Song Of The Day 9/24/2014: Hatfield & The North - "Fitter Stoke Has A Bath"



Canterbury Week: By 1975 the Canterbury scene had experienced such a manageable, unthreatening simulation of success in British universities and American flophouses that it became plausible for a Canterbury "supergroup" to will itself into existence. That was when Hatfield & The North rearranged itself out of the discarded skins of Manzanos and various wicker items and decided it was an agreeable night after all, why not poke Cyril the footman and have him find us some lodgings.

Which is another way of saying... my god, do you know how extraordinarily numbing it is doing research on the Canterbury scene? Seriously! Three quarters of its history is made up of people entering and exiting, then coming back, then leaving again for good this time, then reuniting in 2001 after a grass-roots web campaign! I'm only doing six songs and I've had to buy a corkboard for Chrissakes!

Hold on... what's my mantra... "Blogging is valuable internet exposure... blogging is valuable internet exposure..." okay, I'm back. You thought you beat me. You were wrong.

Hatfield & the North featured Richard Sinclair, who we heard two days ago singing "Golf Girl" for Caravan. Richard had a cousin named David who played with Robert Wyatt. There was a guy named Pip who played with Gong, and a guy named Dave Stewart (not that Dave Stewart) from Egg who played the Fender Rhodes electric piano, kind of the trademark of the Hatfield sound, which I have no problem with of course. Although everyone in Canterbury had the affectations of a hankering for jazz, Hatfield & the North were a bit more crafty and seamless as they weaved it into their songs. They also remain beloved despite lasting only about five minutes together because of their wry, self-effacing sense of humor, which I can't relate to at all.

"Fitter Stokes Has A Bath" was the B-side of their cult 1974 single "Let's Eat Real Soon." Very nice to see a band with their nutritional and custodial priorities in right order.

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