Saturday, 27 August 2016

ICARUS PEEL – FORGET-ME-NOT UNDER PUSSY WILLOW (Mega Dodo LP, CD, Ltd Ed 4 x CD Box Set, D/L).

We have always had a soft spot for Ye Olde English Psychedelia……….as much as we love the tales from the States of getting blasted on acid in the Nevada desert and having psychedelic visions there is nothing quite like getting it together in the bucolic countryside with its green rolling hills and going for tea and cake nicely stoned. Pulling together influence from Kevin Ayers, early Pink Floyd and Traffic, Caravan and the Canterbury Scene, The Kinks and……err…..Genesis with also a cheeky nod in the direction of Robyn Hitchcock and The Dukes Of Stratosphear, Icarus Peel, from West Country gentle people The Honey Pot, has a new solo album, Forget-Me-Not Under Pussy Willow, due for release which is as English as tuppence and as serene as the bygone time that inspired it…………..evoking a whimsical and mystical era of tea shops, warm beer, cricket on the village green, penny chews, vicars on bicycles, £sd and free from worries outside the borders of this green and pleasant land, if this record was possibly anymore “English” sounding, misguided Brexiteers would totally miss the point of this amiable record and be using it as an example of “how things used to be” before the pernicious Johnny Foreigner in Brussels made the rules. Forget-Me-Not Under Pussy Willow is as bizarre, eccentric and engaging as Peel’s previous solo outings and what could be more bizarre and eccentric than a concept album about an undertaker? This is a good, old-fashioned concept album like they used to make about good (an undertaker) and evil (a gang of villains from the smoke). It was written as a bet and Peel won, somewhat tongue in cheek it’s not at all dark, but rather it’s peppered with a light, wry humour which seasons Peel’s hook laden Psych Pop songs and beautiful ballads that recall a golden age of English Psychedelia.

Linked together by spoken word narration, Forget-Me-Not Under Pussy Willow is jam packed with great tunes which mix 60s Psychedelia, Folk-Rock and songs with a more early 70s Prog Rock feel as the story unfolds. The stand out tracks from a whole bunch of fantastic numbers must be squally, swirly Psych Pop of ‘It’s Raining’ which is not a million miles away from classic Roy Wood/The Move and the delightful ‘Melody May’ which has the feel of gently stoned vibe of the first Traffic album. The CD version of Forget-Me-Not Under Pussy Willow includes an additional song ‘Auntie Powders Her Nose’ that is a prime cut of Floyd/Barrett psychedelic whimsy previously issued on the Barnburner EP.  As a complete album Forget-Me-Not Under Pussy Willow is utterly charming trip back half a century to a land full of psychedelic possibilities which will brighten up the quickly darkening nights of Autumn……..If gentle, very English, idiosyncratic Psych Pop that evokes memories of long agos and times gone by is your thing then this record needs to be on your turntable.

Another quality release from Mega Dodo, Forget-Me-Not Under Pussy Willow will be available as a limited edition black vinyl LP (250 copies) and CD on 7th October from your groovy local record store (if you have one) otherwise you can buy it directly from the Mega Dodo webstore. There is also a very limited edition 4 CD set (100 copies) that includes Forget-Me-Not Under Pussy Willow and re-mastered versions of the three previous Icarus Peel solo albums (Tea at My Gaff, Sunflower Army and Sing!) housed in a handmade wooden box. At time of writing there are no details about pre-orders being available so best keep ‘em peeled and check the Mega Dodo website/Facebook page for more details.


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