Hatfield And The North this weekend, from a concert recorded at Tin Pan Alley in The Netherlands on March 29, 1974. Hatfield was primarily made up of former members of Caravan, another band which were part of what came to be known as The Canterbury Sound. Although the band was short-lived (lasting only from 1972-1975), they became enormously influential in the burgeoning Prog-rock genre which was developing around this time. In later years, they would be the subject of numerous articles and archival footage showed up in the 2015 Documentary, Romantic Warriors III: Canterbury Tales. The roots of Hatfield and The North could be traced as far back as 1964, via the seminal band Wilde Flowers, from which Caravan, Gong, Soft Machine and offshoots sprang forth.
Although keyboardist Dave Stewart bristled at the label, it came to symbolize the growth of a musical movement that has continued to a certain extent, but has also been subject to much discussion and historic scrutiny as well as rediscovery by musicians and fans who weren’t around the first time, but have heard about these bands and their influence over the years.
This concert comes around the time of the release of their debut album for Virgin Records.
Since their breakup in 1975, the band have had various reunions over the years. After a one-off gig in 1980, the band didn’t get together again until 2005, where they reunited (with some personnel changes) and toured from 2005-2006. Founding member, drummer Pip Pyle died in August of 2006 following a Hatfield concert. The death of Pyle put things on definite hold and not much has been heard from the surviving members, aside from the reissue of archival and unissued material.
Together for a short time, but whose influence has been felt to a considerable degree over the years, Hatfield and The North were more than just a footnote in the musical progression of a genre, they were an integral part in making it happen.
If you aren’t familiar with the band, this snapshot should answer a few questions. If you are, it’s like visiting with old friends.
Play loud in either event.