Nektar (and friends) - a case of being overlooked but also bad timing.

Nektar In Concert – Hofstra University – 1977 – Past Daily Backstage Pass

Nektar (and friends) – a case of being overlooked but also bad timing.

Nektar – In Concert At Hofstra University, New York – October 18, 1977 – WLIR-FM – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Nektar this weekend. In concert at Hofstra University in New York, recorded and broadcast live by WLIR-FM. Often considered one of the more overlooked bands of the Prog era, Nektar suffered from bad timing but also being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When their debut album was released in 1971 on the German Bellaphon label, it was a natural assumption this was one of those German bands in the same mold as Can or Guru-Guru, who were breaking ground and pioneering the genre which came to be known as Krautrock. Well, a couple of press releases cleared up the misconception and Nektar was actually an English band who formed in Germany and made Hamburg their home base. The other problem was their introduction to the world came by way of a two-sided magnum opus that got very little in the way of airplay and primarily by way of the College FM underground who happened upon an import copy as Nektar didn’t have an American label at the time.

Even though they finally did break-through with their 1973 release on Passport Records, . . .Sounds Like This, and then their fourth album Remember The Future which was their most popular and did manage to make the Album charts along with a tour of the U.S., they never really approached the level of popularity similar bands had achieved a few years earlier. One of the bands they were most closely associated with in style was Gentle Giant and even they were heading in the direction of cashing in to a more commercial direction.

Nektar’s audience was loyal and eclectic but not stadium filling. By the time, Magic Is A Child, their seventh release happened, they had officially signed with Polydor worldwide (rather than licensing deals country by country via Bellaphon/Bacillus in Germany) and were in the midst of potential personnel changes.

Sadly, Nektar called it a day in 1978. But picked it up again with mostly new members in 1979, before packing it in again in 1982. The band eventually regrouped in 2000 and settled in the U.S. for a while.

Since that time the band had lost two founding members, lead vocalist Roye Albrighton died in 2016 and original keyboard player Taff Freeman died in 2021. The band relocated back to Germany and have been there ever since and are still recording and performing.

For a taste of what they were up to in 1977, and what the original Nektar sounded like, here is their performance at Hofstra University from October 1977.

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