Spirogyra – Bells, Boots and Shambles (1973)

Artist Credit
Rick Biddulph Mandolin
Steve Borrell Bass
Bill Bruford Drums
Martin Cockerham Guitar
Julian Cusack Violin
Barbara Gaskin Vocals
Alan Laing Cello
Dave Mattacks Drums
Spirogyra Primary Artist
Dave Stewart Keyboards

Spirogyra was an early-’70s progressive, psychedelic folk group fronted by vocalists Barbara Gaskin and Martin Cockerham. This was their third and final album, and it is distinguished by Gaskin’s flitting vocals and Cockerham’s madcap delivery. At times, their tendency to drift resembles the Incredible String Band with Gaskin being the equivalent of Robin Williamson. Spirogyra rocks with considerably more regularity than ISB but they’re equally esoteric, nevertheless. Cockerham even does a convincing imitation of Hunky Dory-era David Bowie on “The Sergant Says,” and his manic side is most evident in the middle passage of the three-part epic “In the Western World.” This is a difficult album to classify and was as problematic to promote, given its conspicuous absence in the U.S. market.

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