Exposé Online banner

Fuchsia — Fuchsia
(Night Wings NWRCD 02, 1971/2003, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-06-10

Fuchsia Cover art

While Tony Durant (guitars and vocals) was a student at Exeter University in 1970, he and his mates Michael Day (bass guitar) and Michael Gregory (drums and percussion) decided to form the band Fuchsia, named after a pivotal character in Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy. In order for Tony to explore his creative musical ideas they added Janet Rogers (violin and backing vocals), Madeleine Bland (cello, piano, harmonium, and backing vocals), and Vanessa Hall-Smith (violin and backing vocals). Fuchsia recorded their one self-titled album in 1971 and because their manager failed to follow through with a promised tour, album sales were abysmal and they disbanded. Tony then moved to Australia to become a family man and Fuchsia disappeared into the mists of time. It was ill-fated that bad management led to the demise of the band as Fuchsia is a lost gem from the progressive folk-rock era. In 2005 Italian record label Nightwing contacted Tony and explained that Fuchsia had achieved major cult status and that they wanted to reissue the album on CD. This reissue, combined with recording the vocals on Me and My Kites’ FdM single, brought Tony out of retirement and now in the summer of 2014 he is touring Europe with Me and My Kites.

Now to Fuchsia itself. After listening to it, the music deserves all of the attention it has received over the internet. This is progressive folk rock, combining elements of Fairport Convention, psychedelia, and classical music. Tony has a beautiful tenor voice that, in combination with the psychedelic music, draws some immediate comparisons to Arthur Lee and Love’s quieter moments. Adding the string trio to the band was a masterstroke in 1970. In the 70s many record producers felt that it was a good idea to augment the recordings with the “1001 Strings” to make songs more palatable. In most cases, the strings tended to overpower the music and subtract from the recording. Not so with Fuchsia. The three ladies, Janet, Madeleine, and Vanessa, provided a great accompaniment to Tony’s compositions and many times extended them with some beautiful and energetic violin solos. Overall the nine tracks on this album are intelligent, lyrical, and melodic, as well as fairly long for 1971: five to eight minutes, which put Fuchsia on the cutting edge here as well. Even though this album has been reissued on CD, it is still difficult to track down. But if you have the opportunity, do not pass on this album.


Filed under: Reissues, 2003 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Me and My Kites, Fuchsia

More info
http://www.fuchsiamusic.com
http://www.fuchsia.bandcamp.com/album/fuchsia-2

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Joy of Cooking - Joy of Cooking, Closer to the Ground, & Castles – Those looking for a 'good ole time' need look no further — funky West Coast psychedelia flavored country-rock to be found here. Equally rooted in the blues, this stuff is steeped in the tradition of...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues