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9 Jul 2016

T Kail “Somewhere, Sometime” 1980 Private US Psych Prog

T Kail “Somewhere, Sometime” 1980 Private US Psych Prog
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First ever vinyl reissue of this lost-in-time US private press from 1980. Male-female vocals, fuzz guitar, synths. Echoes of the ‘60s San Francisco Sound (Tripsichord, Airplane or Quicksilver) mix with FM pop-rock and even jazz-funk.
Considered by many collectors the best USA '80s psych LP along with Bobb Trimble. Unbeatable 24-Bit remastered sound, insert with detailed liner notes by Aaron Milenski and unseen pictures. “There aren’t very many private press records that show off so much legitimate vocal and instrumental talent, not to mention such lyrical intelligence, and this fine album should be celebrated for everything it is”. ~Aaron Milenski (Acid Archives). “They sound like a cross between Anonymous and Titus Oates”. ~Patrick Lundborg ...Lysergia...~

This one generates all kinds of hype within the collecting community so I was hesitant to check it out. As most folks know, dealer and collector hype tends to be a clear warning that something is grossly over-priced. To be perfectly honest, this one isn't the killer classic dealers would have you believe, but on the other hand it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Call it a pleasant surprise, if not a find-of-the-century ... 
Other than tidbits picked off their album, I can't say I know a great deal about this outfit. The line up featured guitarist Tom Abrahams, singer/keyboardist Kathy Bass, bassist Tom Shea, and drummer Brian Sherry. Their album was recorded in Minneapolis' Blackberry Way Studios with the band and Mike Owens co-producing. 
Okay, so what if this album was recorded in 1980 by a group seemingly based in Minnesota ... In spite of those roots much of "Somewhere, Sometime" had a delicious '60s-era West Coast psych feel that most '60s era bands could only have dreamt of achieving. As the featured vocalist Bass had a fantastic voice. Piercing and crystal clear, she would have easily given Grace Slick, or Liza Gonzales (Yankee Dollar), a run for her money. In fact, three of the four songs she handled was worth hearing. Abrahams was also impressive on his three lead vocals and took full advantage of the opportunities he was given to showcase his guitar chops - check out the opening part of 'Progress'. The rhythm section of Shea and Sherry were equally good, keeping things moving along with a minimal amount of disruption. As mentioned, ;large sections of the album had a distinctive '60s West Coast vibe, but it wasn't a case where these folks started out trying to be immitative. Hard to explain, but while they were clearly influenced by that early genre, they were very much their own creative unit....Bad Cat...~ 

Bass – Tom Shea (4) 
Drums, Rototoms, Timbales, Wind Chimes – Brian Sherry 
Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Tom Abrahams 
Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Percussion – Kathy Bass 


01 Peace Of Mind 
02 Somewhere, Sometime 
03 Bye, Bye 
04 Lonely Lady 
05 Ain’t Used To Crying 
06 Dance, Dance 
07 Progress. 

Various: Friday At The Cage-A-Go-Go “Long Hot Summer” US 1965 Private Garage Compilation.

Friday At The Cage-A-Go-Go “Long Hot Summer” Ultra rare US 1965 Private Garage Compilation.

“Recorded in 1965 by Detroit’s famous Cage a Go-Go night spot, this is listed on the back cover as a compilation. However, many of these tracks are unavailable anywhere else. They were not recorded live at the club, but the club apparently paid to have several of their regulars record some of their best known and most popular tracks for this sampler. Due to its recording date, much of this has a very early sound in the garage vein.” [Tymeshifter]
DAMN, What’s this!? A ’65 Psychedelic slab? Noooo. This is actually an early garage compilation featuring Detroit garage bands Oxford Five, Lourds, Individuals and The Fugitives, doing some real fine Garage/Folk tunes and covers. This stuff is RARE as heck and COOL as fu*k, so don’t you dare miss it. Hide The Sausage, Dig!!!..

Dark “Round The Edges” 1972 UK Psych Hard Rock + Dark "Artefacts From The Black Museum"

