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Galliard biography
Galliard is a sextet formed in the summer of 68, and developed a psychedelic type of brass rock, fronted by twin wind players Caswell and Smith and singer Geoff Brown. They recorded two albums on the Deram Nova label (the subsidiary prog label of Decca records) around the turn of the 70's decade, when brass rock was the rage. Their first album Strange Pleasure By Galliard, released in 69, was quite eclectic, ranging from Medieval to Flamenco/Spanish music. For their second album New Dawn, wind player John Smith was gone, but the group adjoined a mega brass section of four player, plus keyboardist Morton. This second album sounds a bit different, but we are still roughly in the same realm even if the spectrum is enlarged to folk and Indian raga.

:::: Bio written by Hugues Chantraine, Belgium ::::

Why this artist must be listed in :
essential but obscure psych brass rock

Strange Pleasure By Galliard (69)
New Dawn (70)

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GALLIARD discography

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GALLIARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.53 | 32 ratings
Strange Pleasure By Galliard
3.88 | 38 ratings
New Dawn

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3.00 | 4 ratings
Strange Pleasure ; New Dawn

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Strange Pleasure ; New Dawn by GALLIARD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.00 | 4 ratings

Strange Pleasure ; New Dawn
Galliard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This rather obscure British band had very original style. Besides Jazz Rock / Fusion, as they are categorized here, they played Brass Rock and Folk Rock with Medieval/Renaissance flavour, thus reminding at times either bands like IF, FLOCK and CHICAGO - or GRYPHON, who came a bit later. On more acoustic songs they approach bands like PENTANGLE or FOREST. Quite safe to say they are criminally undernoticed, if only one person before me has reviewed them!

This 2-in-1 disc I found from Helsinki Library (Finland). The release is really poor in the outlooks; no band historics or such, and even a confusing track listing. But a handy package to get both albums at once if only the music matters.

[A personal confession: Like with dozens of prog bands I've burnt into CD's during recent years, I am not yet that familiar with the music to give a deep review. This has always been my problem being a PA reviewer (unless I write about classics I've known for ages, of course). Well, in Galliard's case I won't compete with Sean Trane who has reviewed both albums analytically.]

To me these albums were quite uneven, ie. I chose only a handful of tracks for myself. Most likely I rejected songs of the Brass Rock wing (though GALLIARD are less brassy than IF which I liked less) and favoured more folkish ones. Or maybe it wasn't so much a case of unevenness but "less of this is enough" way of thinking. But anyway there were many songs I enjoyed, and I can recommend this band to anyone interested in the mentioned bands.

 New Dawn by GALLIARD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.88 | 38 ratings

New Dawn
Galliard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Galliard's second alum came out the following year of their debut's release with a major line-up change, even if five of six original members remained: while sax player John Smith departed, he was replaced by a four-man wind section, not including Caswell's trumpet. Also joining is keyboardist John Morton. While these are included as band members in a few reference books, some of the musicians play so few things, that most likely they were guest musicians (such as the well-known Harry Beckett playing on two tracks only). Again released on the Deram label, the album sports an all black cover and was recorded over the first seven months of 70 . While the album's name would suggest a new start, the album remains fairly close to their debut effort (at least in half the tracks), although there are a few stranger twists, like Indian sitars, flutes and more. Again, the majority of the 8 tracks are penned by singer/guitarist Brown, but two off them are shared with newcomer keyboardist Morton, Caswell writing the remainder. Another slight difference is that bassist Abbott gets many vocal duties as well.

After the opening title track, which sounds much like what Galliard did on their debut album with an enhanced brass section, a sitar opens the 9-mins Ask For Nothing before an enchanting flute gets the track rolling in a very trippy direction. This superb track keeps the sitar (played by guitarist Pannell) going throughout the whole track, even while it has veered into a rock structure, but before long it morphed into an electric raga, which gives an exhilarating sound with the acoustic sitar and the brass replies close to orgasmic levels, and the track slowly dying in an organized chaos. Grandiose!! The 6- mins Winter-Spring-Summer starts as a lovely flute-laden folky tune, but soon diverts in a fantastic jazzy tune where Harry Beckett's flugelhorn is simply divine, with Geoff Brown's vocals sounding like Cressida's Angus Cullen.

