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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Caravan - Cunning Stunts (1975 uk, progressive rock, canterbury scene, japan remaster with bonus tracks)

By July 1974, John Perry had moved off to play with Quantum Jump, to be replaced by Mike Wedgewood who had played previously in Curved Air. With Dave Sinclair firmly re-established in the band, an album was put together. This was originally to have been titled 'Toys in the Attic', but they were beaten to it by Aerosmith and had to make do with 'Cunning Stunts', which featured Dave Sinclair's songwriting far more heavily.

The opening "Show Of Our Lives" was (still is) one of my favorite Caravan tracks, along with few others which were part of a somekind a best of record by Caravan,  that i bought back there in the second half of the seventies. Their songwritting goes more easily with Pye's "Stuck In A Hole" a funky groovy three minute heavenly song.

Lover is nice melodic Mike's composition with the use of an orchestra, which comes as no surprise after Caravan's 'The New Symphonia' record. 'No Backstage Pass' (another Pye's song) flows from 'Lover' with a string introduction, and takes it good with a guitar solo. The next step comes again with a funky groovy little piece, this time the songwritting part goes to Mike. "The Dabsong Conshirtoe" is an 18 minute composition by John Murphy and Dave Sinclair, split in five parts, a long trip, with many turns, that gives to members the opportunity, to show their high perfoming level.

This japanese remaster release comes with extra bonus tracks, the single version of "Stuck In A Hole", an unissued take of "Keeping Back My Love"   which would ultimately be reworked three years later on Better by Far (1977), and "For Richard" recorded at Fairfield Hall in Croydon, England. Also there's a 12page booklet with liner notes from Mark Powell.

1. The Show of Our Lives (David Sinclair, John Murphy) - 5:47 
2. Stuck in a Hole (Pye Hastings) - 3:09 
3. Lover (Mike Wedgwood) - 5:08 
4. No Backstage Pass (Pye Hastings) - 4:35 
5. Welcome the Day (Mike Wedgwood) - 4:03 
6. Dabsong Conshirto - Pt. 1 the Mad Dabsong... (David Sinclair, John Murphy) - 18:01 
7. The Fear and Loathing in Tollington Park (Geoff Richardson) - 1:09 
8. Stuck In A Hole (Pye Hastings) - 3:10
9. Keeping Back My Love (Pye Hastings) - 5:14
10.For Richard (Richard Coughlan, Pye  Hastings, Richard Sinclair, David Sinclair) - 18:34

*Richard Coughlan - Drums, Percussion
*Pye Hastings - Vocals, Guitars
*Geoff Richardson - Viola, Guitars, Flute
*David Sinclair - Keyboards
*Mike Wedgwood - Basses, Vocals, Congas
*Jimmy Hastings - Brass Arrangements

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