Dark “Round The Edges” 1972 Mega Rare UK Psych Hard Rock:
Full albums

Dark interview with Steve Giles  by psychedelic baby...
Time has come to unleash the rarest records of all time (50 copies were pressed back in ‘72), and a hell of a record : DARK “Round The Edges”. It’s simply impossible to find any original copy nowadays, so rush on the Akarma reissue (1.000 copies on a 180gr clear vinyl, housed in a beautiful heavy gatefold cover + a 6-page booklet with lyrics, photos…). Kissing Spell did also reissue this must-have, but it doesn’t compare to the job Akarma did on this one.
It must have been 1990. I was paying a visit to a heavily connected record dealer who had just received some tapes from overseas. He put one on with the words “This is what Paul [Major] and Gregg [Breth] are going to reissue, it’s an English album called DARK”. I had never heard of it before. “Dark, huh?”. The music comes on, a very intro-like thing which nevertheless suggested a nice drum and guitar sound quite unlike the usual 1972 bombast. “Hmm…”. Then the actual song begins, a confident, lyrical west coast jam sound like 1968 Quicksilver on a strong night. “This sounds good…”, I say. Light, unpretentious vocals enter and the final great fear – that of an Operatic Macho Vocalist – disappears. “This sounds, uh… very good”. The record dealer nods in agreement. Shortly after this the Swank label US vinyl reissue did appear, but for reasons not yet made clear it cost not less than $150 in retail, so I passed and settled for a tape dupe.
According to Stephen Smith who produced a more affordable Dark reissue two years later, there will never be another private press British LP of the same stature as Dark “Round the edges”. This may be true, and it certainly is one of the rarest, but then rarity doesn’t account for anything, and in terms of quality there’s nothing exceptional about it. It is a good LP, but also with a number of flaws of varying degrees. As it turns out, my first encounter with it turned out to be a bit of a deception.
After getting the Kissing Spell reissue CD my one-line review of the Dark LP used to be that it “gets weaker for each track”. This is not entirely true, but the track sequencing is one of the problems. The opening “Darkside” track, as hinted above, is perhaps the best underground guitarpsych track ever to come out of England, a piece of pure perfection; jammy, loose, beckoning, un-hardrocky, anything. The rest of side 1 is in the same vein, just slightly less “there”, and I always choke on the lyrics on “Maypole” which strike me as simple gibberish.
Side 2 opens with the album’s weakest track which I can only describe as mediocre, an uninspired melody unfortunately accentuated by a lead guitar playing tandem with the vocals; tracks 5 and 6 are better, but the lack of a “Darkside” makes the second half of the LP a rather pedestrian experience, with insufficient time devoted to songwriting, and nothing added to the fullfleshed statement of the opener – losing the “R C 8” track altogether and shuffling the others around a bit would undoubtedly improved the LP a couple of points.
On a more fundamental level, the vibe I get from Dark is that of a bunch of unknown guys who have been rehearsing in a basement for a long time, building an extensive understanding of each others musical ideas, and each honing their craft – the playing is superb, perhaps the drummer most of all – and it isn’t really hardrock, or bluesrock, but a classic jam outfit bred out of the late 1960s US westcoast style, almost jazzy in the playing, but never pretentious or showoffy. That’s the positive side of the coin, the negative is that any desire to make a personal statement; perhaps even the ability to do so, went missing in the basement about 500 hours of rehearsal ago. Dark are very sure of what they can play, and they can even afford to be cool about it, but the coolness by definition also means a lack of passion, or fire – again, it’s only the initial “Darkside” track that resembles something born out of experience and emotion, rather than an exploration of scales and time signatures......Lysergia...........

In my opinion, this album will give any psychedelic album in the genre a run for it's money. Indeed, most agree that it's probably the best there is. And not to mention the highest priced psych album as well. The only copy I'm aware of that was ever sold went for a package deal worth $7500, back in the 90's I believe. Last time I looked, there was a copy for sale online for $10,000! You can save your lunch money, or just buy one of many reissues available. What you'll get is probably the most incredible guitar oriented psychedelic prog/hard rock LP ever recorded, with a searing fuzz-tone guitar buzzing throughout almost every track. These guys burn, and it's a damn shame the album isn't longer. Extremely consistent too. Grades - 2 A's, 2 A-'s, and 2 B+'s. Highly ......... 

Probably the rarest psychedelic rock album there is. The legend says that there are just 60 copies of the first 1972 UK pressing in the world. Needless to say that this album is worth of a fortune if you got the first press. Nowadays it's worth something around 10000-15000€. 

But what is even more important than the huge value of this LP is that this is a magnificent record all the way through. I would choose "Live for Today" and the following "R.C. 8" as my favourite songs in here but to be honest I don't see any point in choosing the highlights. Round the Edges is a flawless package from the first track to the last note of it. Pretty much perfect psychedelic rock I must say. There are also lots of progressive influences here and there. 

Even if the psychedelic rock movement saw it's best years in the late 1960's there were still many brilliant psych albums released in the 1970's too. Round the Edges by Dark is one of those. Five stars is the only option for ............ 

Heavy English psych greatness from the early 70s private press underground. This album sits hidden in rock history like a forgotten tab of acid stored in an old record sleeve. Its six songs drift in the fog while the guitar is a fuzzed-out leviathan. Dark hit hard, but when they punctuate one long solo here with the sound of a flushing toilet, you know that they don't take themselves too seriously (a good thing). 

