Asmoto Running Band

The Asmoto Running Band

by Principal Edwards Magic Theatre
     
 
Once the darlings of British DJ John Peel, who first released these two albums on his Dandelion label, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre epitomized the English intellectual take on music. Comprised of students at Exeter University, the 15-strong troupe was a multimedia event, with music, dancing, and a light show -- everything a bunch of young hippies could want, really

Overview

Once the darlings of British DJ John Peel, who first released these two albums on his Dandelion label, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre epitomized the English intellectual take on music. Comprised of students at Exeter University, the 15-strong troupe was a multimedia event, with music, dancing, and a light show -- everything a bunch of young hippies could want, really. However, they were very much of their time, as the music hasn't aged too well. Certainly the word "pretentious" springs to mind with titles like "Enigmatic Insomniac Machine," "Pinky -- A Mystery Cycle," and "Weirdsong of Breaking Through at Last," while the use of ethereal female voices (mostly Vivienne McAuliffe), recorders, and plenty of acoustic guitars offers a medieval feel -- "Third Sonnet to Sundry Notes of Music," which is Shakespeare set to music, runs from plainsong, to an Elizabethan dance, to portentous early English opera, before heading into electric boogie territory -- all in just the first minute of a 13-minute song. It's all completely over the top, full of its own cleverness, and trying to be thoroughly portentous. By the time of The Asmoto Running Band in 1970, they'd cut down the song times a little, and producer Nick Mason from Pink Floyd focused them a bit more. But it's still music with a heavy emphasis on art for art's sake, and ambition that far surpasses technique (especially in the case of guitarist Root Cartwright). It's impossible not to find some degree of warmth for what's essentially an artifact of a time long past, especially if you ever saw them play live. However, sitting through the whole thing for sheer pleasure is impossible. File under curio.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/29/2006
Label:
Cherry Red Uk
UPC:
5013929130722
catalogNumber:
307

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Principal Edwards Magic Theatre   Primary Artist
Belinda Bourquin   Fiddle,Piano,Strings,Violin,Keyboards,Recorder,Vocals,Voices,Tenor Recorder,Group Member
Roots Cartwright   Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Recorder,spanish guitar,Group Member
Jeremy Ensor   Bass,Bass Guitar,Group Member
David Jones   Percussion
Vivienne McAuliffe   Recorder,Vocals,Voices,Group Member
Monica Nettles   Dancer
Martin Stellman   Vocals,Group Member
Roger Swallow   Acoustic Guitar,Conga,Drums,Tabla,Tambourine,Xylophone,Bells,Timpani,Snare Drums,Wood Block,talking drum,finger cymbals,African Drums,Group Member
Gillian Hadley   Dancer
David A. Jones   Bongos,Conductor,Conga,Cymbals,Bass Drums,Gong,Maracas,Tambourine,Wood Block,finger cymbals,African Drums,Group Member
John McMahon   Dancer
R.C. Pocock   Bass Drums

Technical Credits

Nick Mason   Producer
Monica Nettles   Composer,Choreographer,Costume Design,Prop Design,Stage Lighting
Roger Swallow   Hands
Robin Sylvester   Engineer
Gillian Hadley   Composer,Choreographer,Costume Design,Prop Design,Stage Lighting
Michael Heatley   Liner Notes
Hipgnosis   Original Sleeve Design
David A. Jones   Hands
John McMahon   Choreographer,Costume Design,Prop Design,Stage Lighting

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