GRANNIE Grannie (WHCD032)

1. Leaving (6:35)

2. Romany Refrain (4:12)

3. Tomorrow Today (7:10)

4. Saga Of The Sad Jester (4:36)

5. Dawn (5:12)

6. Coloured Armageddon (9:26)

 

 

One of the least-heard but most beguiling albums to emerge from the British progressive rock era, the sole, self-titled album by East London band Grannie was recorded at a demo studio in late 1971 and then issued on vinyl in a total pressing of just 99 copies.  Feverishly sought-after by genre aficionados since its belated discovery in the early 1990s, this is the first-ever reissue of Grannie to be issued with the consent and approval of band members.  With quotes from drummer John Clark and keyboardist John Stevenson that tell the story of both band and album for the first time, this is the definitive release of one of the most valuable jewels of the early 1970s British progressive rock scene.   ml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Recorded at a demo studio in late 1971 and then issued on the ol’ black stuff in a total pressing of 99 copies, this record is one of the hen’s teeth of prog’s high years.  Even though it’s here re-mastered, it’s obvious that Grannie was recorded with limited means.  Nonetheless, it’s a superb exponent of all that’s decent about prog, with much of the faff and frippery cleaved off – including keyboards, of which (perhaps controversially, if we’re calling it prog), there are none.   It’s difficult not to run out of superlatives about the opener, ‘Leaving’, which features the bewitching flute playing of… some young lady that not even the band remember the name of.  There’s a classic prog structure here, with the heavy, lengthier tracks landing either side of the acoustic ‘Dawn’, but it’s on the blistering near-pop song ‘Saga Of The Sad Jester’ that it all gels best.  Nippy bass and guitar runs combine with a fine melody to produce a track any of the bigger fish would have been proud to call a single… if they’d only released them.  This is a must for prog fans, and Wooden Hill have soothed the more anxious of them by serving up the band history, courtesy of drummer John Clark and keyboardist John Stevenson. (Record Collector)

 

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