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Friday, September 7, 2012

Aardvark - Aardvark (1970 uk, great heavy progressive rock, japan 2004 issue)

The group Aardvark remains one of those numerous bands who released a single album in the early seventies and subsequently sunk without a trace. However the band still retain a certain amount of interest amongst progressive rock enthusiasts because of their particular heavy styled progressive rock that was completely keyboard based with the band making do without the use of any guitar. 

The band itself was a studio band with most compositions entrusted to the hand of Dave Skillin and were based in the Midlands. Strangely enough, though the band dispensed with any guitars, they had trouble with the recruitment of a keyboardists and one could say that they were mainly a studio band with very little live dates to their name. 

Because of their very brief history, very little can be said about the band and it is their album that speaks volumes for what they were all about. However, there are a couple of interesting anecdotes related to this band and for those musos who try to connect musicians and bands through the ages, Aardvark had a number of musicians who would later go on to make names for themselves with various other outfits. 

The album was released in 1970 on the Deram Nova label in both mono and stereo versions as (S)DN 17 with a value on today's market of 50.00 British sterling. Though titled Aardvark, it is also known as Put It In Your Pipe And Smoke It. In all probability the title was withdrawn because of its obvious drug references, with the title track reduced to just Put It In You Pipe. 

Steve Milliner previously played keyboards with Black Cat Bones, a London based blues-rock based band who only released one album during their brief tenure together. The band is rather more well-known because both Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke played in the band before leaving to form legendary band, Free. 

Dave Skillin would eventually join prog-band Home, another Forgotten Sons candidate whilst I could not find anything related to Frank Clark. Stan Aldous is also known for the work he had done previously with garage band Odyssey. 

Throughout the brief Aardvark history, the band also went through a number of keyboardists. Amongst these one finds Paddy Coulter, Dave Watts, who would later play with Jackson Heights and Affinity and the late Peter John Wood. Wood would go on to play with Quiver, The Sutherland Brothers, Al Stewart and Natural Gas. 

The band Aardvark are also involved in one of the myths of British psychedelia. The group Tintern Abbey only released one single throughout their recording span, Beeside/Vacuum Cleaner, for Deram (DM 164) in 1967. Considered as one of the most collectable items from this particular musical period, it has long been rumoured that the band had recorded a second single, How Do I Feel Today which was never released yet which was supposedly circulated amongst collectors. 

In fact the single was never recorded and the name of the single was actually an unissued Aardvark single that was meant to be released on independent label as Rubble 12. However the tapes were lost by Deram and the band used the name of the Aardvark title, created a fictitious cover and thus deceived countless numbers of psychedelic fans all over the world!
by Nigel Camilleri

1. Copper Sunset - 3:17
2. Very Nice Of You To Call - 3:39
3. Many Things To Do - 4:20
4. Greencap - 6:02
5. I Can't Stop - 5:26
6. Outing - Yes - 9:50
7. Once Upon A Hill (Stan Aldous) - 3:03
8. Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It - 7:13
All songs by Dave Skillin except where noted.

*Stan Aldous - Bass
*Frank Clark - Drums
*Steve Milliner - Keyboards, Recorder, Vibraphone
*Dave Skillin - Vocals

Free Text
Free Text II


adamus67 said...

Aardvark on the album have a nice piece for the ear, the old school progressive play..... of certainly falls into the ear for all fans of organs Hammond B3 they are omnipresent on the album, but there is no guitar, which resembles in sound the band Emerson, Like & Palmer, Egg and Quatermass. I would add that the works of Aardvark hovers the ghost of Atomic Rooster and Beggars Opera, also echoes Pink Floyd are also present. Interesting, dynamic compositions ... the leg itself rapped the rhythm, listening to the album "one breath".

Most songs on the album were written by Dave Skillin. They were mostly a studio band and made very few live appearances as they had enormous difficulties finding a keyboard player. Steve Milliner was previously in Black Cat Bones. Other keyboardists in the band were Paddy Coulter, Peter John Tdoof and Dave Watts, who was later in Jackson Heights and Affinity. Peter John Wood had played with The Trendsetters Soul Band and Hush and was later in Sutherland Brothers and Quiver and also played with Al Stewart and Natural Gas. Stan Aldous had previously been in Odyssey.

adamus67 said...

The album opens with a powerful, rhythmic hard-rock 'Cooper Sunset' from organ riff driving it played on a hard overdriven Hammond B3 organ and arranged with a piano and ear catching chorus .... you could hear the influence of the band Deep Purple. I think a strong party band recordings were calmer, combining aesthetics with subtle progressive jazz influences, such as the lively 'Very Nice Of You To Call', where the foreground has been advanced jazz piano decorated with lots of rhythmic clapping. Seemingly this is not a particularly complicated, but listening to the delicious, reminds that we are dealing with a racially progressive band, one of many that worked at that time in Britain.

Full of ideas of spontaneity and structure of delights 'Many Things To Do' with a fun, party hurdy-gurdy Hammond organs in the middle section and some changes of rhythm .... sounded echoes the achievements of the trio Atomic Rooster.

It is no different with a great 'Greencap'. Lots of good brings to the song vocals Dave Skillina in verse processed, deformed voice - probably inspired by the idea of ​​'21st Century Schizoid Man' King Crimson, and clean the catchy chorus. Very psychedelic doing in the middle piece, where subtle, multidimensional solo takes us slowly into on orbit (a magical moment, you have to listen to). hammond organ improvisations backed by vibraphone sounds. This is one of the strongest parts of the whole disc.

Wildly romantic prelude to "I Can not Stop 'turns into a runaways, again a fairly simple song topped the crazy organ coda. The other thing is that it is the Hammond organ on this CD are a leading instrument, which is probably associated with a complete lack of electric guitar in the composition of the formation.
It should also pay close attention to the ten-minute 'The Outing-Yes', which takes us into the world of racial, experimental psychedelia, as if alive, removed from the entry' A Saucerful Of Secrets "by Pink Floyd. Very psychedelic piece, but very non-genuine.

Immediately following a track maintained in a fairytale atmosphere, the delicate 'Once Upon A Hill' is slightly tinged folk ballad appears in this set as a moment of relaxation and tranquility. This, in turn, seamlessly connect to the last on the album 'Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It'. The next record is dominated by the sounds of Hammond organs. We must honestly admit that this crazy full of improvisation and played at a fast pace work is impressive.

Thus, it is not a sin originality plate and can be a bad witness to the fact that bands forgotten, not too much to had offer after the duplication of patents of other performers.
Despite this, make Aardvark has many unconstrained grace and some great moments, and just because helpful to understand with this music .... it is high time to draw attention to yet another amazing aspect of this CD cover image adorning is genuinely beautiful,as fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen.

Thanks Marios for the sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

Filldemontgat said...

Please Marios...Thank you very much.

Marios said...


Christian Cook said...

Hi there,

In case anyone stumbles across this thread wondering whatever became of Aardvark, they have finally released a second album after a 'minor pause' of about 45 years.

Unknown said...

Clássico. ..pena que só lançaram um LP