In 1972, the band independently pressed about fifty copies of this in hopes of getting a record deal. Didn't happen. Simple bad luck is the only possible reason for that as these grooves hold their own next to any other band who plowed the same field at the time, from Sir Lord Baltimore to Blue Cheer. It took about twenty years for record collectors to take notice and start paying princely sums for rare vintage copies. A few reissues since then have helped spread the word further. The 2013 vinyl reissue by US label Machu Picchu is a sweet one, warmly remastered to a vintage glow and housed in a tip-on gatefold sleeve that includes a booklet that seems to document every piece of Dark ephemera known to exist, from handwritten lyrics to old ... 

Time for another installment of Know Your Enemy--this time it's not the band or the music, but the consumer attitude surrounding the album--excessive hype. One of the interesting facets of underground and obscure music hunting is that hype is often as common and potent in its ability to mislead as it is when it's found in relation to mainstream music. Dark's sole 70's release Round the Edges is in my opinion the perfect example of this phenomenon. It's not that Round the Edges is a bad album, it's just not worth the thousands of dollars that record collectors are apparently willing to pay for the original vinyl run. There's something about the power of rarity that will always make people certain people say "this is great" or make other people say "I know somebody told me this wasn't that good, but people are paying thousands of dollars so maybe it actually is." 

When you actually get your hands on a copy (probably digital or CD reissue), you'll find that this album isn't some sort of mold-breaking visionary masterpiece, but rather something very much of its time. Its six tracks are relatively long and the focus is on dual guitar interplay with plenty of fuzzy distortion and the occasional wah solo. While the songwriting isn't particularly developed or notable in its creativity, the long songs have their moments--my favorite is probably the opener, "Darkside," which boasts a few interesting and distinctive sections including a tom-and-guitar intro, a spacious jazzy section that pits the left channel's open riffs against the right channel's reverbed lead lines, and some faster riffing that morphs into a beautifully crunchy bending lead line. It's also one of the songs where the vocalist's dour-but-sort-of-jazzy-at-their-best vocals seem to mesh well with the music. At most other times the singer's smooth, emotionless Eric Clapton delivery seems at odds with the guitars' grit, or at best the vocals just fall behind the much more interesting guitar sounds. 

The drum/guitar interplay of "Darkside" returns quite satisfyingly on "R.C.8." but its impact is dulled by some less impressive song construction and shudder-inducing lyrics ("everybody loves a little baby/don't you tell me now that that's a lie") that are even worse than the ones that mar the otherwise dreamy soundscape of "Maypole" with confused attempts at cleverness by likening some chick's appearance to Michael Caine's...yikes. Fortunately, the album ends pretty strongly; "The Cat" represents a common occurrence with early 70's bands like Dark--when they run out of weird, proto-progressive ideas they always seem to fall back on their late-60's blues roots. Luckily in this case it's one of the most energetic tracks for the ensemble, giving the drummer a chance to channel Mitch Mitchell and it's even got a spacey middle section so it's not too different from the rest of the album's vibe. The closer, "Zero Time," is also one of the album's strongest tracks--though there isn't a particularly large amount of intricate guitar work, the main riff makes for a sense of drama and spaciousness that doesn't quite come together in the rest of the album, and the way the vocal melodic refrain bleeds across the beginning of the riff is an awesome idea. 

It's clear that Dark was onto something here--there are bits and pieces of good ideas in all the right areas (atmosphere, playing, songwriting) but the common Achilles heel of an insufficient vocalist combined with the album's distant, garagey production hold this one down firmly in the second tier, for me at least. Not that that's a fatal flaw--a lot of great early 70's hard rock bands required a few years and so-so albums to shed their origins and blossom creatively--but unfortunately Round the Edges is the only Dark memento we've got and the band wasn't able to continue in its promising direction. In my opinion as a moderate fan of this kind of music, it's good enough to seek out if you're a big fan, but there are quite a few similar albums I'd recommend first that don't require nearly as much barrel scraping for those with a casual interest. Excessive hype, you are not our friend! .......... 

