Monday 29 August 2022

Bank Holiday Monday Long Songs

I'd shortlisted a couple of selections for today's BHMLS™ but couldn't decide which one to go with; so I've opted to run with both. Neither of which, I can guarantee, will attract any new subscribers to this blog; in fact it'll probably send my regular readership (with maybe the exception of The Swede) running to the hills. But, hey, my bat, my ball, my wicket.

Hatfield and the North & National Health were flag bearers for what we now call prog. And way back when - in the 70s - progressive music was very much an underground scene. TV appearances by its protagonists were few and far between, which is why I've gone for National Health's OGWT set from 1979. Dave Stewart's keyboard set up is reminiscent of an eastern Europe telephone exchange and, no, please don't approach the man writhing on the floor ranting into the microphone; it's for your own safety.

National Health - The Collapso (1979)

Hatfield and the North - the band that spawned National Health - were equally eclectic. With one foot in jazz, one foot in rock and a third (imagine Jake the Peg) planted firmly in the Canterbury scene, this next selection is, I think you'll agree, totally deserving of the BHMLS™ tag, weighing in, as it does, at an eye watering 20 minutes.

Hatfield and the North - Mumps (1975)


  1. I'm hearing the Roobarb and Custard Theme in clip one and shades of Steely Dan in clip two?

    Happy Bank Holiday (we don't get this one up in Scotland).

    1. Oh, Alyson - you really shouldn't have said that; now that's all I can hear.
      And as for the Dan, well...

    2. Oops sorry! When I got to that bit at 6:10 it took me right back to that cartoon.

  2. Magnificent! I'm a big fan of the Canterbury Scene and followed a few of it's proponents (Gong, Caravan, Hillage) for several years, until punk came along and took my eye off the ball. I dearly wish that I'd seen some of those bands in action while they were in their prime. There's something about the particularly accessible nature of the jazz/prog collision in much of the music that remains extremely attractive to me.

    Although I have their albums I don't think I've ever bumped into that brilliant National Health clip before and Hatfield & the North? Love 'em to bits and featured one of their tunes over at my place not so long ago.

    Thanks for these tunes John. I'm actually catching up with them on Tuesday morning, but they've got my day off to a very good start.

    1. Glad you like them TS. I've 'discovered' a lot of the acts you name relatively recently. Like you, nothing but punk and the new wave got a look in from '76/'77. In a way I'm quite glad I've saved them for my dotage. Just wished I'd got whiskers like yours so I could stroke my bearded chin whilst listening to some of this stuff!