The Incredible String Band were an anathema when they started life in the 70’s and they are just as unfathomable today. Live At The Lowry was recorded in 2003, and is quintessential of their style.

I guess most people would put them in the ‘Folk’ genre, and indeed they are, where they differ from the regular folk pigeon hole though is their musical style. I swear that they go out of their way to play in different keys! I know damn well that these guys are gifted musicians, it is almost that they are playing with the audience.

Track one Everything’s Fine Right Now, and track two Ducks In A Pond, are classic examples of them not quite being in key. Yet they are close enough that you really are stuck describing the style, or the problem. I just know that I am being conned! And there is nothing wrong with that! You walk away from these songs knowing that something is wrong, but it is hard to figure out what.

Mike Heron, Clive Palmer, Lawson Dando, and Fluff, are the backbone behind the band. I normally like to list the instruments that each band member plays, but these guys all play everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink, so listing the instruments would take 20,000 words!

The musical style is infectious, and if you have not tried out this band, you should. Using traditional songs and styles, then combining modern arrangements, and modern styling, we meet a very unique band. They are as strange now, as they were 30 years ago. But ‘strange’ does not mean ‘bad’. I will bet that once you try them you will be hooked.

You can take these guys out for a test drive from MVD.

Simon Barrett

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