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Bread Love And Dreams - The Strange Tale Of Captain Shannon And The Hunchback From Gigha CD (album) cover

THE STRANGE TALE OF CAPTAIN SHANNON AND THE HUNCHBACK FROM GIGHA

Bread Love And Dreams

 

Prog Folk

3.09 | 17 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars This is their second album released, but it was recorded at the same time as Amaryllis, as the original idea was to release a double album as their idols Incredible String Band had with WEE Tam & The Big Huge. But there was no way that their label would as they simply didn't believe in this group, only producer Horrick forcing the three albums deal to conclude. Now reduced to a duo, it's difficult not to keep comparing them to ISB. Graced with a superb psych and fantasy artwork, but also labelled with one of those unlikely lengthy name, Capt Shannon & Hunchback From Gigha is a selection of the double sessions, but does not carry better or more commercial tracks, although there are a few potential winners for attention. With the Pentangle's Danny Thompson and Tony Cox on the rhythm section, Tales is an excellent example of acid folk rock.

Past the expandable Dylan-esque opener, the album's real start is on the magnificent and upbeat Masquerade, where McNiven vocals get superb echoes from Rew's rebuttals. Excellent, tense, and the Pentangle members are on top of their games. Cigarette of course pales in comparison and if He Who Knows All build promises, Lobster Quadrille fails to capitalize and drive the opening side home. The flipside starts on a short Angie Rew monologue, but if Butterfly Land takes you to exotic isles, it is former member Carolyn Davis' last remaining track Purple Haze Melancholy that draws attention because she's backed with a bunch of distant horns, but it fails to materialize into something potent. The title is clearly the album's second highlight (but not better than Masquerade) with its 7 minutes, it is a delicate song filled with added instruments and closing with footstep on the beach.

It's hard to tell you who was right about the double album issue, but releasing them as one would've probably meant to sacrifice one of the two superb artworks, and most likely it would've been maybe a little long a listen in one shot. So most likely the label knew their job best: even though they did nothing to promote BL&D, it's also not that hard to see why they didn't really believe in them. Too derivative (of ISB and DSS), and drowned in a sea of folk rock that was a full block ahead of them (folk was now electrified ala Fairport or Trees), but they were simply too na´ve for 1970 & 71. Whether this or Amaryllis is your call, because for me, they're fairly equal, but here Masquerade is their best shot.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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