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Albion Country Band Mk.1 (4/72-10/72)

GUEST,Einsetumadur 08 Sep 14 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,George Frampton 08 Sep 14 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Einsetumadur 08 Sep 14 - 10:19 AM
nickp 08 Sep 14 - 02:34 PM
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Subject: Albion Country Band Mk.1 (4/72-10/72)
From: GUEST,Einsetumadur
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 07:11 AM

Hi there,

I'm a great fan of Ashley Hutchings' works, and after having collected all officially released recordings of the Mk.1 of the Albion Country Band, I am very keen on getting more information on it (adding to the information Steve Ashley already gave in his book "Fire And Wine" (

Quite recently a very decent recording of the Albion Country Band performing "Seventeen Come Sunday" in Canterbury 09/1972 popped up on Soundcloud. I absolutely adore the rhythmic treatment of the song's lyrics and I cannot get enough of listening to Royston Wood fronting this fantastic rock band.

It would be totally great to know if there's a chance of listening to any more audience tapes of this line-up. Setlists or reports by people who have seen this line-up would also be valuable to me.

Thanks & kind regards

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Subject: RE: Albion Country Band Mk.1 (4/72-10/72)
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 09:38 AM

I too would be intrigued.
I saw Mk 1 at Rochester Castle in 1972, shortly before the split. The Hartley Morris Men performed Queen's Delight to the tune Princess Royal (which was the only morris tune ACB specifically worked up) oblivious to the odd bar structure! Also on the bill was Harvey Andrews and the JSD Band.

To my knowledge, only three tracks survive: Lord Bateman from Steve Ashley's first album, The Four-Hand Reel and Seventeen Come Sunday from a couple of John Peel sessions which are now on Ashley Hutchings's 'The Guv'nor' series. There are a few tracks on Royston & Heather Wood's album that sound Albion-esque.

Mk 2 comprised Richard & Linda Thompson with Sue Draheim on fiddle, with Dave Mattacks on drums, and Tyger himself, possibly Simon Nicol.
Most of the material from that line up came from Richard's first album 'Henry the Human Fly'.

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Subject: RE: Albion Country Band Mk.1 (4/72-10/72)
From: GUEST,Einsetumadur
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 10:19 AM

That's a great anecdote concerning this concert - these are extraordinarily different tunes. Do you remember how the performance gelled with the audience? Was it powerful? Steve Ashley writes that he was extremely fond of the (seemingly rip-roaring) live performances of "Lord Bateman".

Fortunately, even three BBC tracks survived on official Guv'nor releases: "Four-Hand Reel", "Rambling Sailor" (with exhilarating dual lead vocals by Steve Ashley and Royston Wood) and a 6-minute Morris Medley (including Jockey To The Fair and Princess Royal). I believe that "Seventeen Come Sunday" wasn't taped, however.
"St Patrick's Breastplate" by Wood & Wood was indeed a fine successor the ACB-Mk.1 output.

The concerts by Mk2 are well-documented by 3 audience recordings. Stand-outs were an early electric rendition of "Somerset Wassail" (RT and Simon Nicol alternating on lead vox) and a mighty band version of the "Earsdon Sword Dance"("A Calling-On Song") featuring Simon Nicol, Shirley Collins and Linda Thompson alternating lead vox, making the whole thing sound close to the folk-inspired branch of modern doom metal.

I believe I've read somewhere that a nearly complete audience recording of this Canterbury concert exists. It would be splendid if it was released officially as a kind of "official bootleg" or made available via stream, but sadly I couldn't track down a copy til now.

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Subject: RE: Albion Country Band Mk.1 (4/72-10/72)
From: nickp
Date: 08 Sep 14 - 02:34 PM

Bonzo3legs is an occasional Mudcat poster. Perhaps you could PM him?

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