I first heard this album after finding out that Martin Weaver from Wicked Lady plays on it, and I was not disappointed by how thick the fuzz tone is, although it was a bit different from what I'd expected. After a closer listen, I noticed it's actually the original Dark guitarist, Steve Giles, who deserves the bulk of the credit, not Martin Weaver. His guitar (in the left speaker) gets the priority both in loudness and prominence, and his fuzz is far more buzzy than Martin Weaver's. Martin Weaver, on the other hand, (in the right speaker) only gets to play quieter rhythms to match Steve Giles for most of the album, and only gets a few short solos where he abuses the shit out of the wah pedal; specifically, at the end of "Live for Today" and for much of "The Cat" (the latter seems to be the only song where his guitar is dominant, yet still a bit quieter than Giles' fuzzless rhythm playing). All the bonus material was actually recorded before Martin Weaver joined, so you can hear how the band sounds like with only one guitar, and it still sounds almost exactly like the album. Steve Giles' playing proves to be really great, and his psychedelic noodling is really pleasant to listen to, especially with that dissonant fuzz accentuating every changing note. And the twin guitar feeling Martin Weaver brings isn't in vain, although I think it could've been much better had Steve Giles not felt the need to aggressively assert himself as the one and only lead guitarist. ........ 

I'm thankful to labels like Akarma, Tenth Planet, Guerssen, Acme, etc... that make it possible for a financially limited guy like myself to own very well done reissues of rare, classic and collectable albums. To hear how great something is and then find out that you will have to sell a kidney to own it is quiet depressing. Dark 'Round The Edges' definitely qualifies as an album that would've only been heard by the privileged if it wasn't for labels such as this, so thanks. During my years of internet reading and research looking for classic, relatively obscure 60's-early 70's psyche, this lp was mentioned frequently. Being that I have pretty much given up cd's, I decided not to buy the compact disc release that I have seen online occassionally. Not too long ago, however, I purchased a comp by the title of 'Love, Peace and Poetry-British Psychedelic Music'. It contains, what is advertised on the back cover, the best tracks from very rare British artists. It is a great comp as it turned me on to several bands, artists that I have investigated and purchased lp's of. (Andwellas Dream, Motherlight, Mark Fry, Tony, John and Caro and of course, Dark). The comped track is "Maypole". Happily, the rest of the lp matches the greatness of that track. The music is what I would describe as heavy, with psych and some prog leanings. It constantly dances on the edge of prog but never steps over into full blown progressive 70's rock. The songs are all heavy, with great, up front lead guitar and enough fuzz to leave you tingling afterward tho' not heavy in a metal sense, it's just heavy music that puts across a dark kind of vibe. (pun intended). From what I understand, it was recorded over a weekend in 1972. Began on a Friday and finished on Sunday. Amazing. When you hear it, you will agree. Bands spend months in the studio trying to come up with stuff this good and these kids knocked it out in 72 hours. It's not clear to me if this was a private press or if it actually received a proper release but whichever, very few original copies exist so this reissue is needed. I found the Akarma picture disc in my local indy record store when thumbing through the stacks. Funny thing is that I have gone through these same stacks numerous times in the past months and had never seen it but as I was going thru the band Spirit's releases, there it was with all of Spirits albums. Priced a bit steep at 30$, I still got it and am very pleased with the purchase. The Akarma vinyl issue was released in 98 and since that time there have been no more vinyl reissues (as you can see here on the RYM page, there have been a few cd reissues). With the new interest and growing vinyl market, it is time that this gained a nice, deluxe reissue with liners and pics (the Akarma picture disc is all you get). As for the cover, yea it's really lame and in no way prepares for the psych fuzz blasts inside but don't let a lame cover put you off. I can't really come up with much off the top of my head for a reference point. I guess Cream in their most fuzzed out, psychedelic stage would be closest but unlike Cream, these are solid, very tightly arranged and performed tracks, improvisation isn't happening here. It's very well produced too, the Akarma reissue has great sound with a very punchy mix. Highly .......

You know when you've learned of a record only because record collector lists it over a grand there's going to be room for massive dissapointment. Of course its only that price because there's only a few hundred copies of it on the planet and you don't really think you can spare the cash so thank fuck for the digital age, bootleg copies and the generosity of music freaks. 
I was expecting to be greatly disappointed, even to be left feeling really quite depressed so as i stuck this in the cd player and wandered through the kitchen to make a pot of tea - fuck me! what a surprise- and its always nice to be surprised by this sort of thing. For one, I didn't expect and album with such a dreadfully pedestrian cover to contain such, well, Dark music. I've been a big fan of uk underground rock since first hearing edgar broughtons wasa wasa. you know the vocals will never be anything special, but thats ok. its not about that is it? we want guitar freak out and wah wah and with Round the Edges you get that by the bucket load. I have absolutely no knowledge of who the band are or where they came from or even if they made anymore records, but thats not important. this is all about the music. Rock has to have a good drummer, a relentless nutter who will never stop and crams as many lunatic fills and rolls in as is possible. The bass must be heavy, like being hit on the head with a sledgehammer wrapped in cotton wool and the guitar should take you places even drugs fail to do. Its a trip, man, a big beautiful trip. I want to be rude with this record. 
Yeah. Can you dig it? ....... 

