Spirogyra – Old Boot Wine (1972)

Vocals – Barbara Gaskin
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Martin Cockerham
Vocals, Electric Guitar, Keyboards – Mark Franci
Martin Cockerham (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9)
Steve Borrill (tracks: 3, 8)

Though sometimes classified as a British folk-rock band, Spirogyra’s brand was more influenced by mainstream early-’70s rock than most other U.K. folk-rockers of the time were. Although a couple of relatively big names were on this record (Barbara Gaskin, who’d collaborate with Dave Stewart for the number one British single “It’s My Party” in the early ’80s, and Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks), it’s not a notable endeavor. Martin Cockenham offers some not-bad wizened singer/songwriter ballads in a mellow but worn style, and “Wings of Thunder” has a fairly effective injection of pop into the folk-rock core, though the male-female dual vocals seem to be in need of retakes. But there’s just not that much to hang onto in the ordinary material, and the lead vocals are much worse when handled by the male singers and not by Gaskin.

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