The Clockwork Flowers – 10th Anniversary Releases

Monday, 18 May 2015, 21:18 | Category : News, Reviews
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By Jason Barnard

A few months ago I posted a review on the excellent new album by former London based duo John & Anthea Bliss, known as Clockwork Flowers. This self-titled album brought to life Abbey Road sounds circa 67 but presented it afresh. Now to celebrate their 10 year anniversary they have a new single plus unearthed some splendid unreleased material.


The single’s two tracks maintain the quality of song writing and production but mark a slight change in direction. In fact to my ears this new material echoes two artists who were inspired by John, Paul, Ringo and George but moved their sound into the new wave. “Lady Shady” has a feel of Elvis Costello in his prime, whilst The Jam arguably gets a look in for “Upside Down”. Again the joyousness of their sound pulls you along so it doesn’t feel derivative.


They are dusting down two excellent unreleased albums. First there’s “Flashback: The Beatles Tribute” where The Clockwork Flowers present the Fab Four’s kaleidoscopic sounds into one neat package. Mainly focusing on the John Lennon side of the psych era it often stays faithful to the Abbey Road template, but when they do branch off with a twist of Lennon on “Glass Onion” and “She Said She Said” it especially sparkles and shines. Climaxing with “A Day In The Life” and “Strawberry Fields” it demonstrates how they breathe new life into these classics by returning to Pepperland.

Unreleased album “Wonderland” also continues this sound but with self-penned material. “Here We Go Round Avebury” brings in “Getting Better” licks with gentle “Penny Lane” charm, also shown by their song “Take Off”. “Good Morning, Lord Kitchener” aurally brings to life the Victorian Military tunics so beloved of the psych scene. Other highlights include mid tempo ballad “All I Want” and the lovely mellotron sitar phasing of “The Time”.

More information can be found at:

The Seventh Ring Of Saturn – Ormythology

Sunday, 17 May 2015, 16:46 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Arriving through the letterbox came US rockers The Seventh Ring of Saturn’s new album “Ormythology”. Beautifully hand printed you’d could almost expect Alice in Wonderland behind the wrapper but instead the more muscular take on American psych abounds. An 8 track mix of strong original material and astutely picked gems the guitar laden 29 minutes certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome.

Kicking off with Ted Selke’s memorable “Burning a Hole” it crafts a popsike hook with a harder edged sound also epitomized by Selke’s “Time To Fly”. A cover of TC Atlantic’s “Faces” fits alongside the self-penned tracks neatly highlighting the tightness of The Seventh Ring Of Saturn’s playing.The Seventh Ring Of Saturn – OrmythologyA nice pair take a instrumental trip to Eastern Europe with “Yedikule” giving an old Greek song the late 60s heavy rock treatment, whilst “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim” does the same for this Turkish anthem.

Closing with the instantly accessible hard rock of “Spaceman” sung by Jeremy Knauff, a track dug from Danish group’s Peter Belli and the Boom’s 1971 original, the might just have saved the best to last.

Limited edition 300 copies on ‘glow-in-the-dark’ vinyl plus CD, more information can be found at

David Wiffen

Saturday, 2 May 2015, 20:57 | Category : Articles
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English born/Canadian raised singer/songwriter David Wiffen has seen a renaissance in the last year. In July 2014, the US Water label issued his criminally overlooked 1971 eponymous LP as an expanded CD with four previously unreleased tracks. Then, in February this year, True North in Canada brought out Songs From The Lost & Found, an eagerly awaited collection of 17 previously unreleased recordings drawing on his post Coast to Coast Fever LP period. 

David Wiffen Songs

After making a rare public appearance at Hugh’s Room in Toronto on 9 April for a celebration of his work, and featuring artists as diverse as The Cowboy Junkies, Liam Titcomb and Lost and Profound, Wiffen caught up with longstanding fan Nick Warburton:

Momentary Floyd Fruits de Mer

Saturday, 2 May 2015, 20:06 | Category : Pink Floyd, Reviews
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Originally released as part of last year’s members only Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett collection, Fruits de Mer are pressing two 7″ singles with the highlights of that fantastic compilation. However, with only 300 copies with pre-sale starting at the Fruits de Mer/Mega Dodo event at the Half Moon Putney on 24 May they’re certain to be instant collectors items.


