26 March 2021 (released)
02 April 2021
Normally a band or an artist achieves ‘Legend’ status through creating a new genre or by epitomising an existing one – very rarely does a band become legendary for epitomising a feeling and for being an exemplar of a revolutionary movement – Global Village Trucking Company did just that living in a commune environment and rejecting the mores of their ‘straight’ families.
They lasted just over three years and between March 72 and August 75 they played nearly 400 gigs including festivals, fundraisers, jam sessions and a number of John Peel sessions for Radio 1.
This 2CD set features a remastering of their only album – released after the band had broken up - on Virgin Records Caroline imprint and a second CD of bonus tracks and live numbers complete with a booklet full of pictures and a fine essay on the band and a second booklet with the lyrics.
The band consisted mainly of singer, chief songwriter and rhythm guitarist Jon Owen, James Lascelles on keyboards, drummer Simon Stewart, Michael Medora on lead guitar, and John McKenzie on bass and the infamous ‘Kanga’ – their roadie, driver, organiser and anything else he was needed for.
The music is delightfully quirky. Soft rock with elements of manic joy and others of wistful reverie. Opening track ‘On The Judgement Day’ has a happy bounce to it with Lascelles keyboards giving the song a honky tonk quality while ‘Lasgars Farm’ has a country-esque groove to it. I got the feel of a British Country Joe & The Fish maybe crossed with early Faces.
‘Skytrain’ is a very different number, building up the sound of a train leaving the station, entirely made from percussive parts until a guitar blows the whistle. The song has a psychedelic quality to it with a great guitar piece from Medora. Over its eight minute journey it carries you along with it.
Today, we would call them a ‘Jam Band’ and the live numbers definitely show their abilities to take a song and ‘discover’ it and, from memory, they were a fine live act. The live songs on CD2 show a lot of their experimental qualities, especially ‘Watch Out There’s A Mind About’ which is the only track appearing on both discs.
It really is an excellent package. The remastering is superb and the band come over very well, showing their real qualities.
It’s a shame that they never produced more than this but it is an excellent artefact of a remarkable outfit.