None of them is from the eponymous debut album (1973), three tracks originate from The Rotters' Club (1975): 'Share It', 'Underdub' and 'Didn't matter Anyway'. By the way, Heatley mentions that Jonathan Coe's novel named after the album has long since surpassed its inspiration in Google results.

Since I'm so fond of Richard Sinclair's elegant vocals, the jazzy song 'Share It' and the slow-paced, dreamy 'Didn't Matter Anyway' are very nice, more recognizable numbers in the set, which as a whole is dominated by newer instrumental, complex and jazz-oriented music. Another highlight featuring vocals is 'Halfway Between Heaven and Earth'. What a lovely tune that sort of epitomizes the entire Canterbury prog scene and its feelgood playfulness.

All in all, an enjoyable concert CD+DVD with its minuses such as the shortness. For the nice sleeve notes I'll round 3 stars upwards. For a Hatfield fan who wants more than the two studio albums, this is very recommendable.

 The Rotters' Club by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.21 | 608 ratings

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The Rotters' Club
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars The nascent seedlings that started with the naive jazz-rock attempts of a fledgling band called the Wilde Flowers in the mid-60s was ground zero for what would become England's unique contribution to the world of progressive rock which would be called The Canterbury Scene and after that band's initial formation and seemingly instant demise, the members which included the stalwarts of Robert Wyatt, Richard Sinclair, Hugh Hopper, Brian Hopper, Kevin Ayers, Richard Coughlan, Pye Hastings and David Sinclair would go on to attract new talent and set forth to cross-pollinate them into a fertile blend of jazz inspired improvisation that was indoctrinated into the disciplines of progressive rock with quirky pop sensibilities that adopted a healthy dose of humorous self- deprecation right out of the Zappa playbook.

After several members of the Wilde Flowers split and created two distinct strains of the Canterbury Scene in the distinct sounds of Soft Machine and Caravan, the scene didn't waste any time evolving into a powerhouse of musical complexity and innovation unlike anything else attempted in the early years of the progressive rock and jazz-fusion scenes. Through bands like Egg, Gong, Gilgamesh and Delivery, the scene was stubbornly self-contained and as incestuous as a soap opera script with almost every member of the scene having played with the other at some juncture of the journey. While 1968 would be the first inklings of a fully fueled style of jazzy prog rock that can be called The Canterbury Scene, it would only take a few short years for the quirky brand of jazz-rock to reach its logical apex of creative expression in the form of the supergroup HATFIELD AND THE NORTH.

This band that was the who's who of Canterbury consisted of ex-Delivery, Caravan and Matching Mole guitarist Phil Miller, ex- Arzachel, Egg and Khan keyboardist Dave Stewart, ex-Wilde Flowers and Caravan bassist Richard Sinclair, ex-Delivery and Gong drummer Pip Pyle. The band stunned the world with their dazzling self-titled 1973 album that consisted of a continuous flow of tightly constructed musical motifs that effortlessly blended the intricacies of jazz and progressive rock with serpentine melodies, challenging harmonies and utterly hilarious lyrical goofiness. Adding to the eclectic consummate endeavors of the bigwigs were the supplemental talents of several guest musicians and vocalists including Robert Wyatt and the sublime angelic beauty of the Northettes which consisted of Barbara Gaskin, Amanda Parsons and Ann Rosenthal. The album has remained an essential classic of the entire 70s prog scene.

While the band would seemingly dissipate as soon as it began, HATFIELD AND THE NORTH had another masterpiece up their sleeves before calling it a day and followed up the epic eponymous debut with this sophomore release THE ROTTERS' CLUB which followed in the footsteps of the debut and created another fascinating eclectic gumbo of the disparate musical elements that made the debut so over-the-top in its idiosyncratic outpouring of jazz-prog on steroids. With the main cast returning for the reprise, the guest musicians were trimmed down a bit with cameos from Henry Cow's Tim Hodgkinson (clarinet) and Lindsay Cooper (oboe) along with Mont Campbell on French horn who also performed in such Canterbury bands such as Arzachel and Egg. Also joining the team on this second endeavor were the magical vocal charm of the Northettes and although limited to a mere two tracks made a welcome reprise with another captivating performance. The sax and flute sounds are generated by the Pye's brother Jimmy Hastings.

If the debut of HATFIELD AND THE NORTH got fans of complex music completely salivating then THE ROTTERS' CLUB only added to the musical state of ecstasy with an even more challenging array of progressive rock, jazz fusion, pop sensibilities and avant-garde silliness all entangled into elaborate facades of musical munificence that found lighter-than-feather melodies zigzagging around and glazed with Minimoog runs, bass grooves and cleverly interlinked musical segments that conspired to create an unthinkable sum of the individual parts that constitute its magnanimous nature. While the album starts out with vocal led melodic jazz-rock on 'Share It,' the album drifts off into extended musical jams completely improvised and decorated with warm jazz fuzzies and avant-garde hairpin turns that ultimately culminate in the closing touches that include the exuberantly bubbly 'Underdub' and the monstrous 20 minute finale 'Mumps' which provides a masterful summary of the band's two album run and in retrospect the most brilliant note to end a short but explosively ambitious band effort.

