Pink Fairies – in concert at The Paris Theatre, London 1971 – Hosted by John Peel – BBC Radio 1 –
Pink Fairies tonight. A band which may not register a whole lot with people on this side of the Atlantic, but were one of those underground mainstays in the UK, who were very much a part of the Psychedelic outgrowth of the early 70s and who went on to be huge influences with a number of Punk Bands in the later 70s.
If there was one song The Pink Fairies did that could constitute as an anthem for a decade, it would hands-down be “Do It” – a song with the indelible lyrics “Don’t talk About it – Just Do It!” that served as a wake-up call to the 70s and pretty much described the atmosphere of the times. Sadly, it’s not included in this concert.
But like a lot of bands at the time, structure wasn’t a forté – as is evidenced here, during this 1971 BBC Paris Theatre concert, hosted by none other than John Peel. Solos go on forever – songs turn into jams and the whole thing drifts off into a cloud of feedback and drum solos. And that’s why there’s only three songs on this set.
If anything, that was the big problem with the early 70s – and was 90% of the reason bands from the Punk era took the Fairies social stance, but compacted the music into 2 minute excursions and ramped everything up a few hundred revolutions. Still, Pink Fairies represented a certain blow against the status quo which appealed to a lot of people, even in 1971. Taken as part of a scene at the time – a scene which included The Deviants (fronted by radical figure and social anarchist Mick Farren and first incarnation of The Pink Fairies which included the legendary former Pretty Things drummer Twink), Hawkwind, later Motorhead and a number of bands, groups, gatherings and social movements which eventually culminated in the dawn of Punk.
All good stuff, but not what you would consider on its surface the harbinger of groups like The Damned with anthems like New Rose a few short years later. The Damned, by the way, were hugely influenced by The Pink Fairies.
So it all fits – it’s an interesting puzzle, one where all the corners aren’t rounded out and fit in easily – but it fits.
Start with Never Never Land and begin your Pink Fairies adventure there -it’s all around, waiting to be discovered.