This is an official re-release on vinyl under licensed courtesy of BMG Rights Management, UK, remastered from an original master copy out of the vaults of BMG. The album was originally released in 1971 on B & C records (Germany: Brain records). It`s rated very high by critics on the charts of acid folk albums of all time. Side one starts with 'The Future Won't Be Long' (4:17) the aggressive voice of Martin Cockerham is beautifully counterbalanced by the gorgeous, placating tones of Barbara Gaskin. Drumless, the strums of the acoustic guitar, the violin and bass work all provide the strong rhythmic compass for the singers' message of insistent warning. Julian Cusack's violin is as insistent as the singers. Full of power! 'Island' (3:39): Violin and picked guitar provide the only background support for Martin Cockerham's vocal. It picks up speed as it morphs into a kind of reel between Martin, Julian and a second violin track.
This is melancholic. 'Magical Mary' (6:20) races out of the gate with Martin and Barbara doubling up on the delivery of the story. Nice time shifts with the choruses--makes it interesting. Bass, strummed acoustic guitar and frenetic violin play keep it very tight! At the three minute mark the song shifts again, letting Barbara take the vocal lead--in a very seductive way (as contrasted by Martin's abrasive approach). The many shifts and changes over the course of this longer song definitely give it credibility for the prog world sticklers. Amazing instrumental outro. Absolutely great song! 'Captain's Log' soft and pop-folkie more in a 1960s Paul Simon kind of way. A cool, melodic song with all of the synth 'wind & water' effects.'At Home In The World' (3:07) sounds like S & G's 'America'. Piano-based, with background strummed guitar, drums, horns and gorgeous harmony vocals from Barbara during the choruses. 'Cogwheels Crutches And Cyanide' (6:00): Another Dylan-like vocal supported by full band--acoustic guitar, bass, full drum kit drumming, and violin. At 4:00 bare bones acoustic guitar is joined by an eery Peter Gabriel-like theatric voice while piano, organ, drums, bass and Barbara amps it up. The song ends with Martin's bellicose voice over the crescendo of the full band. Side two starts with 'Time Will Tell' (5:32): A keening solo violin opens this song before bass and female vocal enter to help tell the tale. Very proper, almost operatic singing. Bass, second background violin and lead violin speed up for bridge to a new section with acoustic guitar strumming, piano, and bass supporting Barbara's beautiful delivery. A politically ambiguous song telling us that no system will last forever. Cool song! 'We Were A Happy Crew' (5:29): Gentle piano, strings/synths support Barbara's gentle vocal for the opening half minute before full band and Martin's background vocals join in for support. Interesting violin solo at the end of the second minute leads to beautiful old-sounding acoustic guitar play and new vocal section.
The instruments get insidiously stronger--building to crescendo before decaying at the end. Another highlight! 'Love Is A Funny Thing' (2:00): Gentle guitar picking supports the diaphanous upper register voice of Barbara Gaskin. Recorders join in with the second verse. Nice! 'The Duke Of Beaufoot' (8:06) ends it dramatically. Violin and bass plays the introduction before male/ female vocals with permanent exiting violin play slices it up. After 4 1/2 minutes a strummed guitar and female vocals take over. Fantastic. Beautyful voice and exciting violin play and great piano by Julian Cusack. A highlight! Martin Cockerham's acoustic guitar is the key element of Spirogyra's sound, it is bright, percussive, and dynamic, all of the elements that a folk guitar should have. Barbara Gaskin and Cockerham are the main singers on the album. Gaskin's gentle, feminine, attractive, angel-like voice puts the listener in heaven. Cockerham's singing is the polar opposite.
His voice is wild, throaty, and perfectly suited for English outlaw-folk. The band's violinist, Julian Cusack does fantastic work at enriching plain acoustic passages with his typically English fiddle playing. He also adds interesting keyboards touches on some songs. The electric bass guitar played by Dave Borrill keeps the music lively. St. Radigunds is instantly a lovable album upon first listen and has become an important pillar in the musical world of many aficionados of Psychedelic, Progressive, Acid Folk Rock! This is one NOT to be missed. Album comes with 4-sided cover-sized insert sheet with band story, photos and all lyrics.