Brian Hopper with Beggars Farm — Brian Hopper with Beggars Farm
(Voiceprint VP145CD, 1970/1997, CD)
by Steve Robey, Published 1998-02-01
Here's one of the latest of the Canterbury music resurrections. Brian Hopper, brother of former Soft Machine bassist Hugh, was a key member of the "original" Canterbury band, The Wilde Flowers. His rhythm guitar, winds, occasional vocals, and R&B sensibility had a lot to do with The Wilde Flowers' embryonic Canterbury rock sound. So, as an encore to the successful reissue of old Wilde Flowers material, Voiceprint has released this, ostensibly a Brian Hopper project. Do not be misled, however. There is very little Hopper, Brian or otherwise, to be found on this disc. The liner notes credit Hopper for flute, saxophone, electronics, and "growler" (?), but in reality, there are only a couple of tracks on this album which contain any of the above. Hopper receives no songwriting credits, either.
What we do have is a pretty basic rock band playing heavy prog-inspired music that relies more on crunchy riffs than on instrumental color. At their best ("Story"), they sound a bit like early Jade Warrior at their hardest. At their worst ("Your Lovin' Man"), they resemble a sloppy garage band jamming to "Louie Louie." At other times, they even sound like the Yardbirds, as on the standout track "You're Not My Girl at All". Overall, it's an entertaining album, provided you're not expecting A) that it qualify as progressive rock, or B) that it actually feature Brian Hopper — which are, ironically, two of the main reasons you're reading this review in the first place! Not at all bad, but be careful before you shell out for this one.
Related artist(s): Brian Hopper
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more