Amazing Blondel

Evensong - Island 1970

Tracks: 1. Pavan / 2. St. Crispin's Day / 3. Spring Season / 4. Willowood / 5. Evensong / 6. Queen of Scots / 7. Ploughman / 8. Old Moot Hall / 9. Lady Marion's Galliard / 10. Under the Greenwood Tree / 11. Anthem


The first time I heard the group Amazing Blondel was via the Island sampler "El Pea", which was a showcase of the label's latest releases by various different artists. There was very fine music on this double album, which was also an eyeopener for many other exciting names - including Mott the Hoople.

Amazing Blondel's contribution was the acoustic "Spring Season", which in just a few listenings became a favorite. It is of course impossible to get an overall impression of a group from just one number, the number may prove to be atypical for the group. A good example of this "Original Mixed-Up Kid" with Mott the Hoople which was also on the "El Pea".

I took the chance and ordered Amazing Blondel's first album "Evensong" home from England. I won't say I was disappointed with the album, rather surprised, because the music was somewhat different than I had expected. The group played a completely different kind of folk than popular groups like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. In addition, the group was almost completely acoustic.

It should, however, quickly show that "Spring Season" was far from the only memorable number on the album. Actually the songs are on very high level, not least melodically and musically the three group members turned out to be extremely competent and versatile musicians.

Should individual tracks be highlighted on "Evensong" besides "Spring Season", it must be very catchy opening number "Pavan", the optimistic title track "Evensong" and "Old Moot Hall".

The songs are mostly written by lead singer John Gladwin, who shows great talent for writing melodic songs in an old English tradition - at times slightly similar to Ian Anderson's acoustic songwriting. Lyrically some may feel that the songs lean a bit too much towards the sentimental - heart and pain universe - but in the end that's a matter of taste.

Back to Band pages