Galliard — “And Smile Again”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 4, 2022

437) Galliard — “And Smile Again”

Here is a soothing UK Renaissance folk-prog charmer. Jazz Rock Soul says “’And Smile Again’ is folksy and plaintive; [Geoff] Brown, affecting an Ian-Anderson-like tone, wraps vocal melodies around the accordion-laden, acoustic-plucked arrangement”. Renaissance Festival anyone?!

As to Galliard, LPCDReissues tells us

Formed in the Midlands in 1969 . . . this innovative group recorded their second album for Decca’s Deram imprint in 1970. . . . Galliard failed to achieve the commercial success they deserved. Both “New Dawn” and their previous release “Strange Pleasure” . . . are among the most collectable and valuable records of the Progressive Rock genre.”

Jazz Rock Soul goes deeper:

Along with Colosseum . . . and the Keef Hartley Band, Galliard represented a UK wing of the brass-laden jazz-rock-soul sound, reflecting stateside contemporaries Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago . . . . Galliard evolved from soul-rockers Immediate Pleasure, formed in mid-1968 by singer/guitarist Geoff Brown and guitarist/singer Richard Pannell [who had been members of] Craig, which issued two 1966 Fontana singles, including the psych-stormer “I Must Be Mad” [see #141] with lightning drumrolls by a young Carl Palmer . . . . After Craig folded, Brown and Pannell played in an Irish showband . . . . With a repertoire of Stax/Volt covers, they formed Immediate Pleasure and stabilized as a sextet . . . . [T]wo foreign influences informed their aesthetic: the burgeoning stateside brass-rock sound of Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago Transit Authority; and the obscure, eclectic chamber-psych of Ars Nova. The latter group’s synthesis of Renaissance-like folk with brass arrangements inspired Brown to rename his band Galliard, the name of a 16th century folk dance. . . .

As to New Dawn as a whole, Sean Trane says:

Much more adventurous than its predecessor, [it] has a schizophrenic quality as half the tracks are pure brass-rock, but the other half is completely eclectic, and thankfully so. This second album is much worth the proghead’s investigation and investment.”

And Brum Beat relates that:

‘New Dawn’ was recorded in the Beatles’ legendary Abbey Road Number 2 studio. Surrounded by an array of extra instruments (including the famous Mellotron from Strawberry Fields), the band included supplemented brass sections, sitars, keyboards, sine-wave generators, accordion, harpsichord and other creative inputs . . . . The album . . . was far more ambitious and polished than the first album and the band had finally found its own sound.

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