On the flipside, Open Up Your Mind returns to the quirky brass rock that they had developed in their debut album. The folky And Smile Again has Morton on accordion and somehow a Bert Jansch atmosphere escapes from the track, mostly due to Brown's vocals, but the typical Jansch general song delivery also helps. Next up is Something Going On, much reminiscent of early Chicago (the start of 25 Or 6 To 4), often changing tempo and offers some real songwriting for brass, and in the second part, and after a slower middle section with a trombone, the track slips into a joyful faster section, where Brown sounds again like Cressida's Cullen. Yet another highlight in this album that seem to collect them. The Caswell-penned Premonition is the best typical brass-rock track of the album, with Caswell's trumpet and Jenkins' sax pulling delightful solos. The closing 6-mins+ In Your Mind's Eyes starts on spacey modulator, guitar feedbacks and organ guts wailings, then the brass section jumping out of the box on a wild drum rising from the dead, the track constantly evolving through singing, guitar solo answered by merciless brass replies, this tracks rocks immensely and intensely., before dying much like it was born, amid spacey throes.

While obviously a more eclectic affair New Dawn is the worthy successor of Strange Pleasure, which this sophomore effort gives much of as well and even more. M%uch more adventurous than its predecessor, New dawn has a schizophrenic quality as half the tracks are pure brass-rock, but the other half is completely eclectic, and thankfully so. This second album is much worth the proghead's investigation and investment.

 Strange Pleasure By Galliard by GALLIARD album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.53 | 32 ratings

Strange Pleasure By Galliard
Galliard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Overlooking the strange ultra-green artwork, is some kind of semi-vampiric beast that should not deter prog fans much. Indeed this guitar and twin horn attack group is a sextet called Galliard and develops a mean but not lean psych-ey brass rock that can be likened to early Chicago, If , GSOE and the excellent Warm Dust. Although the band still has a 60's side to their sound, the aptly titled album is indeed quite a feast of sound that should please all classic-era progheads. Recorded n 69 and released on the prog label Deram Nova, the album stands as a very enthusiasming gem of the genre, with such good musicianship that it makes you wonder how these guys didn't make it big along with Warm Dust, while average bands like Greatest Show On Earth had more exposure.

Most of the 10 tracks, none over 5 minutes, are written by singer/guitarist Geoff Brown, but two of the by trumpet player Caswell, but you'd have a tough time telling apart the songwriters without the credits. The opening Skillet is an enthralling tune lead by a strong bass line, a discreet, yet present guitar and devilish brass replies that make the proghead's day. The smoother Fairy Tale is a mainly acoustic affair, meaning guitarist Pannell switched guitars and the two wind-players have sensibly less to do, except for Caswell's cute solo. Pastorale is a shorter brass-laden ditty, while Ribbons (also an acoustic number) has a cheesy chorus line, which combined with the brass intervention give a rather BS&T sound, that veers quickly in Spanish-type of music. Ending the vinyl side is the superb Children Of The Sun, where the brass section provides much dramatic interventions in the background, emphasising Brown's vocals and Pannell's good guitar lines over changing tempos.

Opening the flipside is the hard-hitting heavy brass and psychedelic Got To Make It, sounding like some wild early-Chicago and this brass orgy might be the only hint that this might be a Caswell-penned track. Ending with a weird drum pattern that leads into Frog Galliard, a weaker 60's-ish track, but the almost renaissance-like horns of the ending save it. Blood is another dramatic track, in line with Children Of The Sun and is interrupted y a wild shootout, before the cavalry comes to stop the hostilities and count the dead. Wild trumpet, tense guitar, evocative drumming, wild bass lines, effective and dramatic vocals; you name it, Blood has got it. Hear The Colours start on guitar arpeggios then joined by a slow chant before Smith's sax takes the song in the weird direction, the whole band finally checking into the song for a short stint, before the tune starts all over again. The closing track sounds very Canned Heat boogie, even if the horns take a wild dissonant leap, before allowing a guitar solo and the track to return to its verses.

In conclusion, this album will hold its promise giving you many pleasures, even if not strange, and their inventive type of rock should be cited as exciting examples of brass-rock, like Chicago, If and Warm Dust. While not essential in the overall scheme of prog, Galliard's debut is definitely more so in the jazz- inflicted brass-rock realm. One might even consider their two albums as minor unearthed gem.

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition. and to Snow Dog for the last updates

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