Original copies of this album are among the rarest records in the world, and like most very hard to find albums, there's usually a whiff of overrating about them. In fact despite naming it as the rarest prog album ever, Record Collector magazine also said there was nothing really remarkable about it. I tend to agree, but I'm gonna take it track by track to check myself on that point. I see there's some people here who really love the album, so I wanna give it a fair treatment. 

1. Darkside: Sounds like mellow Wishbone Ash/Budgie at first, before lashing into some impressive fuzz drenched guitar stew about halfway through. Pretty cool, although the first part of the song meanders a bit too much. 

2. Maypole: Basically the same format, but better this time, with more dynamic playing during the mellow parts. Excellent fuzz tones later on as well. 

3. Live For Today: Pretty much the same thing again, but a good tune. Some mellow Pink Floyd styled stuff opens up the song, but it quickly becomes a good tripped out fuzz driven drone. 

4. R.C.B.: Most consistently heavy track so far, but I finally figured out what's lacking here. The drumming is weak, recorded too samey and has no groove. Put John Bonham behind these guys and this record would be 100% better. 

5. The Cat: Pretty uneventful tune, but some parts are okay for inactive listening. Some deft playing here. 

6. Zero Time: Here we have an example of a song that could have been awesome, and that's nearly ruined by a drummer who cannot lock into a convincing groove properly. Maybe the best song on hand here, though. Very heavy fuzz. 

Okay, I'm raising my grade of 3 up to 3.5, but I can't freak out and get as excited about this record as a lot of other people do. If you want to hear something along these lines done well, check out the only album by Blue Mountain that is sweet! ........... 

I Feel A Rush Of Air On My Face 
And I Know 
You've Opened The Door_ 
Although Round The Edges is somewhat overrated due to it's high four figure price tag, it is a pretty good proggy psych album. Reissues of varying quality abound, and mine, on compact disc, sounds pretty good with no audible vinyl pops/tics. This record had a definite British feel to it, with vocals not unlike Ian Anderson's minus the pretentiousness. The music is linear, nice and stretched out, although at times it veers into 'heavy psych' territory. This is not one of those throwaway psych releases that cropped up way back when: it's very obvious that a hell of a lot of work went into this recording and the present musicians were very talented. It's just that, given all the hype, not all of the songs stick to the ribs. This is no Electric Ladyland, regardless of what the heads trying to sell you this record will tell you. When purchasing 'rarities' such as this it is important to put things in perspective. Revolver and that first Quicksliver LP are psych classics for a reason. This is a good album, but the listener who buys all of the psych dealer hoopla that surrounds this record will surely be let down upon first listen. Four stars, and nothing more. Oh, and it is worth the 20 dollar reissue price ........ 

Dark's sole album consists of six long, rather meandering tracks, the songs largely vehicles for some involved, fuzzy hard rock guitar soloing. In the softer parts and the vocal sections, there are faint echoes of the folky psychedelic late-'60s rock of acts like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. You can hear that in the first part of "Live for Today," in particular, with its bittersweet melody and harmonies. But, despite this rarity's high rep in some circles, the songs aren't too substantial, and the guitar work not so intricate or imaginative that it demands a listen on the merits of the riffs alone. The record has been reissued a few times since the early '90s, sometimes in editions almost as limited as the original run. Akarma's LP reissue is the most desirable configuration, not only because of its relative accessibility in terms of managing to acquire a copy, but also because it replicates the gatefold sleeve and lyric pamphlet of the original Richie Unterberger......... 

The world of psychedelic rock is littered with enough scarce “holy grails,” at least in eBay/collector parlance, that the phrase often seems to lose its impact. But a true, excellent rarity exists in the prog-influenced fuzz of Dark, a band from Northampton, UK, whose sole LP Round the Edges was privately released in an edition of 60 copies in 1972. Curiously, of the 60 pressed a few different cover variations exist, but only two LPs and one jacket have come up on the collectors’ market in the past several years. Naturally, it’s a coveted item and a few reissues have appeared, both legitimately (long out-of-print) and on the grey market. Now, Portland, Oregon’s Machu Picchu has stepped to the plate with a gorgeous and fully authorized vinyl and CD reissue with an expanded booklet and additional photographs. As with most reissues, the point in redoing it is to make sure that it’s been done right, and if Machu Picchu’s recent take on the Midwestern soft-psych Anonymous LP is any indication, Round the Edges will be treated properly. 

