Week of February 2, 2003

Raw Material

Colin Catt - Vocals, Keyboards
Mike Fletcher - Sax, Flute, Vocals
Dave Green - Guitar
Phil Gunn - Bass, Guitar
Paul Young - Percussion
Cliff Harewood - Lead Guitar 

Raw Material (Evolution Z 1006) 1970 (reissued on CD by Background HBG 123/2, 1993)
Time Is… (RCA Neon NE 8) 1971(reissued on CD by Repertoire REP4469-WP, 1994)

Time And Illusion/Bobo's Party (Evolution E 2441) 1969
Hi There Hallelujah/Days Of The Fighting Cock (Evolution E 2445) 1970
Traveller Man Parts 1 and 2 (Evolution E 2449) 1970
Ride On Pony/Religion (RCA Neon NE 1002) 1972

A progressive rock band whose original albums are now very rare and sought-after. Mike Fletcher had earlier been in Steam and Cliff Harewood later came on board from Welcome, but neither of these bands had made it onto vinyl. Some members were later in Shoot; Dave Green had been a member of Deep Feeling.

The A-side of their eponymous album includes three strong, long tracks: "Time And Illusion", which had a long instrumental break and vibraphone on leading role; "I'd Be Delighted", which featured strong vocals, good flute and sax work and "Fighting Cock", which builds in strength after a mellow beginning. The B-side is not so good, although the finale, "Destruction", is a poetry recitation with unidentified orchestral backing.

"Time Is…" is better, with good progressive pieces based on heavy guitar and sax as well as the latter accompanied by keyboard chords. "Ice Queen" includes frozen wind sounds and a slightly discordant flute solo. The most sophisticated composition is "Empty Houses", which has some inspired melodies and strong vocals. "Insolent Lady" has a slow, mellow beginning with acoustic guitar and flute. This gives way to a piano break which, in turn, evolves into progressive rock with guitar and sax, although this becomes a bit repetitious near the end. "Miracle Worker" is mainly based on Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" rhythm. "Religion" is mainly built around sax and guitar passages. Finally, "Sun God" has some mellow, melodic moments featuring acoustic guitar, flute and electric guitar reminiscent of early Pink Floyd; a short heavy rock break and an instrumental part with some guitar leads in a more psychedelic vein.

Compilation appearances include: "Time And Illusion" on "Incredible Sound Show Stories Vol. 4" (LP).

(Vernon Joynson/Costas Arvanitis)
Taken from The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson
ISBN 1 899855 04 1

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