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8 Jan 2017

Mirkwood "Mirkwood" 1973 UK Private Heavy Psych Rock











Mirkwood  "Mirkwood" 1973 UK mega rare & excellent Private Heavy Psych Rock only  99 copies pressed orginal.
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Mirkwood is a very obscure band from Dover England in the early 70’s. This record was originally released in 1973 and has been restored from a pristine vinyl copy as the original master tapes do not exist anymore. The band plays a raw edged guitar driven progressive rock. The opening track has some great guitar work. This track reminds me a bit of Steamhammer. Love’s Glass of Sunshine changes things but is also a really cool track with a lot of changes but a strong drive leading into the guitar solo section that goes into a tiny bit of Hendrix like the Wind Cries Mary and then the track slowly builds up again. Amazing song. Just Because is a mellower groovy tune with some jazzy lead guitar. The Leech is a 60’s inspired track but they still leave space for a nice acid guitar break here and there. The Vision is a very short track in a similar vein as the previous track. Clockwise is a cool song as well that slowly builds up but is mostly based on just a simple guitar and some cool layers of vocals until the end when he plays some great guitar. Lavendula ends the CD and a really great release. You are really lucky if you have the vinyl version of this rare record…… 

Mirkwood’s lone self-titled album was originally issued in 1973, in an edition of just 99 copies. Coming out of the port town of Dover, with each of the group members having honed their moves in various outfits for years (including the original Rolling Stones from 1957 – no relation to the Glimmer Twins).This album’s fantastic mix of precise hard rock and mysterious ballads has had many a private press enthusiast by the hair over the years. Crashing out of the gates with the one-two knockout combination of the fuzz shuffle of “Take My Love” and the epic 11-minute centerpiece of “Love’s Glass Of Sunshine”, this record is a classic deep listen, revealing great moments with each new spin. 

Killer harmonies and lots of twin-guitar lead action, tough and tender, this record is pure autumnal magic. We’re very thrilled to have it available again on vinyl for the first time in many years……….. 

Seven lengthy tracks with incredible perfect rhythm changes, harsh guitar solos and also silent and epic tracks. One of the ten records for a lonely island. But incredible rare and almost impossible to find. 
The band was formed in Dover,Kent in early 1971 by Jack Castle and Mick Morris.By 1971 heavy rock had become the predominant musical force:Jack and Mick resolved to form a new band that would play entirely original material and feature dual lead guitars three-part harmony vocals and a tight rhythm section.The outcome of their endeavours was named Mirkwood,with an initial line-up of Derek Bowley (lead vocals),Jack Castle and Mick Morris (both guitar and vocals),Steve Smith (drums) and Andy Broadbent (bass).In early 1972 Dave Evans was brought in to replace Andy Broadbent.Until their last gig in June 1975 the band played throughout the South East of England including support work to some well-known bands including,Supertramp.Mirkwood got together just once more,in 1978 for a reunion performance at the Marlowe Theatre,Canterbury.The only ‘proper’ recording that Mirkwood made was for an album on the Flams Ltd Label (catalogue No PR1067) a local record label.Recording commenced on 17 January 1973 at Jack’s house in Whitfield,Dover on a Revox reel-to-reel tape recorder!The machine was operated by Ron Nunn (hence the initials 'REN’ on the back sleeve),he also designed the album’s cover.A mere 99 copies of the album were pressed,the majority ending up with family,friends and local supporters. 
It was essentially a live recording. We just set up the equipment at Jack’s house as if we were on stage and Ron Nunn (that’s what the REN on the cover stands for) recorded us straight onto on his Revox tape recorder! There were no overdubs or special effects - it was a completely live sound. The album contained the first batch of songs we wrote and we have always regretted not recording some of our later material which only exists now on a few very poor quality live tapes. After Mirkwood’s last appearance (it was at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury in 1978) Jack and I played together during the early 80’s in a band called EASY ACTION and Derek and I were in a band called ICEBREAKER from the late 80’s until 1995. Jack now lives in Wales and has a solo act. Derek and I occasionally get together at local venues and I still play quite often (mainly jazz on guitar and Irish music on banjo!). Sadly, I’ve lost touch with the others.“ (By courtesy of the band member Mick Morris, who gave this informations. Thanks, Mike!) - (By Adamus67)…….. 
Mirkwood were from Dover, Kent, in England. They played progressive rock with two guitars and a thought-provoking text. They owed not only to their musical abilities, but also to their capacity of transforming new ideas into music that they were among the leading bands in Kent. Their one and only LP (Flams Ltd. PR 1067) was recorded on 17 January 1973. It still was released in the very same year in a number of only 99 pieces. Thus, today it is worth about 1000€ when in mint condition. New legal releases appeared on Tenth Planet in 1993, and on Amber Soundroom in 2004. A CD was yet to come. The one here on hand comes along with a 32-page booklet full of information. It holds among others a gripping review by the guitarist Jack Castle which makes those times come alive. By the way, from 1973 on Nick "Topper” Headon - later with The Clash - performed as drummer with Mirkwood………. 
One of the most appealing and daunting aspects of record collecting is the simple fact that it never ends. With over 100 years of recorded music and millions of groups existing in that time, a record collector’s mission is a lifelong event. As soon as one piece is placed on the shelf, it opens a door to three other records that inspired it. Soon, the obsessive fan is digging deep, trying to find that one obscure record from the band nobody heard of but everyone should know. 

