Thursday, 24 May 2018

Dancer “Tales Of The Riverbank” LP unreleased (1972) - CD Kissing Spell (2001) UK Prog Rock


Dancer  “Tales Of The Riverbank”  LP unreleased (1972) - CD Kissing Spell (2001) UK Prog Rock
Dancer “Mind Houses"1972 on google+
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ApMskdFRJiK0JQna2

full vk

Dancer formed from the remnants of the Isle of Wight band Peppermint Snuff of Wight / Foehammer / Shide & Acorn, not lasting long and only leaving behind this delayed release to commemorate their existence. The album is largely centered on an early composition by the late Anthony Minghella, set to music mostly for the purpose of this record. The band recorded it over a few months period under the direction of former Black Sabbath manager Wilf Pine. The music here is unexceptional, but its accessible enough to be appealing to most of the sort of people who tend to seek out obscure prog folk music. 
The title track, which also happens to consume about a third of the album’s length, starts off with some light acoustic guitar and a couple well-placed harmonic notes, eventually (though slowly) working up around a couple of minutes to some mellotron strings, piano and a little flute before layering on electric guitar, drums and vocals in an easy-going, Genesis-meets-America melodic passage. This segues eventually as well, this time as an even more leisurely organ and stilted piano instrumental. While the music is enjoyable enough to listen to, there’s not a lot of impetus to build toward anything substantive. The boys in the band seem to be content with lazily laying down sound without any definitive purpose. Fair enough, a lot of progressive folk would fit that description. The obligatory flute wafts in around eight minutes, along with some guitar strumming and more organ. I like the pace of this song, but even though it’s quite long it doesn’t really have the makings of anything that would be considered an epic. 

Somewhere around nine minutes or so the whole thing starts to sound like one of Andy Tillison’s Tangent story-songs, which I tend to enjoy but are often accused of being derivative. The ending consists of a spurt of electric guitar burst and rising chorus before ending, too abruptly for my tastes but worth a few spins if you’re in an easy-going mood. 

The rest of the album tends to be a bit uneven, with the languid and mostly acoustic “American Wood” flitting past before the band moves back to a keyboard-intensive sound with the easy-listening, good-to- be-alive “Morning” that is distinguished by a couple of lead vocalists that morph into a harmonic duo for most of the track. 

“Mac’s Café” is more of a heavy-prog composition that also sound an awful lot like a Tangent song, while “The Change in Me” moves back to an acoustic guitar arrangement distinguished by harmonizing vocals in the vein of Tractor. “Fairhill Affair” has a distinctive Neil Young-sounding guitar track but otherwise is a pretty standard contemporary rock number. 

Finally the band closes on a bit of a high note by resurrecting the flute and mellotron on the mildly funky “Mind the Houses” that is easy on the ears while at the same time is firmly rooted in the early seventies. 

The band actually broke up before this record could be released, with Paul Athey and Mick Cuffe going on to form a white-funk band known as Big Swifty and the late Anthony Minghella branching out to a successful career as a film producer (The English Patient). Copies of the original tapes floated around for three decades before technology and interest from the now mostly mature prog community leading Kissing Spell to release it in 2001. 

This isn’t a masterpiece by any means, but it is a pleasant and well-played bit of rare progressive folk that manages to tie together a number of minor acts from the heyday of progressive music. I’d say three stars is a fair way to rate the music, and would recommend it to fans of Shide & Acorn, The Way We Live and bands of that nature. ….peace….by ClemofNazareth …..~


Most of the best known and biggest selling progressive rock acts took composition, rehearsal and studio time as seriously as themselves, and even those who relied on improvisation did so painstakingly in multiple takes. But not all were blessed with the lead and studio time to allow their creative seeds to bear fully formed fruit. An example is the ephemeral British group DANCER, who were suddenly offered limited studio time and a big name producer, and built an album around it. "Tales of the Riverbank” was recorded in 1971 and went unreleased until bassist Mike Cuffe was alerted to the presence of master tapes in somebody’s attic almost 30 years later. Ultimately, this resulted in a CD release on Kissing Spell in 2001. Knowing the backstory makes the listening experience bittersweet, for this is a rough cut folk/soft rock gem with prog overtones, and recalls a simpler time in the lives of pretty much anyone who was alive back then. 
The 11 minute title track is the main highlight, beginning with gentle and deft acoustic guitar soloing before a divine melody announces the full band. It’s a shame that the rest of the piece and album don’t quite deliver on the massive pastoral promise of that introduction, but the lyrical imagery, pleasant vocals and harmonies, lead guitar figures, strummed acoustic guitar backing, nimble percussion, dancing flutes and shimmering mellotron strings give it their all. Another note about the tron is that it is given to enunciating individual notes in the manner of SPRING, whom they sound like anyway, as opposed to contemporaneous samples by the MOODY BLUES and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST. While they do attempt to wrap up the suite near the end, including a formidable one armed lead guitar solo, it never quite feels complete to me, lovely though it is. 

For the rest, I have to give kudos to the band for their talents and resourcefulness, because it’s all good, as much because of as in spite of the wide eyed idealism on display. “America Wood” is a soft rock bridge between some of the work of the BEATLES and SIMON AND GARFUNKEL to AMERICA and mid period AMAZING BLONDEL, neither of whom were active, or at least playing in this vein, at the time. From a prog perspective, “Morning” is similar to the first track, relying on vocal and keyboard talents in particular. Another band that comes to mind is LINDISFARNE, who were actually pretty big at the time in the UK, but a lighter and more keyboard oriented GROUNDHOGS also come to mind, not surprisingly given that the album was produced by their guitarist. The best harder rock moment is “Fairhill Affair”, which shifts smoothly and assuredly from slow and bluesy to spirited and raucous. 
This sweet one-off manages to crystallize the best qualities of both amateur and professional productions, and deserved a better fate negotiating the unforgiving currents of yesteryear. Luckily, it is yours to discover now. 3.5 stars rounded up…just because….by kenethlevine ….~

Marvelous 1972 Prog.Folk Rock album produced by Goundhog´s Tony McPhee. Beautiful songs with melancolic and dreamy melodies. Excellent guitar and drum playing. The 13 minutes song “Tales of the Riverbank” is a Prog Rock masterpiece….by….enlil ….~


Credits 
Bass – Mike Cuffe 
Guitar – Tony McPhee (tracks: 1) 
Guitar, Vocals – Mike Jolliffe 
Keyboards, Mellotron – Anthony Minghella 
Lead Guitar, Flute – Gerry Cahill* 
Percussion, Guitar, Backing Vocals – Paul Athey

Tracklist 
1 Tales Of The Riverbank
2 America Wood
3 Morning
4 Mac’s Cafe
5 This Change In Me
6 Fairhill Affair
7 Mind The Houses 

johnkatsmc5,the experience of music..

volume

volume

Fuzz

Fuzz

Analogue

Analogue

Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck

Akai

Akai

vinyl

vinyl

Music

Music

sound

sound

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Vinyl

Vinyl

music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

Dance

Dance

Crazy with music

Crazy with music

vinyl

vinyl