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The Asmoto Running Band

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/29/2006
  • Label: Cherry Red Uk
  • EAN: 5013929130722
  • Catalog Number: 307
  • Sales rank: 145,523

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, 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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