Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sir Richard Bishop Plays Sun City Girls


No-Fi Records (2006).

Recorded in England in 2005, this two-song 7" was printed in a run of 500 and is apparently the inaugural record for No-Fi. I got mine from Aquarius Records and they may have a few left. For SRB fans, it's a no brainer but for the few Sun City Girls fans who aren't as interested in Bishop's Jack Rose - John Faheyish "Wooden Guitar" series of CDs and LPs (and 7"ers), they will be drawn to these reinterpretations of two iconic SCG originals.

"Esoterica of Abyssynia" in its original format was recorded to sound like what would have happened if some Lebanese musicians magically appeared in 1930's Appalachia and were captured jamming in a field recording -- thereby indirectly suggesting the deep, unseen roots inherent in American folk.

Bishop's new version harkens back to Appalachia and riffs on the original as a sort of speed-noise-bluegrass hybrid.

The flipside is a version of "Space Prophet Drogon," a trance-raga-acid uplift track from the SCG's excellent Torch of the Mystics (1990) (so does "Esoterica"), which is also, incidentally the one SCG album you should start with if you are curious about this wonderful outfit.

In a way, "Space Prophet" inspired a whole host of contemporary bands - Grails (who covered the song), Mt. Silver Zion to explore this improvisational musical style.

Here, Bishop de-Easternizes the original and makes it sound like Fahey interpreting an Irish folk song. Yet it still includes the wig-out from the original track. Incredible.

"Esoterica of Abyssynia" - Sir Richard Bishop Plays the Sun City Girls, Recorded at Morden Tower, Newcastle, 23/07/05

SRB on Youtube




This ends the New Summer Vinyl series... hope you enjoyed - the four singles featured this year were:

Sonic Youth - "Helen Lundeberg"
Black Mountain "Stormy High"
Castanets "Lucky"
Sir Richard Bishop Plays Sun City Girls

I'm off for a little vacation down South. See ya in a week or so.

1 comment:

Cassiel D. said...

"Incredible" is right... both the track and the fact that you've brought this to our attention. Thanks a million . . .

I hope I'm not late in getting a copy of this release.