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12 Aug 2016

Candida Pax ” Day” 1971 UK, Private Psychedelic/Blues/Gospel Rock

Candida Pax ” Day” 1971 UK, Private Psychedelic/Blues/Gospel Rock


“Super rare early ‘70’s private pressing of UK religious psych/rock that mixes folky textures with rock resulting in a haunting blend of melody and moody dreaminess. Besides Parameter this is the rarest release on the UK Deroy label but not only that.. it’s absolutely superb!”
-Liner Notes…

The only album of the British quartet of Manchester. group creative roots lie in the work of various gospel groups preceded them time. Their influence is most present in the lyrical images of the album “Day”, giving the opportunity to look somewhat different to the religious rock that period. When Colin Scott and Stuart Mellor sang: “Jesus, help me” - this is more than just a mechanical reference images. However, all members of the band musically competent and, ultimately, more successful as a whole than individually - no one in particular stands out all sounds rather holistically, and that makes the work of a group worthy of attention…..

Taking symbolic cues from the burnt-down candle ends of loner blues-psych, and also the soul searching rasp of post-hippie Christian salvation, Northern English group Candida Pax released Day in 1971 on the obscure Deroy Sound Service label (a studio and manufacturing facility that specialized in private-press deals for independent artists), and that was the last anyone heard of them. In the artwork, there’s a photo of the band where one member is not so subtly concealing a copy of the first Fleetwood Mac LP in his arms. The sight of a band literally wearing an influence as close to the sleeve as possible might worry more discerning listeners, but there’s enough earnest playing and haunted passages here to call it a very minor lost classic.

Day is a moody affair, filled with guilt-wracked lyrics and slow-paced, shadowy arrangements that smolder with repentance in the knowledge that the men behind it will sin again, or will possibly never be saved. This bleak mood works to the band’s advantage, as there’s none of the hotdoggin’ that taints so many white British blues albums of their time. The riffage is tasteful and soulful, a la fallen Mac leader Peter Green, and the arrangements spare and lean, with the occasional sound of a wooden recorder brightening the dual guitar and rhythm section ambience. At their most active (“Darkness”), those twin guitars engage in some low-level yet tense interplay; the leads circle each other, not so much answering the licks that come before them so much as punctuating them with subtle stabs, like bringing knives to a fistfight.

Gospel influences, particularly on how they merged with the search of certain early rock ‘n’ roll and R&B records, are the prevalent overtone here; they’re heard in the shuffle of “Dark Clouds” with its wearily soaring chorus, and particularly in the minimal four-chord hymn vamp of “My Life,” recalling a bluesier, less-histrionic Van Morrison circa Astral Weeks, or a Joe Cocker type really trying to hold back. With so many sounds in their collective palette, it’s not a surprise that Candida Pax didn’t make more noise than they did in their day, but listening to this fine album, that seems almost beside the point; this music of theirs has only improved with age and the hopes for rediscovery.

By Doug Mosurock ……

The new wave of 21st century exhumations of utterly obscure psychedelic/post-psych efforts in the late '60s and early '70s is at once noble and almost quixotic – some bands that have one OK cut featured on a compilation ultimately only deserved that much attention. British quartet Candida Pax’s one album, Day, is a perfect example of this – reissued by Shadoks some 25 years after its first appearance, it’s a pleasant album that certainly is no utterly lost masterpiece. It is enjoyable, though, and if nothing else has a story behind it that is more unique than some: according to a reproduction of a small newspaper piece in the liner notes, the roots of the northern English group were in a variety of spiritual and gospel bands. This influence carries over clearly into the lyrical images, providing a different spin on the Jesus rock of the period from characters like Norman Greenbaum, say. When singers Colin Stott and Stuart Mellor sing lines like “Jesus help me,” it’s more than simply rote imagery. That said, musically the bandmembers are competent players with a bit of flash and are ultimately more successful as a unit than individually – nobody stands out in particular but everyone comes together to create some OK work. The opening title track establishes the sound of the rest of the album well enough – polite blues explorations in a post-Clapton/Peter Green sense, gently sung vocals instead of rasping passion, a sense of reverb and hush that could almost derive from mid-'60s Yardbirds. From there, Day steers between steady-as-she-goes songs (“Don’t Leave Me,” “Darkness”) and gentle curveballs like “White Dove,” the sole track written by all members, which thanks to the addition of recorder becomes a gentle pastoral ramble, and the secret winner “My Life,” the most overtly gospel-styled number and perhaps the most beautiful as a result. One nice touch from the original liner notes: “The studio version of these songs is not the live stage version….” by allmusic…..

Day was originally released in 1971. Besides Parameter, this is the rarest release on U.K. Deroy label, as rare as Forever Amber & Dark. If you’re into Tony, Caro & John and Then Play On-eraFleetwood Mac, then this is your cup of tea. This is pure Underground with that bluesy Peter Green-like guitar and a folky edge. All original songs and all beauties. Heavy fuzz-guitar, piano, effects – the whole U.K. Underground thing. A killer album from beginning to the end. ….

CD. Reissue of 1971 underground gem and one of the rarest releases on the UK Deroy label. If you’re into Tony, Caro & John and Fleetwood Mac, this is your cup of tea. Pure underground with Peter Green-like guitar and a folky edge. All original songs and all beauties. Heavy fuzzguitar, piano and the whole UK underground thing, a killer from beginning to end. ….

Stuart Mellor — lead guitar, vocals, recorders, special effects
Colin Scott — guitar, vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, keyboards
Geoff Dood — bass, vocals
Frank Hobbs — percussion, special effects

01. Day — 5:53
02. Don’t Leave Me — 5:02
03. White Dove — 2:31
04. Darkness — 5:15
05. Dark Clouds — 5:05
06. My Life — 4:46
07. Reach Out — 3:30
08. Free — 2:43

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..