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RADAR FAVOURITES: Radar Favourites
This legendary band - with Gerry Fitzgerald, Jack Monck, Cathy Williams and Charles Hayward - was put together by Geoff Leigh just after he left Henry Cow in 1973. Geoff and Gerry had been in Mouseproof together (and Gerry next surfaced on the second volume of Frith's Guitar Solos); Jack Monck, then best known from his time in Delivery with Lol Coxhill & Carol Grimes, was also an old Cambridge friend of Henry Cow's [he, Fred and Chris were briefly in a band called Sparks together]; Cathy and Geoff went on to form Red Balune. So, this captures a mightily interesting socio-musical moment. The recordings here are of the first edition of the band, since everything else seems to have been lost - including the famous Virgin demo, which I remember we all loved but Virgin passed on. But, here are two great, mostly instrumental, compositions, strong, filmic and with their own unique musical identity, and a handful of rare live recordings, the last of which is an improvisation, to my ears, quite spookily Cowish. This is a recording very much of its time, eloquent of a musical climate and style that has long vanished, almost without trace. If you were there or are interested in the critical byways of the period, this is pretty essential. Carefully re-mastered from original reel-to-reel tapes, with the originally projected cover by Barney Bubbles.