Saturday, May 22, 2021

Dr. Strangely Strange - Heavy Petting And Other Proclivities (1970 ireland, amazing folk rock, with young Gary Moore, 2011 remaster with bonus tracks)

On their first album, Irish band Doctor Strangely Strange declared themselves to be "strangely strange but oddly normal," and by their time of their second effort, 1970's Heavy Petting, it's possible that "oddly normal" no longer applied. The spiritual cousins of the Incredible String Band, although less rooted in folk traditions, their music flitted around like a butterfly, rarely settling anywhere for long -- and certainly never for the length of an entire song. "Gave My Love an Apple," for example, begins as a folk ditty, and then morphs into an extended electric bluesy guitar solo that has little to do with what went before.

Childlike in its innocence, the album seems eager to taste all the possible flavors of music in a short span, making it a miracle that it holds together at all, let alone as well as it does. For make no mistake, Heavy Petting is something of a hippie joy. Joe Boyd's production is pristine, and the playing is well above the amateur standard of so many bands of the ilk, even if the frequent left turns of the material -- try "Summer Breeze" and "When Adam Delved" as examples -- makes things disorienting, but in a good way. If you're willing to expect the unexpected, you'll love it. 
by Chris Nickson

Dr Strangely Strange were Ireland's answer to the Incredible String Band, a delightfully quirky outfit whose vinyl releases have become collectors' items – and rightly so. Now digitally remastered, and with out-takes and live tracks added in, this set was originally released in 1970, and includes fine, fluid early guitar solos from the great Gary Moore, then a teenager. 

The songs match surreal lyrics against an engagingly bizarre kaleidoscope of styles; Moore's blues-rock is intercut with ragtime, country (including a burst of the Patti Page favourite, Tennessee Waltz), acoustic traditional and medieval styles, along with church music and carols, with Jove Was at Home suddenly segueing into a triumphant Gloria, Hosanna in Excelsis. There is also inventive vocal harmony work – which sounded particularly impressive.
by Robin Denselow, Thu 3 Nov 2011 
1. Ballad Of The Wasps (Tim Goulding) - 3:23
2. Summer Breeze (Tim Booth) - 3:39
3. Kilmanoyadd Stomp (Ivan Pawle) - 2:44
4. I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes (Tim Goulding) - 1:55
5. Sign On My Mind (Ivan Pawle) - 8:26
6. Gave My Love An Apple (Tim Booth) - 6:07
7. Jove Was At Home (Ivan Pawle) - 2:37
8. When Adam Delved (Ivan Pawle) - 2:11
9. Ashling (Tim Booth) - 4:42
10.Mary Malone Of Moscow (Tim Goulding) - 3:55
11.Goodnight My Friends (Ivan Pawle) - 1:50
12.Sign On My Mind (Ivan Pawle) - 9:06
13.Gave My Love An Apple (Tim Booth) - 5:39
14.Horse Of A Different Hue (Tim Goulding) - 4:44
15.Ballad Of The Wasps (Tim Goulding) - 3:07
16.Sweet Red Rape (Tim Booth) - 6:07
17.Lady Of The Glen (Ivan Pawle) - 2:57
18.The Prisoner (Medley) (Tim Booth, Tim Goulding) - 3:14
Tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 recorded at Eamonn Andrews Studios, Dublin
Tracks 1, 4, 7, 9 recorded at Sound Techniques Studios, London
Tracks 12, 13 Outtakes from the Dublin sessions
Tracks 14, 15, 16 Recorded Live in Autumn 1970
Track 17 Edited Version for use on an unissued Single
Track 18 Excerpt from a Film Soundtrack recorded in September 1983 

Dr. Strangely Strange
*Ivan Pawle - Organ, Bass, Mandolin, Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Tin Whistle, Human Whistle, Voices, Vocals, Keyboards, Harmonium, Piano
*Tim Booth - Banjo, Vocals, Voices, Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonium, Rhythm Guitar, Bass
*Tim Goulding - Organ, Bass Recorder, Voices, Vocals, Recorder, Keyboards, Fiddle, Piano, Violin, One-String Fiddle, Harmonium
*Dave Mattacks - Drums, Percussion
*Jay Myrdal - Glockenspiel
*Heather Wood - Vocals
*Brendan Shields - Bass Guitar
*Johnny Mounthay - Bouzouki
*Annie Xmas - Harmonium, Vocals
*Brush Shiels - Bass
*Johanna - Harmonium, Vocals, Keyboards, Cover Photo
*Annie Christmas - Keyboards, Vocals
*Linus - Percussion, Autoharp, Whistle, Finger Cymbals, Voices, Vocals
*Gary Moore - Guitar
*Andy Irvine - Mandolin
*Heather Woods - Vocals