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Agincourt - Fly Away CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.52 | 17 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars Agincourt were a trio consisting of multi-instrumentalists and singers, John Ferdinando and Peter Howell alongside female vocalist Lee Menelaus. Ferdinando and Howell worked on several Psych-Folk albums together, although "Fly Away" (1970) was the only album released under the Agincourt name. The trio later recorded the album "A Game for All Who Know" under the name of Ithaca in 1973. The first release from Ferdinando & Howell was "Alice Through the Looking Glass" back in 1969 followed shortly after by "Tomorrow Come Someday" in the same year. In 1974 they released another album together under the pseudonym of "Friends" for their final musical partnership. Peter Howell later worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop - famous for the Doctor Who TV theme - during the 1970's and he went on to record a couple of New Age albums, "Legend" (1984) and "Aquarius Rising" (1991) on the New World Music label.

Right from the lovely opening of this album with "When I Awoke" you know you're in for a real treat. This is beautifully crafted English Folk music that even your granny could listen to and enjoy in her rocking chair. The song opens with a gently tinkling piano followed by acoustic guitar, but it's when you hear the charming and delightful vocals of Lee Menelaus for the first time that you realise this album is something very special indeed. Her voice will fill you with love and passion and a longing for days gone by, when talented musicians and singers were getting together to make albums like this full of marvellous Psych-Folk songs to treasure for all time. All three singers are featured together in perfect harmony in the next song "Though I May Be Dreaming" which conjures up images of an English country garden on a gorgeous summer's day. There are more pleasant harmonies to be heard on Song No. 3 "Get Together" which features a nice long Psych-Folk electric guitar break. "Joy in the Finding" is a very pleasant and uplifting instrumental which romps along in cheerful style with a flute featured prominently at the forefront, in the style of Jethro Tull in one of their more laid back moments. Next comes "Going Home", another lovely song which sounds like the epitome of quintessentially English Folk with beautiful harmonies and a very-pleasant electric guitar. "All My Life" is a slower number which again features those lushly rich harmonies alongside a gentle piano and guitar. "Mirabella" closes out Side One of the album in fine style with the lovely sound of Lee Menelaus on lead vocals once again. Ferdinando & Howell take the vocal leads for the Side Two opener "Take Me There" - another pleasantly-gentle relaxing number to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon in the English sunshine. There are more harmonic delights to be heard in the next song "Lisa", with the three singers uniting to create beautiful music together. "Dawn" opens with the sound of a haunting flute. It's another jaunty and upbeat number with more lovely harmonies from the three charming singers. "Barn Owl Blues" is a bluesy number as the title of the song implies, featuring a "vocalise" performance without any actual lyrics, in the style of "Prologue" by Annie Haslam of Renaissance. "Kind Sir" is the penultimate song on this superb album, featuring those beautiful three-part harmonies again, which are in delightful abundance on this charming Psych-Folk album. The 13th and final song "Through the Eyes of a Lifetime" is a 3-part song which opens with a spoken-word introduction in a charming English accent. It's the longest song on the album at over 5 minutes in duration and closes the album in marvellous style with the gentle sound of the piano and acoustic guitar with those Oh-So-Beautiful vocal harmonies again.

This is a charmingly beautiful English Psych-Folk album to delight the senses and leave one feeling in a cheerful and ebullient mood. The "Fly Away" album conjures up bucolic images of a pastoral idyll. The album is full to the brim with lovely harmonies and first-class musicianship which will take you right back to that wonderful never-to be-repeated musical era of the late 1960's and early 70's . It's thoroughly recommended for lovers of classic English Psych-Folk at its finest.

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |


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