Friday, 6 January 2012

Fire: 'basically aimed at children'

Record Mirror, Dec. 14th 1968
Father's Name Is Dad by Fire is one of the great lost singles of the late 60s (March 1968, to be precise), but its November follow-up, Round The Gum Tree, is just as silly as its name suggests. A couple of years passed before they made an album, the extremely rare Magic Shoemaker (released in September 1970), which bizarrely  combines a badly narrated children's story with freaky music, ensuring that neither audience would enjoy it. That said, I like it more than the critic for Sounds, who wrote on November 7th: 'It is difficult to treat this album as a serious musical exercise. The sleevenotes declare that it is ‘a sample of the best in British progressive music’. It is anything but that.’ Beat Instrumental was no kinder, saying it was 'too shrill and grating for easy listening, and tends to irritate after only a few tracks.’ Nonetheless, it contains some nifty late psychedelia, as on the track here (ignore the opening narration if you can). Here's an ad for it:

As with most such records, next to no publicity was forthcoming; here's the only piece of press I have ever seen relating to them, from Melody Maker of September 19th 1970.

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