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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


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.28 | 814 ratings
Hatfield And The North
1973
4.21 | 590 ratings
The Rotters' Club
1975

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

2.99 | 33 ratings
Hatfield and the North Live T.V. 1990
1991
4.05 | 3 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)

4.35 | 20 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 | 1 ratings
John Peel Session (12th January 1973)
2010

HATFIELD AND THE NORTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Rotters' Club by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.21 | 590 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
4.05 | 3 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 | 590 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 | 590 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, 1973
4.28 | 814 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, 1973
4.28 | 814 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?

 The Rotters' Club by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.21 | 590 ratings

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The Rotters' Club
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Mens1MeterDash

5 stars This might just be my favorite album of all time. Any genre, period. And it's an *album* meaning that each song flows into the next.

I listened to this just about every day for a year or two while attending Berklee College of Music and at the end of that period, I still couldn't say for certain which parts were improvised vs. composed, where one song started or ended. Well, some points are obvious, and on the CD, the tracks are labeled, but with the vinyl, it all sort of blended together.

Other questions too, like "Is Phil Miller an abstract genius, or is he just terrible?" plagued me for years. Clearly he's not a technical wizard and you can hear him hit some obvious clams in the solos, but he's not marching to the beat of anyone else's drum, he does a lot of upper-structure triads with his harmonizations and he composed some of the best pieces (like Underdub). So, yeah, he knows what he's doing, but he's just raw and a little outside.

I know the general consensus is that the first (self titled) album is better, but I have to disagree. It has some high points, to be sure, but this one is just more mature. After listening to them both for 25 years or so, I really don't want to listen to the first album any more, yet I'm almost always delighted when this one comes on shuffle.

In terms of it's place in Prog Rock, I can't say this album is better than Kind of Blue, Birds of Fire, Permanent Waves, The Yes Album, One Size Fits All, or In Absentia. But I like it just the tiniest smidgen better than those and musically I put it in the same league. Thus: favorite album of all time.

 Hatfield And The North by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.28 | 814 ratings

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Hatfield And The North
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

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

5 stars The Canterbury Scene is without a doubt an incestuous one with virtually every representative band having members engaging in the ole switcheroonie with one another throughout the style's heyday in the 1970s. While many bands came and went, none would be able to exemplify this particular type of whimsical jazz-rock-fusion more than the supergroup HATFIELD AND THE NORTH. This band meant business and was in effect a culmination of all the Canterbury styles that came before. A sifted, refined and filtrated jazz-rock-fusion enigma that still sends shockwaves into the first-time listener by impregnating the casual progressive rock lover's ears with music so flirtatious and sublime that if one is not addicted to this particular brand of music yet, the gravitational forces of such magnanimous music will surely be the boon or bane to one's finances, for this particular album in general is one of my utmost gateway drugs into the extremities of the progressive rock archives and beyond the comfort zone from the more familiar and accessible sounds of Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis. My bank account has never been the same since :P

This is one of those albums that really demands multiple listens for the magic to unfold. Upon first listen i was only dumbfounded. I was not at all accustomed to music like this. This takes the most adventurous of both the jazz and rock worlds and melds them together seamlessly which is a testament to the top notch musicians involved in this rarest of projects, one that is so daring and oblivious to contemporary trends that it actually succeeds in transmogrifying the listener's consciousness into a state of sonic bliss that feels as if it is taking place in a dream state or in an alien setting far away from the mundaneness of the every day world. While i would have never even dreamt of this existing in my top tier of musical pleasures upon first listen, this eponymous debut album with the equally magnanimous followup "The Rotter's Club" have only recently gained enough mojo to blossom into new musical arenas in my world, one where musical genres blur in a sonic firestorm that only tintinnabulates the most pleasant of musical expressions.

Let me speak a bit about this unbelievable music. This is music for the gods and of the gods, for this is truly a prog supergroup of the highest level. This eponymous album comprises the absolute best in the Canterbury jazz-fusion scene and although the music itself focuses more on intricate instrumental prowess, there is more than enough comedic lyrical whimsy to suck the ego out of the transpositional chromaticisms and instead create a beautiful universal sound of surrender where the musical deities take the rei(g)ns and lead to one splendid sounding piece of work. The main players in this game are Phil Miller (Delivery, Caravan, Matching Mole), Dave Stewart (Arzachel, Delivery, Egg, Khan), Richard Sinclair (Wilde Flowers, Caravan) and Pip Pyle (Delivery, Gong) but the subordinate cast is JUST as essential for this brilliant soundscape which is deviously melodic with occasional touches of pure surrealism.

These subordinate entities include Robert Wyatt on vocals, Geoff Leigh (sax, flute), Didier Malherbe (sax), Jeremy Baines (pixiephone, flute), Same Ellidge and Cyrille Ayers (vocals) and the beautiful enchantresses called the Northettes: Amanda Parsons, Barbara Gaskin and Ann Rosenthal. All the tracks connect like an early Soft Machine album and elements of all the contributing players unfold here into a frenzy of some of the most sophisticated music ever to exist in the rock world. HATFIELD AND THE NORTH just nails it. I have to emphasize that this is an acquired taste but just like triple IPA beer or certain stinky varieties of cheese, one that is well worth the effort. This kind of music is truly unparalleled at this point of time and still to this very day remains some of the most demanding yet satisfying music that exists. A veritable masterpiece of the ages that just hasn't been discovered by everyone yet. Inaccessible like the tombs of a long lost undiscovered Pharaoh but beckoning the progressive rock love to explore the nooks and crannies of some of the most sophisticated music ever. Can you tell? I love this one :O

 Let's Eat (Real Soon) by HATFIELD AND THE NORTH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1974
4.04 | 9 ratings

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Let's Eat (Real Soon)
Hatfield And The North Canterbury Scene

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I like this too forgotten band a lot, as I like the Canterbury scene in general. Their music is witty, charming, happy and humorous. Or is 'humorous' an appropriate word? The so called humour music has never much appealed to me; for example the humorous side of Frank Zappa - even as he's roughly on the same musical map, ie. jazz-rock - tends to irritate me, and Spike Jones and such sonic slapstick is just awful. Actually melancholic music has averagely a bigger chance to move me than cheerful and happy. But in Canterbury I have the best exception to that rule.

This single was released the same year as the eponymous first album; the CD edition features both tracks as bonuses. 'Let's Eat (Real Soon)' is a happy, slightly naive song in the unmistakable Hatfield style. Richard Sinclair's vocals are light and elegant as always, there's the fuzzy organ of Dave Stewart, the easily identifiable guitar tone of Phil Miller and the relaxed, jazzy rhythm. The lyrics could be frankly any nonsense and still I'd like the song, but they're very nice too.

'Fitter Stoke Has a Bath' is composed by drummer Pip Pyle (who co-wrote 'Let's Eat' with Richard Sinclair). Though he's not as prolific composer in the Canterbury scene as e.g. Sinclair and Stewart, not to mention solo artists such as ROBERT WYATT and STEVE HILLAGE, he has done some very fine songs for the two bands that in my opinion are the best examples of what Canterbury is all about. NATIONAL HEALTH's 'Binoculars' may be the best Pyle song I know, but this one's also a pleasant slice of the style, featuring Sinclair's vocals.

A proper sleeve with a cover art would be nice, but this pair of (originally non-album) songs is worth four stars to me.

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

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