Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
Track 1 on Side 1 is “Chinese White”. This phrase then described a type of heroin; and oh boy, from the opening notes of the bowed gimbri, it was patently clear that this was a very different album from the first one. It is a Mike Heron composition, and he sings lead vocal and plays guitar. Robin sings and plays the bowed gimbri. If you have never heard a bowed gimbri, the sound is enthralling and positively unworldly, sounding a bit like a violin on LSD. The song is a truly magnificent opener, with the refrain “Oh, will your magic Christmas tree be shining gently all around?”
Track 2 strikes a splendid contrast, being Robin Williamson’s “No Sleep Blues”. This could have come from the first LP, and is a super romp fantasising wonderfully on the topic of insomnia. I often describe this blog as a cure for insomnia. Robin takes lead vocal with Mike supporting, and both play guitars. Danny Thompson (shortly to be of Pentangle) plays “bass”, which is probably a double bass, as he does on quite a few tracks on this LP.
This track was also the B side of a single of which the very next track was the A side.