[10 March 2010]
Over the last three decades, thanks to the popularity and innovation of such acts as the Cocteau Twins, Orange Juice, Simple Minds, Belle & Sebastian, the Vaselines and Mogwai, Scotland has earned its stripes as one of the world’s premier areas for adventurous new forms of rock and pop music. However, beyond Rod Stewart and the Incredible String Band, you rarely hear of many Scottish acts from the early 1970s, especially in the context of heavy prog rock. But the Shadoks Music label unearths a 1974 demo from Glasgow’s answer to Deep Purple in Captain Marryat. These guys are a touch louder than Ian and the boys, and far more psychedelic. The six songs featured on this recording were created with the intent to land a deal with EMI or Chrysalis. However, it wound up on a tiny 200-run pressing on the Scottish indie Thor, and quickly became one of the more serious collectors pieces of the time. Fans of Sir Lord Baltimore, Uriah Heep, and early Nazareth, as well as modern groups like Dead Meadow and Dungen, should look into checking out the greatest rock band to ever be named after an 18th century children’s novelist.