The original LP consisted of six tracks performed by the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Steve Giles, guitarist Martin Weaver (ex-Wicked Lady), bassist Ron Johnson, and drummer Clive Thorneycroft. A few extra tracks and studio jams have also surfaced on subsequent CD editions. One can certainly hear the influence of Cream, especially in Giles’ Jack Bruce-like pipes, as well as in the clipped choogle of “Maypole,” though in that instance murky fuzz-guitar and reductionist symphonic moves quickly emerge. Lyrically, the group are often more wry than oblique, though the most compelling aspect is often the head-nodding instrumental stretches that follow, which are economical and flinty rather than ornately tangential. “Live For Today” combines this gritty electric stew with handsome drum breaks and sharp wails, while “The Cat” mixes bluesy skiffle with wiry hard rock — calm before the knotty storm of “Zero Time.” To be sure, other groups may have taken the formulas further or assembled a heavier, freer slab of psychedelic boogie, but concision and melody count for a lot in the lysergic world that Dark inhabited. although Dark disbanded soon after the LP was published, cultish interest inspired a brief and well-received reunion in 1996. More than four decades after their lone LP was waxed, Round the Edges deserves to be visited CLIFFORD ALLEN ......... 

One of THEE greatest guitar-heavy psych records in the world, “Dark Round the Edges”was originally issued in an edition of around 50 copies, mostly for friends, family, and the odd record company. Its reputation has since blossomed into something resembling a redwood, or perhaps an original Van Gogh. This album is the holy grail for lovers of fuzz-driven hard rock, and has been the most sought-after privately pressed LP on the planet. 

We’ve spared no expense to bring you the deluxe reissue of this classic, an album be- loved by heads & cosmic couriers around the world for its great songwriting, terrific instrumental workouts, and mysterious vibe. ZERO TIME IS NOW. 

A Kenilworth record shop recently acquired a copy of one of the rarest pieces of vinyl currently out there. I must stress however that the 12 inch L.P. in question is not being stored in the shop. And I assume it will be up for sale at a specialised auction house. 

The L.P. in question was originally titled ‘Dark Round the Edges’ and was recorded at SIS Studios Northampton by a local rock band called Dark between July 9th and 13th 1972. It was released slightly later that same year. 

‘Dark Round the Edges’ was never actually released officially. It was produced as a private pressing which was recorded by a band that had been trying to get that all important deal for around 4 years but to no avail. Such was the quality of the music around at the time a lot of extraordinary talent went under the radar. 

But Dark were a very good band and all involved knew it. They had a large local following and rather than run the risk of splitting with nothing to show for it they wanted something to remember for all their efforts. 

The original LP was issued as limited pressing of around 32 copies. A further run of 32 copies was pressed and released early 1973. Breaking those numbers down I believe that 12 copies came with gatefold colour sleeve and booklet, 8 copies with black & white gatefold sleeve and the remainder with single black & white sleeve. They were handed out to band members and their then girlfriends. Any remaining records were sent on to record companies or sold on for around £3 per copy. 

Putting to one side for a while, the value of an original copy of what is today referred to as ‘Round the Edges’, the album itself is a genuinely glorious example of the adventurous style of rock music that was freely available during the early 1970s. And, given the status of the record, I think makes the Dark story a curious one. 

Dark were formed by guitarist Steve Giles and school friend Bruce Duncan who also played guitar. As the band formed they settled on Charlie Hiams as the drummer with Bruce moving to bass and vocals. This would have been around 1968. 

1970 saw Dark introduce keyboard player Martin Moloney. Soon after, Bruce Duncan left, and Steve Giles took on the vocals. Carl Bush was brought in on bass. 

Sometime later drummer Charlie Hiams left and he was replaced by Clive Thorneycroft. Soon after that both Martin Moloney and Carl Bush left Ron Johnson came in on bass and band reverted back to a three piece once more. And that’s how it remained till mid-1972. 

Martin Weaver, who appears on the album, only joined Dark in May 1972 just prior to the recording sessions. Martin had previously been with another Northampton band called Wicked Lady. Dark would eventually split during November 1972 

Apart from the ‘Round the Edges’ album, studio recordings exist of most of the various line up’s mentioned above. The results vary dramatically in quality but a lot of what is listenable is very good and gives the listener a real taste of what Dark were all about, 

After going their own ways and getting involved in other projects the ‘Round the Edges’ line up would reconvene when, out of the blue, interest in their album started kicking off during the 1990s. 

A specialist record company got in touch with the Dark in 1991 to tell them that their 1972 private release was now worth a small fortune to collectors of rare vinyl. After negotiations, the record company subsequently reissued ‘Round the Edges’ on vinyl and CD. All of a sudden a new generation of music listeners, including myself, were introduced to the band. 
Buoyed on by the records relative new found success the band members decided to get back together to see if they could still play. Not only could they still play but they found themselves writing new material. And this activity gave rise to a second album. 

