Bevis Frond – live at Odense, Denmark – March 1, 1993 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Bevis Frond in concert this weekend. A band maybe a few of you aren’t familiar with, but a band whose enormous output qualifies for at least one album in your collection.
The Bevis Frond, the band name used by Nick Saloman for his projects, released Miasma in 1986 to great acclaim from fans of psychedelic rock. A steady stream of LPs since then showcase Nick’s strengths of strong songwriting, finely crafted lyrics, and a musical mixture from wig-out guitar jams to sensitive folky numbers. New album The Leaving Of London is a triumphant return after a 7 year hiatus.
Here’s what Wikipedia have to say (take notes):
Saloman was originally in a band known as the Bevis Frond Museum in the late 1960s, and in the 1970s, whilst at college, he played guitar with a duo called Oddsocks. They released one album, Men of the Moment. In 1979 he formed a band called the Von Trap Family, who released the first single on his own Woronzow Records label. The early Von Trap Family recordings, comprising three sessions, were released on the Bevis Frond Bandcamp site for the first time in May 2010. The next release on Woronzow was in 1982, a 12″ single by Room 13 with Saloman on guitar and future Bevis Frond drummer Martin Crowley. After Room 13 reached the end of its natural life, Nick Saloman had a bad motorbike accident that left him with a constriction of movement in his left arm. True to form, he had the arm set so that he could continue playing guitar. With the proceeds from a damages claim he bought a 4 track recorder and recorded some music which he decided to press as a limited release of 250 albums, more for the sake of just releasing an album than anything else. He was very surprised when Funhouse records in Kent phoned him up and asked for a couple of hundred copies as they had been selling the album quite briskly. Saloman’s desire was to “record the kind of music I’d like to listen to… I wanted a Hendrix/Wipers/Byrds sound but with a distinctly British feel.” Subsequent albums were also recorded in a home studio and released on Woronzow until 1988, when he signed a deal with Reckless Records for the UK and USA. All the early albums were finally re-released on CD and Reckless financed the recording and release of his sixth album, Any Gas Faster, using a professional studio for the first time, reuniting him with Drummer Martin Crowley. This is also the point that he began touring. Another 1990 album, Magic Eye, was a collaboration with Twink of the Pink Fairies. In 1990, he returned to the studio to record his next album, New River Head, which featured guest musicians including Barry Dransfield and David Tibet. The next year he recorded London Stone, but Reckless were less than happy with the album, and in the ensuing friction, Saloman decided to release the album on Woronzow again. All his subsequent albums have appeared on Woronzow.
Saloman continued to release albums regularly until the release of Hit Squad in 2004. A couple of years earlier he had signed a deal with Past and Present in the UK and Rubric Records in the US, after which most of his early albums were remastered and re-released with bonus tracks. This initiative faltered after a couple of years, and all the early albums up to and including London Stone were re-released (Except Any Gas Faster).
In February 2010, a download site was set up for the Bevis Frond. The aim of this project is to make all the Bevis Frond material available for download in the best possible quality, and to make digitally available unreleased tracks and vinyl only tracks from throughout Saloman’s career. Recent additions include all the studio sessions by the Von Trap Family. This project was completed in September 2010.
Early albums were usually entirely recorded by Saloman, while most later albums have been recorded by the contemporary touring band. For performances, the Bevis Frond usually has Adrian “Ade” Shaw on bass. Bevis Frond material is typically released on Woronzow Records label, and is frequently featured in the Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine and accompanying records and CDs. The Bevis Frond also record with and write much of the material for US singer Mary Lou Lord. The song “Lights Are Changing” was chosen for inclusion on Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976–1995.
All that’s left for you to do is hit the play button and go exploring.