Various Artists: Piccadilly Sunshine Part Four

Various Artists
Past & Present

“Please note: Some of the tracks in this compilation are so obscure we have been unable to locate the owners of the original recordings. If you hold rights, please contact us as an escrow account has been created for the payment of any royalties that may be due.” Duly forewarned by the liner notes, you know you’re either in for a feast of arcane delights, or for a compilation of songs best left on the shelf collecting dust.

If the 20 tracks collected on this, the fourth installment, are anything to go by, the splendid Piccadilly Sunshine series is still in its zenith. As the gray streets of late-’60s Britain magically blossomed into a lysergic Edwardian wonderland of the imagination, Jago Simms tells his toy town tale about a “Conventional Fella” who liked to get nude after a hard day’s accounting so he could become “just as free as any bird or bee”, while lazy trumpets, tinkling harpsichords, shimmying Mod-psych organ and glorious guitar fuzz herald such forgotten classics as The Laurels’ “Rainmaker”, Keith Field’s “Stop! Thief” and the Now’s foray into early prog on “The Hands On my Clock Stand Still”. Simply amazing stuff!

RATING 8 / 10