Three classic albums from this underground group – brought together in a single set, with bonus tracks too! First up is St Radiguns – the debut album from one of the most unique groups of their generation – a group who were partway between acid folk and proggy rock – yet with qualities that were also uniquely their own as well! The group were equally at home with acoustic and electric instruments – but play with a sinister edge that almost hints at a Wicker Man side of the universe, while occasionally warming things up with more intimate, poetic moments. The vocals are great – especially the male leads of Martin Cockerham, which we prefer a bit more to the female work from Barbara Gaskin – and the tunes have this sense of darkness that still gives the album a hell of an edge after all these years. Titles include "The Future Won't Be Long", "Island", "Magical Mary", "Captain's Log", "Time Will Tell", "We Were A Happy Crew", and "The Duke Of Beaufoot". Next is Old Boot Wine – compelling sounds from Spirogyra
– a group who have some proggish elements, but also a folksy sensibility too – which makes for a really wonderful balance between jamming moments and more intimate sounds! Guitar and keyboards take plenty of place in the mix – often spinning out strongly – but the group also features a fair bit of acoustic guitar, too – mixed with lovely vocals from Barbara Gaskin, and fragile male leads from Martin Cockerham. Tunes have a slightly poetic quality, but never in a drippy way – and the production is full one minute, light the next – which can really make for a nice sense of shading to the tunes. Titles include "Dangerous Dave", "A Canterbury Tale", "Grandad", "World's Eyes", "Wings Of Thunder", and "Disraeli's Problem". Last is Bells Boots & Shambles – a set that has the group down to a duo – just singer Barbara Gaskin and guitarist/
vocalist Martin Cockerham – but have actually used that shift to bring in some additional musicians too, and really find a great way to expand their sound! The album's got some of the most compelling arrangements we've heard from the group – and uses light cello, violin, trumpet, and flute to underscore the sense of color and tone we've always loved in their music – particularly some of those slightly-dark, slightly-spooky elements that always gave them a surprising edge. There's a mix of timeless roots and present darkness in the music that's very unique – and titles include "The Sergeant Says", "Spiggly", "The Furthest Point", "Old Boot Wine", "Parallel Lines Never Separate", and the longer "In The Western World". 3CD set features bonus tracks – "Window", "Melody Maker Man", "Turn Again Lane", "Counting The Cars", and "I Hear You're Going Somewhere".