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Hatfield And The North - Hatwise Choice - Archive Recordings 1973-1975, Volume 1  CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.00 | 33 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I've only received this excellent CD this morning in the mail, and have listened through twice, but am already thrilled with this resuscitated bit of history. The sound quality of the BBC recordings is (as always) excellent, the production very fresh and contemporary, and these cuts contrast well with the rawness of the concert excerpts, which vary in quality. An essential listening experience for Canterbury fans, in that one hears how they arranged and performed their music for live shows, as opposed to the carefully constructed studio work. There are also some rather ferocious avant-garde improvs, which show another side of their playing. Miller's guitar playing and Stewart's always cutting edge organ can be fully appreciated at length in all their glory. The album also provides an important missing link in the Canterbury lineage, in that it features several of Miller's pieces from Matching Mole, which formed much of their live repetoire at the start, like the seminal "Ethanol Nurse". The song "K Licks" seems also to be from this period, and Sinclair tries his best at Wyatt-like psychedelic scatting, not quite pulling it off. There are also cuts I've never heard, like "Laundry Soup", a ripping funk which veers into "Effing Mad Aincha", a screaming improv which seems like a hommage on Emerson's organ feedback abuse (an influence Stewart always graciously cites). Some may miss the luscious vocal arrangements with the Northettes, but again, it's great to hear how they handled this materiel as a live quartet. Only one star off for the sometimes dubious sound quality, but essential listening for fans of the most essential of the Canterbury formations.
RoyalJelly | 4/5 |


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