People have gone mad trying to find “the one.” Fortunes have been made and wasted in the pursuit. Families have been ripped apart, lovers betrayed and best friends killed…no, wait. That’s the Lord of the Rings, but you get the idea. Thankfully, with the Great Vinyl Revival, more and more of those obscure, palm-clamming, heavy breath inducing beauties are being reissued so we don’t have to kill our neighbors for their collection…yet. One record in particular is Mirkwood’s 1973 self-titled masterpiece, re-released by Machu Picchu Ltd & Light in the Attic Records. 

Formed in 1972 in Dover, England by guitarists Mick Morris and Jack Castle, Mirkwood found their sound in heavy, yet aloof, progressive rock. 

Fun Fact #1: Before forming Mirkwood, Morris was in the original Rolling Stones, a skiffle and blues band that formed in 1956. Shortly after playing a London gig in the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones heard another band (based in London) was using the name. The Dover boys thought about protecting their name legally, but ended up changing to The Playboys in hopes of taking the band further. However, that’s another story. 

In 1973, MIrkwood cut their only album with 99 copies and shortly lost their first drummer, Steve Smith. 

Fun Fact #2: They quickly replaced him with Nick “Topper” Headon, who stayed in Mirkwood for a year and a half only to later join The Clash in 1977. 

Supplementing their own gigs with work as the backup band for bigger acts like Supertramp, Mirkwood would disband in 1978 and the name would fall off the rock precipice into musical obscurity. Only the record collectors would keep the name alive. 

With such a limited pressing of such a monster album, Mirkwood’s self-titled became a precious commodity and even was Record Collector Magazine’s most expensive listed LP at one time. And it’s easy to see why! Morris and Castle’s duel, fuzzed guitars rip through the melodic bass lines of D. Evans, giving the listener a firm grip on the ground while the acid guitar trip swirls above. Smith’s drums fly from Ginger Baker-inspired beats (though never quite reaching the mad redhead’s level) to a calm, Ringo Starr timing. Derek Bowley’s vocals are powerful and seductive, harmonizing with Castle & Morris’ background voices when needed and belting out the chops when he’s front and center. Mirkwood is heavy and dark, mixed with pockets of mystery and fantasy, nothing less expected from a band named after a forest in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. 

Fun Fact #3: Mirkwood is actually a term taken from the 19th century poet, novelist, translator and textile designer, William Morris, who had roughly translated it from a Norse myth about the Myrkvior forest. 

Simply put, Mirkwood is a killer album that any prog, psych, or classic rock lover should own. Not only will it provide you with hours of deep listening but you can impress that girl or guy you’ve been eyeing for a while with some amazing songs they are guaranteed to have never heard. Plus, you can feel good doing it, because the reissue was officially licensed by the band, who will receive royalties for every LP sold. 

Machu Picchu Ltd. only did a limited, one-time pressing of this gem, but we still have one or two floating around Streetlight Records. If you let it get away, well, I guess you have the rest of your life to keep looking, right?….by Mat Weir………. 
The only recording that Mirkwood made was for an album on the Flams Label with just 99 copies. With dual guitar battles and stoned vox, this record is a highlight and a masterpiece of (hard) progessive rock with psychedelic influences. Seven lengthy tracks with incredible perfect rhythm changes, harsh guitar solos and also silent and epic tracks. One of the ten records for a lonely island. But incredible rare and almost impossible to find. “It was essentially a live recording. We just set up the equipment at Jacks house as if we were on stage and Ron Nunn (thats what the REN on the cover stands for) recorded us straight onto on his Revox tape recorder! There were no overdubs or special effects - it was a completely live sound. The album contained the first batch of songs we wrote and we have always regretted not recording some of our later material which only exists now on a few very poor quality live tapes. After Mirkwoods last appearance (it was at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury in 1978) Jack and I played together during the early 80s in a band called EASY ACTION and Derek and I were in a band called ICEBREAKER from the late 80s until 1995. Jack now lives in Wales and has a solo act. Derek and I occasionally get together at local venues and I still play quite often (mainly jazz on guitar and Irish music on banjo!). Sadly, I’ve lost touch with the others.” (By courtesy of Mick Morris, who gave me this informations. Thanks, Mike!)…Record Collector……. 

Credits 
Derek Bowley (lead vocals) 
Jack Castle (guitar, vocals) 
Mick Morris (guitar, vocals) 
Steve Smith (drums) 
Andy Broadbent (bass) 

Tracklist 
A1 Take My Love
A2 Loves Glass Of Sunshine
A3 Just Because
B1 The Leech
B2 The Vision
B3 Clockwise
B4 Lavendula 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..