incredible string band

The acid folk duo – originally a trio featuring Clive Palmer – consisting of Robbie Williamson and Mike Heron were formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1965 and bravely soldiered through a decade of bruising until their demise as a band in 1974. They were first spotted by Elektra scout, Joe Boyd, operating out of Clive\’s Incredible Folk Club, on the fourth floor of a building in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, where they were house band to an audience of folk music enthusiasts and sundry social misfits.

From Wiki: \”They recorded their first album, titled The Incredible String Band, at the Sound Techniques studio in London in May 1966. It was released in Britain and the United States and consisted mostly of self-penned material in solo, duo and trio formats, showcasing their playing on a variety of instruments. It won the title of \”Folk Album of the Year\” in Melody Maker\’s annual poll, and in a 1968 Sing Out! magazine interview Bob Dylan praised the album\’s \”October Song\” as one of his favourite songs of that period.

The trio broke up after recording the album. Palmer left via the hippie trail for Afghanistan and India, and Williamson and his girlfriend Licorice McKechnie went to Morocco with no firm plans to return. Heron stayed in Edinburgh, playing with a band called Rock Bottom and the Deadbeats. However, when Williamson returned after running out of money, laden with Moroccan instruments including a gimbri which was much later eaten by rats, he and Mike reformed the band as a duo.\”

You may recall their performance at Woodstock in 1969, where they famously refused at first to set foot on the stage in the pouring rain. As a result the String Band were dropped from the subsequent movie documenting the festival, and when they did eventually bless the crowd with an appearance on the second night of the event their set went down like a lead balloon.

Disbanding to concentrate on solo careers with mixed results, the Incredible String Band reformed in 1999 and continued to perform until 2006.

Rosa is a recent convert to their insidious intensity and cajoling tongue. If you don\’t already know of them, I\’m hoping you will follow brazenly enthusiastic in her bare footsteps too.

INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: CHINESE WHITE from \”5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion\” LP (Elektra) 1967 (UK)

INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: THREE IS A GREEN CROWN from \”The Hangman\’s Beautiful Daughter\” LP (Elektra) 1968 (UK)

INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: OCTOBER SONG from \”The Incredible String Band\” LP (Elektra) 1966 (UK)



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