Casting his mind back to the early 1990s Steve Giles remembers ‘We had amassed a tidy sum from licensing the rights to several entrepreneurs around the world to release ‘Round the Edges’ in various formats, so the obvious thing to do with the proceeds was to record another album. Some of the tracks for this new project were recorded first at Outrider Studios in Northampton, but it closed down before we got any further, so we then went too Far Heath in Guilsborough to do the rest’. 

The songs themselves, for the second album, titled ‘Anonymous Days’, had, as mentioned, been written specifically for the new album. Some were written during the intervening years between the first and second albums. And some of them actually dated right back to just after the ‘Round the Edges’ sessions. 

The band was, understandably and justifiably, proud of ‘Anonymous Days’. It was yet another fantastic release. Particularly when you consider that there is 20 years between these albums. 

Live gigs, during the last 40 odd years, have been less common than coming across an original copy of the album. Dark did gig around the Northamptonshire area, and sometimes beyond, in the very early days but over the last 40 years there has only been a handful of dates. 

If I was to attempt to describe the music of Dark I would say it is like a patchwork quilt of guitar playing. A single Dark track does not contain just one guitar piece. You quite often get several all different and all tastefully woven together into the fabric of the song. It really is unique stuff.

Dark's Steve Giles talking about the sale.... 

The £25,000 Album A little over 44 years ago, I was sitting at the dining table in my parents' lounge, gluing a 12"x12" piece of white card to the inside of the back of a plain white record sleeve. These had mounted on to them 4 photographs - 2 colour and 2 black & white - which I had printed myself. I had also printed 9 8"x8" black and white photos on to Lightweight paper that I had copied from photographs I had printed previously and hand written on them the lyrics to 6 of my compositions. The copied photos each had a ½" white strip down the left hand side, except the last one which was back to front compared to the rest. This one had its white strip on the right hand side. The white strips gave me space to staple all 9 photos together to create a booklet. I then took my pride and joy, a 12" black vinyl LP, which contained recordings of those songs - 3 per side, not banded - on which were red labels with black type, and carefully, with it in its polylined inner sleeve, placed it into the card sleeve along with the booklet. I closed the gatefold cover and gazed, with not an insignificant amount of pride, at the package I had created. My Band DARK's first album - Dark Round The Edges. I had absolutely no inkling that some 44 years later that same album would sell for £25,000. Over this weekend, Peter Hassan of Kenilworth Records, who had acquired that album about 2 months ago, messaged me to tell me it had been sold. Ever since it had been announced that it was for sale, Peter would wake up each morning to dozens of emails from all over the World asking for details of the album and how much it was selling for.
He hadn't put a price on it but very soon he was getting offers of over £20,000. I went to see the album and was not surprised at those offers. It was in immaculate condition with virtually no wear & tear on either the LP, Inner, Booklet or Sleeve. Apart from a little bit of ageing of the photos, it was very much as I had last seen it. I found it quite emotional! Peter had decided that he wasn't going to auction it until the New Year. Still the offers came in and started to approach £30,000. Then one day last week, a private collector with whom they had dealt in the past, came in to their shop having arranged for the record to be there so he could examine it. So impressed with the quality was he that he offered them £25,000 there and then. Peter had to discuss this with his business partners. With so much at stake it wasn't a decision he wanted to make on his own. He knew that, with time, he could send out countless emails to all the other interested parties and start some kind of auction. They all knew that if they did this the offers could rise much further. But here was a guy they knew and liked, who could pay for it immediately and take it away with him, making it a much easier transaction than Peter had anticipated, and so, as both he and his partners were desperate for the album to remain in the UK, without too much hesitation, they agreed the sale. Don't ask me who bought it - I don't know! The buyer wishes to remain anonymous - and I, for one, don't blame him! The photo is of this month's Record Collector magazine which includes an article about how I created the sleeves for this album. To see photos of the actual £25,000 album - click the link Pete Clemons....... 

Crafting a musical skeleton that has as much in common with British folk as it does with West Coast jam bands, DARK wouldn't be unlike a lot of other psychedelic bands in the late sixties/early seventies. What made them different was one thing: a solid understanding of fuzzy guitar. Rather than merely using the fuzzbox to show off, DARK incorporated it into the build of their songs, laying it across moody, heavy tracks that approached sprawling. 
It all began in 1968, when guitarist Steve Giles grabbed other guitarist Martin Weaver, drummer Clive Thorneycroft and bassist Ronald Johnson, and formed Dark at a school in Northhampton. Local touring followed for several years, until, in 1972, the band only produced their first album, the not-quite-as-scary-as-you'd-think "Round the Edges" (occasionally featuring Colin Bush on bass. Go figure). 

