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Huw Lloyd Langton

Rare & Unreleased Anthology 1971-2010

Review by Gary Hill

This double CD set was apparently in the works before Huw Lloyd-Langton’s recent death. Now it comes as a loving tribute, showcasing a lot of different sides to the artist. There is really some great music here. It should be noted that Nic Potter is featured here, and he’s also just passed away, lending an even greater relevance to this in terms of tribute status. The music here isn’t all progressive rock, but I’ve included it in that section because of Langton’s role in Hawkwind. There definitely are songs here that feel like Hawkwind, but there are other sounds, too. I really like everything on this set, though. It should be noted that two tracks were modified from my review of Hard Graft for the sake of consistency.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1: Rare & Unreleased 1971-1999
Solo Acoustic Recordings 1971

  
Got A Love (Blues)

There is definitely a Hawkwind kind of vibe here, despite the fact that this is a blues rock tune on acoustic guitar.  There is an abrupt false ending before we get a little reprise.

I Can See It All Again
This rocker is much more like something from Hawkwind.
Things Just Ain’t the Same

More of a space rock styled tune, this one is intriguing and one of my favorites on the set.

Sleep

As one might guess from the title, this is the mellowest number to this point. It’s got an intricate, spacey, ballad quality.

The Morning Dove’s Song

Mellow and psychedelic, this is another that does have some Hawkwind-like tendencies. Of course, it’s got more of a folk element to it and I’m also reminded a bit of early Pink Floyd.

Damn Shame

This is a song that was later recorded with the Huw Lloyd Langton group. It’s got a cool blues meets space rock feeling to it.

Seasons

Psychedelia is really on display on this pretty tune. It’s another that clearly wouldn’t have been out of place from Hawkwind.

Love You Wear A Pretty Face

Powerful and dramatic, this is still a mellow tune, but a bit more of a rocker. This one definitely feels a lot like Hawkwind – particularly in the jam later in the cut.

Painted Evergreen (a/k/a Night Air)

The opening here is a little abrupt. The cut is more of a mellow rocker with some spacey elements.

Little Girl

Another track that would later be recorded with the Huw Lloyd Langton Group, this is like somewhat psychedelic folk rock. There is some meaty guitar soloing.

Battle Of Battles

If this were done with electric guitar instead of the acoustic, this would really feel a lot like Hawkwind.

Magill with Pete Scott, John Clark & Rob Rawlinson (1973)
 
Rag Man
Powering in hard rocking, I’m not crazy about the vocals on this thing. That said, the riff that drives the tune, along with the general musical arrangement, is great
Feed Your Friends with a Long Handled Spoon

Here’s something unexpected. This is a country stomper that’s down-home and fun. As this works out later, it gets more into “hippie” music.

I Can t Be Satisfied

A slow rocking mode is heard on this one. It’s got a very classic sound to it with some hints of country, folk and blues, but all delivered in a rock music arrangement.

Don t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Here they tackle the Animals song. As much as I’ve always dug the original (and really everything from that band) I think I like this one even more. It rocks out great, feeling more like a 1970s classic rock song, but still maintains the familiar melodies and hooks.

Jawa with Simon King & Nic Potter (1979)
  
Rocky Paths

Here’s a tune that was later recorded with Hawkwind. I’ve always loved the Hawkwind version of this, and I think this one is a bit heavier. It’s quite a cool take on the number and stands pretty even with Hawkwind, although the production feels a bit flat.

Jealousy
Later recorded by Huw Lloyd Langton group, this rocker has a little bit of funk in the mix. It’s a tasty number. It has some particular inspired (and rather crazed) guitar soloing built into it.
Heart of Stone

Here we’ve got a pretty straightforward rocker.

Damn Shame

Another that would later get recorded by the Huw Lloyd Langton Group, there is a really cool bluesy vibe to this mid-tempo number. It’s a great jam, and stronger than the acoustic version. Considering that that tune was strong, that says a lot about this one.

Dark, Dark Night

Imagine merging the bluesy riff driven side of Lynyrd Skynyrd with the Levitation era of Hawkwind. You’d likely get something very much like this.

Lloyd-Langton Group

 

Hurry On Sundown (Unreleased Hawkwind Tribute track)

I’ve always dug this early Hawkwind classic. This version, a bit more bluesy, is a good version. I like it a lot.

Disc 2: Instrumentals 1985-2012
From Night Air (1985)
  
Für Kristy

Mellow and pretty, there is a dreamy quality to this rather jazzy little instrumental.

Alien Jiggers

Combining guitar based fusion with space rock, this is a killer number. It really jams like crazy. Some of the guitar soloing on this really feels like some of the stuff Langton did with Hawkwind.

From Like An Arrow...(Through The Heart) [1987)

  

On The Move
The funny thing is, I don’t have the aforementioned album, but I did review the On the Move album, and the title track there seems like the same song as this, at least based on my review of that track. Again, for the sake of consistency, I’ll include that track review here. “With a great fast paced progish, almost Celtic texture, this one really rocks. An instrumental, the only complaint here is that it is a bit overlong.” Basically, based on that – I haven’t dug that album out to compare the two - this seems like the same song. Perhaps it’s just a different recording of it.
Can You Feel

This is a delicate and pretty number. It’s mellow and almost classical in nature.

From Elegy (1991)

 

Farewell
A slow moving number, this thing really rocks. The guitar soloing is classy and a little psychedelic. I like this piece a lot.
Elegy

Acoustic guitar based, this is pretty and quite delicate.

From River Run (1994)
All Jigged Up

As the title suggests, this starts off with some Celtic music. It’s an energetic number that works out to some smoking hot fusion mixed with space rock.

Louise

An acoustic guitar based tune, this is intricate, very classical in nature and very pretty.

From Chain Reaction (1999)

 

Dedications

This starts off slowly and works out into a mellow hard rock tune that again deftly combines intricate space rock with fusion. It’s one of my favorite pieces of music of the whole set.

5 To 4
More of a straightforward rocker, this is cool. It has some sounds that seem to lean towards metal and some space rock elements, too.
Who Went Before

Another acoustic guitar based tune, this is quite intricate and intriguing. It’s more rock meets folk and blues than some of the classically tinged acoustic solos we’re heard so far.

From Hard Graft (2010)

 

So Long Baby
Here we get a bluesy romp that’s essentially a slide guitar solo. It’s still got some Langton trademarks, but delivered in blues fashion. Of course, since this track and the next come from the bonus section of Hard Graft that’s subtitled  “Huw’s Blues,” the blues outlook kind of goes without mentioning.
Cowboy Blues

While the overall concept isn’t altered from the last tune, this one has more of a country flavor to it. Of course, that’s pretty obvious from the title, right?

New Acoustic Tracks
12 String Shuffle

Complete with some harmonica, this is a tasty acoustic blues jam.

Fragile Journey

Intricate and powerful, this is a more folk based acoustic guitar journey. It’s not that unlike some of Steve Howe’s solo stuff. I have to say that this seems to go on a little too long.

Into the Storm

This is bluesy rocker that, while based on acoustic guitar, features some electric slide guitar soloing over the top. It’s rather ominous in some ways.

Out of the Storm

As one might guess, this cut has the same sort of electric guitar sliding over the top of acoustic motif. While the previous cut was ominous, there’s a light to this one. It really feels like something we might have heard from Hawkwind.

Fast Lane to McFaden

This cut is made up of folk rock sounds. It’s a successful and effective jam.

She Moves Through the Fair

This folksy number feels a lot like some of the acoustic guitar stuff from Led Zeppelin.

 
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