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Fuchsia - Fuchsia CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.87 | 67 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars FUCHSIA were a British Prog-Folk band who released just one self-titled album in 1971 and then promptly disappeared from the scene, in common with many other one-album bands of the era. The album has now come to be regarded as a lost classic and their music has been compared with the Psych-Folk of Comus. If you like the music of Comus, then you're sure to like this album too. The band were a six-piece outfit, featuring a male lead vocalist and guitarist (Tony Durant), a bass guitarist, a drummer, and a mini-choir of three female vocalists providing backing harmonies and playing various instruments, including violins & cellos. Although the original album virtually disappeared without trace in the early 1970's, the band re-emerged in 2013 with another studio album "Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia to a Distant Place" with Tony Durant still there at the helm. This second studio album has also now become something of a rarity. There's also a compilation album available "Fuchsia, Mahagonny & Other Gems", released in 2005. A CD reissue of the original Fuchsia album in 2018 contained enough bonus tracks to make it a double album. Let's have a listen now and see whether Fuchsia are a rare flowering beauty or whether they're going to wither on the vine.

The album blossoms into life with "Gone with the Mouse", a very proggy-sounding song which sounds like Fairport Convention with bells on. One wonders what a song with such an obscure title could possibly be about. Well, it's a tale of derring-do in a medieval kingdom with gallant knights battling to defend a maiden's honour, in time-honoured tradition. The song is abounding with the sound of acoustic guitars, violins & cellos and lovely vocal harmonies from the 3-part girl choir. This song is as English as strawberries & cream at Wimbledon with the charming English accents of the singers very much in evidence. It's traditional English Folk with a progressive twist, and very good it is too. This album promises to be very special indeed if this opening number is anything to go by. Once more into the breach dear friends with "A Tiny Book", one of the two long songs on the album with a running time of just over 8 minutes. There are cellos and violins galore on this song, giving it something of a classical feel. The Prog-Folk elements are all there though, with fast-paced drumming, dextrous guitar riffs and constant changes of pace. It's compulsive, it's progressive, and above all, it's very impressive. Onwards and upwards now with "Another Nail", another tale of nefarious goings-on in medieval times. There' a long 3-minute instrumental intro in this entertaining fast-paced number. It's a real humdinger of a song, guaranteed to get the feet tapping with its sprightly rhythm. In keeping with the medieval theme of castles & kings and gallant knights, the song opens with these lyrics, "Is that your daughter, Drinking some water, Laid on an altar, Selling a king for his crown?" ....... It's another 7 minutes of pure Prog-Folk joy and delight. The intriguingly-titled "Shoes and Ships" is up next. The cryptic lyrics are a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but who cares when the music is this good!? If you like the conventional Folk-Rock of Fairport Convention, and you'd like to hear it given an unconventional progressive twist, then this is the album for you. We come to "The Nothing Song" now, although this 8-minute wonder has everything! It's a lively and stirring number that proudly wears it's English heart on its sleeve. It's all about a day in the life of a typical Englishman, going out on a Saturday night, and having a long lie-in on Sunday - and what better way to spend a Sunday morning than lying back and listening to this wonderful album. And now for the penultimate song on the album "Me and My Kite", a jolly little tune with whimsical lyrics to lead us onto the seventh and final song, "Just Anyone", to play out the album. It's a brooding and mysterious song with enigmatic lyrics and it's a marvellous ending to a superb album overall.

For any fans of Prog-Folk out there who are looking for something fresh and original in the style of Fairport Convention & Fotheringay stirred into a progressive cocktail, then look no further than this compelling album of English Prog-Folk at it's very best. Fuchsia are blooming marvellous!

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |


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