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THE STRANGE TALE OF CAPTAIN SHANNON AND THE HUNCHBACK FROM GIGHA

Bread Love And Dreams

Prog Folk


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Bread Love And Dreams The Strange Tale Of Captain Shannon And The Hunchback From Gigha album cover
3.11 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hymn for Sylvia (5:43)
2. Masquerade (4:52)
3. Sucking on a Cigarette (3:30)
4. Ho Who Knows All (4:50)
5. The Lobster Quadrille (2:42)
6. Butterfly Land (5:06)
7. Purple Haze Helancholy (3:48)
8. Sing Me a Song (2:12)
9. The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha (6:56)

Total time: 39:39

Line-up / Musicians

- David McNiven / vocals, guitar, flute, harmonica
- Angie Rew / vocals, guitar, percussion

With:
- Carolyn Davis / vocals & guitar (7)
- Allan Trajan / organ, piano
- Danny Thompson / double bass
- Dave Richmond / bass
- Terry Cox / drums
- Robert Cornford / conductor, orchestration (7)
- Graeme Robertson / orchestration (excl. 7)

Releases information

Artwork: Yvonne Hughes

LP Decca ‎- SKL 5048 (1970, UK)
LP Sunbeam Records ‎- SBRLP 5047 (2008, UK)

CD Si-Wan Records ‎- SRMC 0059 (2000, South Korea)
CD Sunbeam Records ‎- SBRCD5047 (2008, UK)

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BREAD LOVE AND DREAMS The Strange Tale Of Captain Shannon And The Hunchback From Gigha ratings distribution


3.11
(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
25%
Good, but non-essential (44%)
44%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

BREAD LOVE AND DREAMS The Strange Tale Of Captain Shannon And The Hunchback From Gigha reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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 naïve for 1970 & 71. Whether this or Amaryllis is your call, because for me, they're fairly equal, but here Masquerade is their best shot.

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Bread Love & Dreams recorded ‘The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha’ at the same time as their final record ‘Amaryllis’ in 1970, originally planning to release them as a double album. Like ‘Amaryllis’, ‘Strange Tale..’ has the outward appearance of being a concept album, but isn’t. Also, with the exception of former bandmate Carolyn Davis' appearance on “Purple Haze Melancholy” here, both albums feature the same lineup of remaining members Angela Rew and David McNiven, along with the Pentangle mates Terry Cox and Danny Thompson, and finally the late Allan Trajan on keyboards.

Beyond those similarities there are some distinct differences between the albums, beginning with that Carolyn Davis tune “Purple Hazy Melancholy”, a haunting and appropriately named, mellow-yet-tense folk hymn with lazily strummed acoustic guitar, imperceptible bass and a keyboard-driven orchestral-like arrangement. Coming in the middle of the album, this one makes for an abrupt and somber mood shift sandwiched between the more fluid “Butterflyland” and “Sing Me a Song”, both with harmonized vocals from Rew and McNiven along with a playful tempo and stilting organ bleats courtesy the understated Trajan. The album also opens with an almost beat-folk sounding tune in “Hymn for Sylvia”, and closes with the traveling-bard title track, so in that respect there is more variety than on either of their other two studio releases.

One thing about this album, and with acid folk music like it from the same period, is that the sense of wandering, travel and discovery is thick in both the lyrics and the innocent openness of the music itself. In the modern world of high fuel prices, recession and regional strife the idea of traveling via thumb and backpack around the world to meet fellow travelers and see what’s around the bend to discover is something that seems a world away. For folk artists like these guys it was a way of life, and the easy gait and generally positive attitude in their music reflect a simpler and more visceral life experience than what many of us experience today. After a stressful and unrewarding week this is just the sort of record that fits with a fading sunset, a gentle breeze and the warmth of the latter strands of summer.

Timing is everything I suppose; I first heard this album about a year ago during the winter and it had a completely different effect on me. It seemed dated, trite and a little bland. Time and temperament seem to have changed that – today this feels like the perfect soundtrack to the approaching evening.

Bread Love & Dreams were never much of a memorable band, and their albums would be totally unavailable were they not reissued on CD several years ago. And despite my current benevolent mood, this album doesn’t deserve to be hailed a masterpiece by any means. But the guitar playing has an easy gait, Rew and McNiven have voices that blend comfortably, and Allan Trajan has a way with keyboards that fits folk music quite well (when he decides to join in, at least). An easy three stars for ‘Strange Tale…’, and landing somewhere between the band’s debut and the more well-known ‘Amaryllis’, which by coincidence is exactly the order in which it was released. Enjoy it if you come across it.

peace

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Bread Love and Dreams second efford is quite a big improvement over their debut the year before. In fact, this now scotish duo (guitarrist Carolyn Davis had left after their first album) was quite on a roll and they recorded enough material for a intended double album. The recording disagreed and instead released two single Lps, this one and their final one Amaryllis some months after it. Neither would sell much leading to the band being sacked from their label and eventually breaking up not too long after that.

When I got the CD reissued I thought it might be a concept album of sorts, but it isnīt. The title just refers to the story told through the recordīs last (and, at a little over 6 minutes, the longest) track. And it is surely one of the albumīs highlight. This time they did a much better instrumental job recruiting real fine musicians to back them, including The Pentangle rhythm section of Danny Thompson on acoustic bass and Terry Cox on drums. Besides, I have to say that David McNiven and Angie Rew are quite good singers. The repertoire is good, but is a bit uneven, with some weak songs among other good ones like Masquerade and Hymn for Sylvia. Production is very good. The cover is another great work.

It seemed their recording company did almost nothing to promote them. However, it is doubtful Bread Love and Dreams could go very far with their sound: They were good, ok, but not outstanding in any way. And with very outstanding groups like Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, The Pentangle and several others, not many people were interested. And they did not have enough convincing songs to face such competition. But to be fair, I can say they did have their charm. And if you like british folk rock of the late 60īs youīll probably like this one. Rating: 2.5 stars that Iīll round to three because they did evolve.

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