‘Elephantasia’ is a glorious folk opus from 1972, long lost and attaining a legendary reputation for its candour and creativity, from the late Bangor-born singer/songwriter Dave Evans. Finally, the LP sees the light of day again via Earth Recordings, it is a true gem from the vaults of British folk history. For fans of Nick Drake, Bill Fay and Davy Graham – with a touch of Michael Chapman, Bert Jansch and Fahey for good measure.
Dave Evans’ story is like a Pinter play; he sailed the seas in the merchant navy, was taught guitar in a brief interlude by the “mythical” Morocco John, wound up sharing a room with Steve Tilston in 1963 when they attended Loughborough Art College and ran the local folk club, while learning to make stringed instruments, the art of wine making and ceramics. Over the next year, Dave got a domestic 2-track reel-to-reel tape recorder and experimented with its two speeds to produce the tracks ‘Elephantasia’ and ‘Lady Portia’. He pulled in members of local prog band Squidd, including latter day Hawkwind member Steve Swindells on keyboards, John Merritt on bass and Rodney Matthews on drums, who also designed the ‘Elephantasia’ album cover, and went on to become a renowned fantasy artist.
‘Elephantasia’ the album was originally released in 1972, fully exposing Dave’s finger picking style, lilting vocal and his dalliance with the tape manipulation. It sold around 2000 copies and over the years became a talked about rarity, deemed too progressive for folk, too folk for the new prog heads. In best plot-thickening style, Dave tried two more releases and then disappeared. The scant sleeve notes recounted the songs’ creation, featuring tales of experimentation in sound inspired by elephants, old memories recounted with all of the unpleasant bits edited out, storylines for escapists, the residents of St Agnes Park, broken beauty queens and a fat feline. It’s an eclectic but beautifully fluent narrative from a finger picking maestro with a warm and engaging vocal style that wowed Peel and Whispering Bob back in the day.
Dave Evans sadly died in April 2021. Earth Recordings is proud to reissue ‘Elephantasia’ for the first time in over 50 years, in collaboration with his estate and original Village Thing producer Ian A. Anderson.
Tracklisting: Side A 1. Only Blue 2. Elephantasia 3. Lady Portia 4. That's My Way 5. On The Run
Side B 6. St. Agnes Park 7. Beauty Queen 8. Ten Ton Tasha 9. Earth, Wind, Sun & Rain 10. Take Me Easy
Sal, Bea and Raquel aka Shooting Daggers, are fast becoming a fiery beacon at the beating heart of the burgeoning UK hardcore scene. Their first EP 'Athames' hinted that there was something special here, and left folks gagging for more.
Their debut album will not disappoint. Titled ‘Love and Rage’ it’s a huge leap forward from their EP, in fact we believe Daggers have recorded something of a corker in terms of modern hardcore in fact ... a potential minor classic debut maybe.
Whatever way you spin it, there is no doubt that ’Love and Rage' is an album of jaw dropping depth and melody as well as blinding energy, feminist fury and angst. There are kick ass buzzsaw punk bangers of course, blistering shards of pent up fury, like ‘Dare’ and ‘Not My Rival’ ‘Wipeout’ and ‘Bad Seeds’.
Daggers ‘as you might expect, but here, more catchy, more direct, more focussed than before. However, things start to get even more interesting with songs like ‘Smug’ and ‘Tunnel Vision’ a big hint that this is no ordinary punk rock record. A grungy intro bangs into stuttering riffs and chorus with harmonies that will lock itself into your head.
Then the band drops ‘A Guilty Conscience Needs An Accuser’ and you go well what is this? A sort of 90’s shoegaze grunge infused soaring ballad, that is as breathtakingly bold as it is unexpected and a real standout.
As is the album’s title track ‘Love And Rage’ with its Dinosaur Jr meets Lush vibe. It all fits perfectly. The final track ‘Caves/Outro’ is just vocals and piano … it can only be described as ‘lovely’. Wow. The influences never overwhelm, it’s always unmistakably ‘Shooting Daggers’ pushing that hardcore envelope big time.
With ‘Love and Rage’ Shooting Daggers could quite possibly become your favourite band.
Tracklisting: 1. Dare 2. Not My Rival 3. Smug 4. Wipe Out 5. A Guilty Conscience Needs An Accuser 6. Tunnel Vision 7. Bad Seeds 8. Love & Rage 9. Caves/Outro
53 is the follow-up EP to Assegai’s debut album Kraal.
The new EP was written and recorded in the midst of a pandemic in a closed down venue, where the four members found themselves focusing more on the repetition of subtle changes that mirrored the tranquil feelings created by a forced contemplative lockdown.
The songs' bare and minimal structures bear more resemblance to the atmosphere found in their rehearsal space, than to the live shows which were impossible to play at the time.
53 is based on simple experimentation, where each composition showcases a new idea or feeling that collectively fascinated the band, and that they tried to convey to the fullest.
Tracklisting: 1. Ode Til 2. Applaus 3. Se Nu Stiger Solen (fortolkning) 4. Raw Power 5. Én tid 6. Grænseværdi