Fotheringay — Essen 1970
(Thors Hammer THCD 006, 1970/2011, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01Although they were together only about a year, Fotheringay is generally seen as an interim step for singer Sandy Denny between her tenure (first time around) with Fairport Convention, with whom she had just recorded three excellent albums, and the beginning of her solo career. That's pretty much an oversimplification; the singer's heart and soul were in Fotheringay, borne partly of her dissatisfaction of the direction Fairport was taking, and a desire to work with her then-boyfriend future husband, guitarist Trevor Lucas, ex of Eclection. Following their self-titled debut album, the band had been gigging and gathering momentum throughout 1970, and had started work on a follow-up album when – according to Denny – she finally succumbed to pressure from producer Joe Boyd to break the band up and go solo. This concert, recorded at Grughalle, Essen Germany on October 23rd, 1970 just weeks before they split, shows a very confident band playing a selection of material from their debut including both sides of the single "The Ballad of Ned Kelly" / "Nothing More," their arrangements of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Way I Feel" and Dylan's "Too Much of Nothing," plus several songs that were to be included on the second album, closing with a rockin' cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis." Like their debut and the posthumously completed second album (finally completed in 2008), the band's live persona is much like their recorded presentation, one foot firmly in the British folk and traditional sound, and the other foot in rock. This live release was produced by the band's lead guitarist Jerry Donahue, and the sound quality of the recording is respectably good. The liner notes (in both English and German) are excellent and exhaustively detailed. Essen 1970 is a perfect supplement to the two Fotheringay studio releases.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more