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Monday, October 4, 2021

Mike Absalom - Mike Absalom (1971 uk, excellent folk rock with humorous feel, 2006 remaster)

A British singer songwriter with an eccentric sense of humour and flair for poetry, Mike Absalom was signed to the progressive Vertigo label, that released this album in 1971.

A rare collector’s item for many years, the original LP was graced by the artwork of Roger Dean, later to find fame as the sleeve designer for Yes, and many other Seventies artists. The cover art depicts Notting Hill scenes and amusing characters from Absalom’s quirky sagas - such as ‘John The Bog’ and the ‘Ernie Plugg’s Bust’.

Produced by Patrick Campbell-Lyons - of 60s group Nirvana fame, this collection recalls the extraordinary diversity of the Prog Rock Folk scene.

Mike Absalom was a genuine oddity on the late-'60s/early-'70s U.K. scene, a singer/songwriter with a bent sense of humor that seemed to be driven as much by a heavy load of illicit pharmaceuticals as by a skewed worldview. Unlike the contemporary Syd Barrett, however, Absalom did not become an acid casualty. He recorded one album for Saydisc in 1969, a disc that escaped under the title of Save the Last Gherkin for Me, and he set out on a career of busking and living hand to mouth. Producer/A&R man Patrick Lyons - of Nirvana U.K. fame found his attention engaged by Absalom's music when the singer/songwriter was playing for small change in a London Underground station, subsequently signing him to Vertigo Records.

Absalom toured throughout the U.K., playing the college circuit and small clubs throughout the early '70s. The Vertigo contract yielded a pair of albums, of which Mike Absalom - 1971 seems hardly to have been noticed, despite a Roger Dean sleeve that doubled as a poster guide to Notting Hill Gate. 1973's Hector and Other Peccadillos garnered a little more attention, but not enough to prevent Absalom from vanishing from sight for some time.

Absalom eventually resurfaced in Canada, and currently lives in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Over the years he has expanded his repertoire considerably, performing Celtic music under the name of Mike Absalom & the Squid Jiggers, as well as a variety of harp music. He has become popular in western Canada for both the variety of his music and his continuing strange humor.
by Steven McDonald

1. Saga Of John The Bog - 04:05
2. Don’t Tell It On The Telephone - 02:14
3. Let Me Give You Roses, Rose - 02:43
4. Old Woman In The Moon - 04:35
5. Saga Of Ernie Plugga’s Bust - 03:34
6. Saga Of Suzie Grapevine And Pusher Joe - 05:02
7. Frightened Of The Dark - 03:25
8. Gaza Striptease - 02:20
9. It Must Be Spring - 04:25
10.Saga Of Peaches Melba And The Hash Officer - 05:55
All compositions by Mike Absalom

*Mike Absalom - Vocals, Guitar