Posts Tagged ‘Richard Coughlan’

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So in 1972….you may have the album,but what a treasure of delights was released that year. Take 40 mins over the weekend to enjoy this wonderful record.

Waterloo Lily is a 1972 released album by Caravan on the Deram label. The track “The Love in Your Eye” has been featured as a Caravan live track for many years. Waterloo Lily is the only album by Caravan with Steve Miller as the keyboard player. Before the recording of Waterloo Lily, David Sinclair had departed Caravan to join forces with Soft Machine skinsman Robert Wyatt forming Matching Mole. With the subsequent arrival of the former Delivery member Miller had an overwhelming jazz influence, the edgier progressive rock and folk elements that were so prevalent on their previous albums are somewhat repressed.

The band’s performance level did not suffer in the transition. In fact, the addition of Miller only punctuates Caravan’s previously honed improvisational skills. Beginning with Waterloo Lily’s lead off title track, there is a sound more akin to the jazzier efforts of Traffic.

Steve Miller’s “Nothing at All” incorporates the jazz fusion even further as the long instrumental introduction more than hints at Steely Dan circa Katy Lied. The up-tempo staccato bop featuring Miller’s electric piano accents, when juxtaposed with Pye Hastings‘ liquid-toned electric guitar could easily be mistaken for that of Walter Becker and Donald Fagan. The remainder of the album centers on a couple of pieces that evoke the sound and spirit of the previous Caravan outings. Most reminiscent of the classic sound is Hastings‘ epic “The Love in Your Eye” suite. The track recalls the laid-back intensity and phenomenal improvisational synergy of earlier tracks such as “For Richard” and “Where, but for Caravan Would I,” while wisely incorporating Miller’s formidable jazz chops to give the instrumental sections sustained substance throughout.

The remastered CD offers three additional compositions circa the Waterloo Lily sessions. “Pye’s June Thing” and “Ferdinand” are two of Hastings‘ acoustic demos. A considerably more complete “Looking Left, Looking Right” is a treasured recovery from the vaults. Originally vaulted due to the time limitations of vinyl, this track, along with “Pye’s Loop” — which acts as a coda to “Looking Left…”

Miller brought a jazzier feel to the sound of Caravan than had been heard on the previous album through his stylings on the Wurlitzer piano rather than the Hammond organ favored by previous keyboardist Dave Sinclair. Guests Phil Miller and Lol Coxhill from Steve Miller’s previous band Delivery play on “Nothing at all”, an instrumental modeled after Miles Davis’s “Right Off”. Soon after Waterloo Lily, Richard Sinclair and Steve Miller left Caravan to play with Phil Miller and Coxhill in a re-formed Delivery, which led to the formation of the band Hatfield and the North.

  • Pye Hastings – guitars & vocals
  • Steve Miller – Wurlitzer electric piano, grand piano, Hammond organ, electric harpsichord
  • Richard Sinclair – bass & vocals
  • Richard Coughlan – drums

The album cover is detail from “The Tavern Scene” from A Rake’s Progress by William Hogarth.

reDiscover Caravan’s ‘In The Land Of Grey And Pink’

Caravan’s total of just two weeks on the official UK album chart utterly belies their historical importance to the British rock landscape, and the progressive “Canterbury scene” in particular. In salute to co-founder Pye Hastings, we’re discovering the band’s third album, 1971’s In The Land Of Grey And Pink. 

Perhaps the best-known LP by the English outfit and seen by many as their finest recording, Grey and Pink arrived some three years after Caravan came into being. They were formed by musicians who’d all played, at varying times, with Wilde Flowers, also the basis of Soft Machine. Hastings set off on this new adventure with Dave Sinclair, his cousin Richard and Richard Coughlan.

An early US deal with the Verve label led to their first, self-titled album, but proved something of a false dawn. As they built their live reputation, Caravan won a second deal with Decca Records, who released 1970’s If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over YouThen came the sessions at both Decca and the new AIR Studios that produced In The Land Of Grey And Pinkwhich proved to be the last album by this line-up until 1982.

Hastings was less prominent on this release than its predecessors, with Richard Sinclair taking the majority of the lead vocals, including on his opening composition ‘Golf Girl.’ Pye’s lighter vocal touch was the lead for the whimsical ‘Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly).’ But it was the episodic, 22-minute ‘Nine Feet Underground,’ which formed the whole of side two of the LP, which came to represent the height of Caravan’s free-spirited sonic experimentation and their highly individual marriage of folk, jazz and rock elements.

The album often exuded a poppy feel, with a piccolo solo on ‘Golf Girl’ by Pye’s brother, fellow Canterbury alumnus Jimmy Hastings. The track was on the b-side of the single released in February 1971, led by ‘Love To Love You.’ The album followed in April on Decca’s Deram label, with a gatefold sleeve featuring Anne-Marie Anderson’s memorably Tolkienesque illustration.

The album missed the UK chart, but went on to become Caravan’s bestselling release, and has always remained in catalogue. In 2011, the record’s 40th anniversary was marked with a deluxe reissue. The original multi-track session and album masters were revisited by modern-day progressive music figurehead Steven Wilson, who completed new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes.  

More recently, after many years of talk about a solo project for Hastings, he started a successful PledgeMusic campaign to fund his first album in his own name, From The Half Housereleased in the summer of 2017.

Richard Sinclair – bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals Pye Hastings – electric guitars, acoustic guitar, vocals David Sinclair – organ, piano, Mellotron, harmony vocals Richard Coughlan – drums and percussion All songs by Richard Coughlan, Pye Hastings, Dave Sinclair and Richard Sinclair (except “Aristocracy”, by Coughlan, Hastings and Richard Sinclair)