Only about sixty copies were issued, and original albums remain a collector's item to this day (it has been re-released several times since '72. Obviously, or else I wouldn't have heard it), and has been hailed as the UK's most expensive album. Soon after the album was released, the band broke up, and its members were scattered to the four winds (aka other bands and failed solo projects). 

An effort was made at a revival in the early Nineties, which resulted in more local live shows; however, no new album was produced. Despite a couple of records of outtakes, the only true album by this intelligent jam band remains "Round the Edges". ...........The Whistler - February 2009........

The obscure album by Dark, "Dark Round the Edges" has been both praised and maligned by critics over the years since it's very limited private pressing over 40 years ago. While not all that progressive, it does feature progressive moments, but a more accurate description would be a prog-leaning, 70's psych-rock band. When first listening to this album, the thing that stood out to me was the great sound of Steve Giles' guitar work. Dead Meadow must have had this album somewhere in their collection, for that is what came to mind as I listened. Fat, fuzzed-out, groovy guitar is present in many moments, paired with lighter, cleaner strumming at other times. The vocals are the main weakness here, not bad, but not that good either. However, the songs are well-crafted enough, and the occasional firey guitar stabs of second guitarist Martin Weaver make this album an enjoyable listen. If you are a serious prog-head you may not enjoy this one, but if you like early 70's heavy psych with prog leanings, this is right up your alley. 4 Igor91... 

One of THEE greatest guitar-heavy psych records in the world, “Round the Edges”was originally issued in an edition of around 50 copies, mostly for friends, family, and the odd record company. Its reputation has since blossomed into something resembling a redwood, or perhaps an original Van Gogh. This album is the holy grail for lovers of fuzz-driven hard rock, and has been the most sought-after privately pressed LP on the planet. 

We’ve spared no expense to bring you the deluxe reissue of this classic, an album beloved by heads & cosmic couriers around the world for its great songwriting, terrific instrumental workouts, 
and mysterious vibe..... 

Dark biography 
Crafting a musical skeleton that has as much in common with British folk as it does with West Coast jam bands, DARK wouldn’t be unlike a lot of other psychedelic bands in the late sixties/early seventies. What made them different was one thing: a solid understanding of fuzzy guitar. Rather than merely using the fuzzbox to show off, DARK incorporated it into the build of their songs, laying it across moody, heavy tracks that approached sprawling. 
It all began in 1968, when guitarist Steve Giles grabbed other guitarist Martin Weaver, drummer Clive Thorneycroft and bassist Ronald Johnson, and formed Dark at a school in Northhampton. Local touring followed for several years, until, in 1972, the band only produced their first album, the not-quite-as-scary-as-you’d-think “Round the Edges” (occasionally featuring Colin Bush on bass. Go figure). 
Only about sixty copies were issued, and original albums remain a collector’s item to this day (it has been re-released several times since ’72. Obviously, or else I wouldn’t have heard it), and has been hailed as the UK’s most expensive album. Soon after the album was released, the band broke up, and its members were scattered to the four winds (aka other bands and failed solo projects). 
An effort was made at a revival in the early Nineties, which resulted in more local live shows; however, no new album was produced. Despite a couple of records of outtakes, the only true album by this intelligent jam band remains “Round the Edges”. 

Dark  "Artefacts From The Black Museum" Only 500 Copies pressed
In 1972, the band Wicked Lady decided to finally calm down a bit and work on the album. Calm did not last too long, because at the beginning of work on the album the musicians quarreled and began to fight among themselves. Police intervened and the band landed in jail. After the musicians came to the conclusion that they are not able to sign a contract with any record label and the band solved. The musicians went to an unspecified Middle East ….
only Martin Weaver just landed in a very good group - Dark, eventually landing in Africa, would where further sped rollicking life.
Their 3rd album called ‘Artefacts of the Black Museum’ is a second collection of early recordings pre-dating the debut, this time from 1970 to 1972. It was released in 2002 and was every bit as good as everything else they have done..
Recorded Sis Studios Northampton, 1970 - 1972,
Label:Acme – AC8009LP LP Limited Edition, 500 Copies

Colin Justcolin Bush - Bass 
Stepa Steve Giles - Guitar 
Igor Nikolaev Thorneycroft - Drums 
Ronald Smirnyagin Johnson - Bass 
Igor Martin Weaver - Guitar 

1. Darkside (Giles, Johnson, Thorneycroft, Bush) - 7:28 
2. Maypole (Giles) - 5:03 
3. Live For Today (Giles, Johnson, Thorneycroft, Weaver) - 8:07 
4. R.C.8 (Giles) - 5:05 
5. Cat (Giles, Johnson, Thorneycroft) - 5:19 
6. Zero Time (Giles, Johnson, Thorneycroft) - 6:49 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..







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