After a soft and ethereal beginning which finds the angelic Northettes providing an atmospheric mood set, 'Mumps' meanders from energetic outbursts of keyboard profundity to guitar driven riffing. The lengthy track implements the thematic transitions of classical music but steered into jazz-rock directions which flirts with third stream sensibilities that would provide the blueprints for the next phase of Canterbury superstardom to evolve in the future National Health albums that would find Dave Stewart, Phil Miller, Mont Campbell and Amanda Parsons finding solidarity once again in achieving unthinkable Canterbury greatness. While the original album ended with 'Mumps,' the newer CD releases contain excellent bonus tracks that perfectly fit into the overall album run and offer an obviously intended extra roster of tracks that were most likely excluded only due to the technological limitations of the era.

When it comes to progressive rock classics, one can hardly scroll too far down the list without finding the two HATFIELD AND THE NORTH albums on the list. Each is a masterpiece in its own right with THE ROTTERS' CLUB usurping the debut in terms of complexity and ambitiousness rarely achieved even with the most talented bands of the era. This second offering is clearly the more difficult of the two to understand and requires a lengthy conditioning process as it is more convoluted and entangled with adventurous musical meanderings that walk the tightrope between jazz, progressive rock and experimental 20th century classical. While the pop melodies are instantly catchy, the labyrinthine compositions find them shapeshifting and hybridizing into strange new creatures but despite the monstrosity that THE ROTTERS' CLUB presents itself as, it still retains a warm and fuzzy feeling to it which is quite inviting for consistent return visits that allow its charm to sink in. Simply one of the best of the best!

 The Rotters' Club by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.21 | 608 ratings

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The Rotters' Club
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Walkscore

5 stars Excellent Follow-up.

This album continues in the same vein as its predecessor. It goes beyond that album, however, it being even more complex, with Dave Stewart's fabulous 20-min instrumental "Mumps" suite, which takes up side 2. This is one of progressive rock's essential epics, although some might find it a bit on the cold side (as in calculated and jazz-fusiony - actually, it is very similar to what would come later with National Health, which is understandable given that it is Dave Stewart). Side 1, meanwhile, is quite similar in format to the self-titled first album, with a number of poignant Richard Sinclair songs and highly original instrumentals. The only drawback to this album is that it doesn't have a song like "Calyx", which for me is not just the stand-out track on that first album, but an essential example of the Canterbury sound. Saying this, all the music on this album is of the same high quality as the first album, and for me, the two of these albums make up a core essential listening for the Canterbury sub-genre. I give Rotter's Club 9.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just 0.1 less than their first album.

 Hatfield and the North by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.28 | 839 ratings

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Hatfield and the North
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Walkscore

5 stars A Canterbury Star.

The joy of this music is how is mixes together the different approaches of its band members, adding up to more than the sum of its individual parts. Richard Sinclair's distinct singing and songwriting - poignant, whimsical and reflective (similar to Robert Wyatt's style) - meets Dave Stewart's hard-calculating virtuosity, which meets Phil Miller's penchant for the new (preferring to "play a wrong note than one he has played before", according to Robert Wyatt), and Pip Pyle's excellent complex drumming. Indeed, all of them have a whimsical, humourous side (Stewart in particular, with his song titles like "Lobster In Cleavage Probe", but also Pyle). The music is highly diverse and original, and both fun and challenging. And it often segues together effortlessly, taking the listener on a musical journey that is very satisfying. Very compelling. This is an album that has continued to grow on me over the years - I have never got tired of it. As a bonus, it contains the song "Calyx", which has Robert Wyatt guesting as the singer, and this has got to be one of the most archetypical Canterbury tunes. The inclusion of Calyx lifts this one slightly above their subsequent album "Rotters Club", but both are highly recommended. I give this album 9.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 5 PA stars.

 Hatfield and the North by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.28 | 839 ratings

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Hatfield and the North
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Kaelka

5 stars I sat at my keyboard to write a nice review, and then thought : what could I say about this album that hasn't already been said in all the previous reviews?

Nothing really.

So, just a little story then, one that will perhaps appeal to those who are visiting this page only because they wonder who's the band with the funny name.

The year is 1980, the place a middle-sized provincial town near the small provincial town where I was born. In those blessed times, there were still records shop (I don't know about your place, but they vanished from french provincial towns ages ago), and I was coming out of my weekly pilgrimage to the town's biggest records mall when I realized there was a tiny used-records shop next door. I wandered in and spent a few minutes rummaging through the stacks of albums and singles, and I finally extracted two battered-looking LPs and bought them at a ridiculously low price. As I was at a boarding school, I had of course no record-player, and I had to wait until going home the following Saturday to listen to them.

And it was love at first hearing, not with one of them, but with both! They're still around somewhere, probably gathering dust in the attic, but in due time their CD versions have replaced them. They're still in my heart, I listen to them almost every week, and they're still at the very top of my list of favorite albums.

Well you probably guessed that one of them was "Hatfield and the North" (and Jonathan Coe was wrong, it's so much better than "The Rotters' Club"). The other one was Wyatt's "Rock Bottom". Not bad for a few minutes of improvised shopping, eh?

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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