Thursday, November 02, 2006

Basement Crates: Discovery 5

I'm (still) reading Colin Harper's none-more-exhaustive biography of Bert Jansch (it's Jansch like jam, apparently, not like Yansch) and the British post-war folk movement (stick with me, it picks up). Now, while there have been moments where even I've found it a little too in-depth - 200 pages in and he's only just formed Pentangle - it has delighted me on many occasions with its attention to detail.

This evening, for instance, I found out that Bert lived for a while in Putney, a town I worked in for four or five years. I also learned he used to play darts in The Bricklayer's Arms, the exact same pub me, Billy and Justin used to swill Guinness in when we were younger if not quite as wise.

I was vageuly aware of the band then (about 1992), but, like Neil Young years earlier, I had written them off as Elder Brother music and ignored them (unlike Young, the same still goes for Led Zeppelin, a band I've never seen the appeal of).

One day I heard the following and it all became clear. The 'Tangle were folk, but they also had a laced-up jazz groove and it was easy, in my mind at least, to draw parallels between what they were doing in 196-whatever and what, say, Stereolab were doing much later.

Anyway, I promised this would pick up, so here goes. This Pentangle track is brilliant. The end.

Pentangle: The Trees They Do Grow High (Transatlantic, 1968)


Except it's not the end! While there may have been no Pentangle, there was a lot of Nick Drake. And this is one of the finest covers of one of his songs I've ever heard. And, rather predictably, I've heard loads. Walt Mink, I've just spookily discovered, split up nine years ago today.


Walt Mink: Pink Moon (Quigley, 1992)

1 comment:

JQ said...

I was late to the folk game as well, but there's a clip on YT of Pentangle doing 'Night Flight' which is excellent. Still not sure I could read that much on them though...