[*] INCL.BONUS TRACK RARE 1972 SINGLE
This is a welcome return for Spirogyra, one of the more intriguing bands of the early '70s. The quartet of singer/guitarist/songwriter Martin Cockerham, singer Barbara Gaskin, violinist/keyboardist Julian Cusack, and bassist Steve Borrill were obviously short a member, with future Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks coming on board for the recording of St. Radigunds, the group's debut album. The group's sound was unusual, with Cockerham's brittle, almost adenoidal vocals counterpointed by Gaskin's
crystalline tones. Musically, too, the bandmembers played their
instruments off against each other, with soaring, sometimes searing
violin rocketing around strummed guitar and striking keyboard work.
Stylistically, Spirogyra were determined to clash genres as well, and although much of their sound was grounded in folk-rock, Spirogyra
interlaced it with proggier elements and psychedelic leanings. Thus
they never quite fit comfortably into the contemporary Canterbury scene,
into which they were often lumped, and effectively drew in a much more
diverse audience. This eclectic approach was also reflected in the
lyrics, heard in the working man's view of WWII and its aftermath on the
strident "The Future Won't Be Long" and the -isms that infect "Time
Will Tell," notable in the acid-drenched imagery of "Magical Mary," and
found in the poetry-laced lyrics of "Island." With occasional use of
unusual rhythms, intriguing blends of styles, innovative arrangements,
and lyrics to ponder, St. Radigunds had it all, and quickly established Spirogyra as one of the most creative and innovative groups of the day.