Momentary One kicks off with with the fittingly simple take of Syd’s hypnotising ‘Golden Hair’ by Ilona V. We then branch into the Waters of ‘Grantchester Meadows’ enabling Crystal Jacqueline to demonstrate why she’s one of the leading lights of the current UK psych. Finishing with Cary Grace’s take of ‘Cirrus Minor’ that more than holds it own with the Floyd original, this all female led single doesn’t let up on its darkly psych quality.


Momentary Two opens with a gentler folky reinterpretation of ‘Dark Globe’ by Max Kinghorn-Mills; like Barrett inviting the Muswell Hillbillies into Abbey Road. Claudio Cataldi provides a more indie update to ‘She Took a Long Cold Look’, whilst The Chemistry Set take this spirit and sprinkle lovely pop-psych into ‘See Emily Play’, especially through the inspired ‘Bicycle Rider’ middle eight. Todd Dillingham and Golly McCry then retain the idiosyncratic feel to ‘The Gnome’ with a lo-fi approach and a pop sparkle on top.

So, two more records adding seven excellent Floyd interpretations to the Fruits de Mer canon:

Mark Wirtz

Thursday, 30 April 2015, 18:00 | Category : Podcasts
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Mark Wirtz, one of the 60’s most talented producers and a pioneering artist in his own right, joins Strange Brew host Jason Barnard to talk about his fantastic musical journey: from Abbey Road, Los Angeles to Atlanta Georgia.

Mark Wirtz

  1. Steve Flynn – Mr Rainbow (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1967)
  2. Peanut – I’m Waiting For The Day (Single A-side, Columbia, 1966)
  3. Tomorrow – My White Bicycle (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1967)
  4. Keith West – Excerpt From “A Teenage Opera” (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1967)
  5. Kippington Lodge ‎– Shy Boy (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1967)
  6. Keith West – Sam “from A Teenage Opera” (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1967)
  7. Zion De Gallier – Me (Single A-side, Parlophone, 1968)
  8. Philwit & Pegasus ‎– Spinning Carousel (Philwit & Pegasus, Chapter One, 1970)
  9. Mark Wirtz – The Song I Sing (Hothouse Smiles, Capitol, 1973)
  10. Helen Reddy ‎– Poor Little Fool (We’ll Sing In The Sunshine, Capitol, 1978)
  11. Mark Wirtz – Oh How She Loves Me (The Dreamer Of Glass Beach, The Hollywood Years Volume 2 1971-1982, RPM, 1999)
  12. Mark Wirtz – Love Is Eggshaped (Kitschinsync, The Hollywood Years Volume 1 1971-1982, RPM, 1999)
  13. Mark Wirtz presents Spyderbaby – Learning 2 Live With Love (Glassblower, Dreamtunes, 2006)
  14. Mark Wirtz – Retrolusion (Lost Pets 2, PoppyDisc, 2011)
  15. Mark Wirtz – Chug-A-Lug Song (Kitschinsync, The Hollywood Years Volume 1 1971-1982, 1999)

Listen to rare psych gems, definitive classics and near hits from Mark and friends from the 60’s to present day. 

Beau – Shoeless In The Desert

Sunday, 12 April 2015, 11:47 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Following Guerssen/Sommer’s re-issue of Beau’s “Creation”, Cherry Red are releasing “Shoeless In The Desert”. It’s a download set of fourteen new recordings by the master singer-songwriter and whilst sonically not embarking on new territory, the 12-string led album’s subjects are as diverse as ever.

Shoeless In The Desert - cover

From conquest/imperialism of “Storm In The Eye Of God”, there’s the dense thickets of imaginary of “The Oyster & The Pearl” to the folk prettiness of “Masquarade “.

Beau’s guitar playing is as strong and nimble as it was in the late 60’s attested by “This Is Your Dream”. Finishing with “The Atheist Hymn” the song reconnects the listener with the subject matter of 1971’s “Blind Faith” from “Creation”. So with Beau’s musicianship and his lyrical muses as strong as his work for Dandelion Records 45 years ago those who love that material and bought “Creation” recently should definitely seek out “Shoeless In The Desert”.