Thursday, December 8, 2022

Brian Hopper with Beggars Farm - Brian Hopper with Beggars Farm (1969-70 uk, solid heavy psych rock with jazz and prog elements)

Here's one of the latest of the Canterbury music resurrections. Brian Hopper, brother of former Soft Machine bassist Hugh, was a key member of the "original" Canterbury band, The Wilde Flowers. His rhythm guitar, winds, occasional vocals, and R'n'B sensibility had a lot to do with The Wilde Flowers' embryonic Canterbury rock sound. So, as an encore to the successful reissue of old Wilde Flowers material, Voiceprint has released this, ostensibly a Brian Hopper project. Do not be misled, however. There is very little Hopper, Brian or otherwise, to be found on this disc. The liner notes credit Hopper for flute, saxophone, electronics, and "growler" (?), but in reality, there are only a couple of tracks on this album which contain any of the above. Hopper receives no songwriting credits, either.

What we do have is a pretty basic rock band playing heavy prog-inspired music that relies more on crunchy riffs than on instrumental color. At their best ("Story"), they sound a bit like early Jade Warrior at their hardest. At other times, they even sound like the Yardbirds, as on the standout track "You're Not My Girl at All". Overall, it's an entertaining album, provided you're not expecting A) that it qualify as progressive rock, or B) that it actually feature Brian Hopper — which are, ironically, two of the main reasons you're reading this review in the first place! Not at all bad, but be careful before you shell out for this one.
by Steve Robey, 01/02/1998
1. Long Time (John Lawrence) - 3:21
2. Story (John Lawrence) - 3:12
3. Tomorrow Won't Be Long (John Lawrence) - 3:17
4. Astral Plane (John Lawrence) - 3:59
5. Sea (Dave Holman) - 5:06
6. You're Not My Girl At All (John Lawrence) - 2:28
7. Living In A Building (John Lawrence, John Tilley) - 2:26
8. Looking Back (Dave Holman, John Tilley) - 3:16
9. Thinking Of Me (Dave Holman, John Tilley) - 3:00
10.Your Lovin' Man (Dave Holman, Dave Smith, John Lawrence, John Tilley) - 5:53 
11.You Forever (John Lawrence) - 8:00

*John Tilley - Lead Vocals, Flute 
*John Lawrence - Guitar, Backing Vocals
*Brian Hopper - Soprano, Tenor Saxophones, Flute
*Dave Holman - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Dave Smith - Drums