Bread Love And Dreams: The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha

These wonderfully weird tales disappeared into the swirling mists of psych-folk legend soon after their release in 1970 -- what a shame.

Bread Love and Dreams

The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha

Label: Decca
First date: 1970-11
US Release Date: 2008-04-01
UK Release Date: 2008-04-07

After disappearing into the swirling mists of psych-folk legend soon after Decca released it in 1970, The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback From Gigha (gotta love that title) was the sole possession of die-hard seekers of "lost" folk recordings -- until now. Having come to the conclusion that their label's failure to promote their material was some type of tax write-off, the Scottish duo of David McNiven and partner Angie Rew, who'd already downsized from a trio (former band member Carolyn Davis contributes a slice of whimsical British folk here with "Purple Hazy Melancholy"), disbanded and reformed during the 12 months that separated this recording from their self-titled debut, once again called it a day. And that's a real shame. Because Bread Love and Dreams' second LP, recorded simultaneously and conceived as part of a double album with 1971's Amaryllis, is a promising semi-acoustic folk-pop treat of swirling African percussion, lush strings, gently piping organ and effervescent guitar picking. McNiven's melodious vocal delivery, finding a middle-ground somewhere between Donovan and Ralph McTell and gilded by the ethereal backing of Rew (she takes lead on the excellent sultry psych-folk popsicle "Butterfly Land" and carnivalesque "Sing Me a Song"), are a perfect match for the wonderfully weird tales of biker chicks ("Hymn For Sylvia"), hesitant snails ("The Lobster Quadrille") and, of course, that old salty sea dog Captain Shannon. So take a leaf out of McNiven's book, sit back and enjoy "As my mind moved away / For a short holiday."


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