The Green Telescope In session – January 11, 1986 – BBC Radio 1 – The Green Telescope – BBC 1986
Diving into relative obscurities tonight with The Green Telescope; a somewhat short-lived band (under that name), but who offered a few tantalizing coming-attractions of what was around the corner with the Psych Revival.
The Green Telescope were a Garage beat band from Edinburgh, Scotland who released two 45s in the mid 80s. Lenny Helsing, guitar and vocals, Alan McLean, bass, Bruce Lyall, organ and Gavin Henderson, drums: played on debut Two By Two EP. Gavin replaced by Mal Kergan for Face In A Crowd single. Steve Fraser temporarily replaced Alan on bass for The Waking Dream and Tribute To Syd Barrett recordings in 1985. After this they would change their name to The Thanes Of Cawdor then shorten that to The Thanes.
The later groups went through considerable personnel changes, leaving virtually none of the founding members in the subsequent other bands. The Green Telescope did indicate a new genre was bubbling under in the UK – although they wouldn’t be able to appreciate the revival that went along with Psych in the late 80s and early 90s, they did lay the groundwork for other bands to follow-suit. Psych was (and still is) a patch of fertile ground that hasn’t been overused yet. Although much of the Psych revival morphed into Brit-Pop and Madchester, bits and flashes are still happening in other places.
It’s hard to tell just what impact The Green Telescope had on audiences and other musicians – in retrospect, much of their material pre-dates what came along in 1989 and 1990 – and maybe it was this somewhat tenuous stab at re-defining and re-evaluating the genre that brought around a more intense study of the form. Or maybe it was just what Garage Rock was sounding like in other parts of the world around this time – hard to tell.
Hit the play button and go exploring.