Tuesday, 14 May 2013

From the Top Drawer LI - Mandragora


 'Mandragora are a space-rock/world dance-music band from Brighton, England, whose formative output can be described as psychedelic rock with ethnic sounds and tribal rhythms. Formed in 1983, the band have released 5 albums of their own, and a collaborative album with Phil Thornton. They built up a loyal following on the free festival circuit of the 1980s and 1990s, and were signed to Delerium Records. In recent years Mandragora have evolved into a world music/electronic dance act featuring singers and musicians from all corners of the globe.' (Wikipedia)


Although nowadays Mandragora are, as mentioned above, a world dance music act, at the time of this recording they were more of an abstract space-rock outfit featuring the keyboards and synths of 'New Age synth guru' (gulp!) Phil Thorton and the guitar and vocals of founder member Simon Williams, and played many free festivals and gigs on the UK and European underground circuit.
This recording would have taken place in the period between the releases of their 'Over The Moon' and 'Head First' albums.


This is a first generation rip from a tape made by Michael Dog onto a chrome cassette using two PZM microphones fixed high up onto the wall at the back of the main room at Club Dog, then hosted on Friday nights at the Sir George Robey pub in Finsbury Park, London. Quality is very good, with only one cut around the 47 minute mark to accomodate the tape flip.
Sides A & B are joined together as one.

- Tracklisting -
Talking To God
Pendulum & The Pit
Hold On To Our Dream
Raga
Rainbow Warrior
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Solstice Song / Yesterdays Tomorrow
Eleanor Rigby
Magic Musick
(Thanks to Pete for track ID)

Date is 1st December 1989 as on the flyer.

Ripped as usual @320 kbps
Get a copy of it HERE


Live in Kharkov, Ukraine 1995

http://phil1.homecall.co.uk/mandragora.html
http://www.myspace.com/theoriginalmandragora

12 comments:

  1. Hi, I've downloaded this but just get a document that really doesn't want to be opened. No music.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just downloaded a copy and it works fine for me.
      Make sure you use 7-Zip to unpack the archive to be sure - it's a free program you can get here - http://www.7-zip.org/ - as that's what I use to wrap the files now.
      :)

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  2. Thanks, I'll try again!

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  3. Hi Matey,
    Yet another fantastic upload, many thanks indeed.
    I have written the set list as:

    Talking To God
    Pendulum & The Pit
    Hold On To Our Dream
    Raga
    Rainbow Warrior
    Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
    Solstice Song / Yesterdays Tomorrow
    Eleanor Rigby
    Magic Musick

    apologies for any mistakes
    and thanks again for a wonderful blog/site
    all the best
    pete

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for the tracklisting Pete - I have to admit that I'm not too familiar with Mandragora music so couldn't make my own list.
      Cheers for the kind words :D

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  4. another great upload. thank you. any chance of any more from them. also i am looking for some early magic mushroom stuff. great blog. windwizard

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    Replies
    1. Hi windwizard. I don't have any more Mandragora at the moment, but stay tuned for some Mushies in due course.

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  5. I'm going to guess that this is the "Under the Sun" cassette as listed here: http://www.aural-innovations.com/issues/issue7/mandra02.html

    Though there does seem to be some inconsistencies from this source: http://stoned.circus.free.fr/divers/borderline%20books/80s90s/m0004.html

    "To accompany the album Simon Williams put out a live cassette appropriately entitled Under The Sun. The band had started playing with new age keyboard wizard Phil Thornton sometime in 1989 when Simon decided that the band needed a really good keyboard player for a gig supporting Hawkwind. Under The Sun was the first Mandragora release to feature Phil's talents and it is something of a mixed bag. On the plus side, it features an extended and very spacey instrumental Solstice Song as well as having the earliest recorded versions of Pendulum And The Pit (called Pit And The Pendulum on the tape) and an excellent Talking To God. On the minus side it features a lousy improvised jam Under The Sun and the rather sexist instrumental Love Bomb which uses a woman's sampled moans. Furthermore, the tape cuts out halfway through the songs at the ends of both sides (and they are both good tracks as well) which suggests sloppy production values. "

    Unless this is the Mandrake Madness cassette? I can't find any resources that show the track listings for either of these cassettes.

    In any case - thanks so much for the upload. I need to check it out. Hopefully you find the Somethink(g) Missing cassette,something I've been tracking down for many years with no success.

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  6. Thanks for the input Tom, but as indicated in the post I can assure you this is actually an audience recording made by (and on loan to me from) Michael Dog himself at Club Dog, and he tells me that it's from his private collection & has never been made available before now. Of course that doesn't mean that it's the only recording of this particular gig!
    I have no other tapes by the band, I'm afraid.

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  7. I see... yes after I posted the comment I read the text file in the download realizing it may have been a private piece. That's totally cool then - I'm still definitely interested in hearing it. Thanks again to you and Michael for the upload. You have a great site here, definitely the most informative from the UK festival scene. Hopefully you or one of your contacts from "back in the day" have access to these missing cassettes from Mandragora! :-)

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  8. Nice one , thanks to you & Dog for making this available , wonder what else is in his private collection ....................

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    Replies
    1. Cheers zigzag, more from the MD collection coming up in a while.

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