were the core of the Incredible String
Band, Clive Palmer also was included in the original line-up but he departed
after the first album. Originally from Scotland, the pair moved South in
the middle 60s and began to build a national reputation as a innovative force
in music , based on their totally unique sound, which was partly created by using
instruments from many different cultures , but mainly due to their fantastic ability
to create memorable -often eccentric - tunes and lyrics that were in turns fey,
mystical , comic and stark .
Mike Heron and
The band were a delight to see live, often there would
be much audience participation -in the form of getting thirty or more people on-stage
ringing bells and creating sounds which the band would then orchestrate. Their
strange costumes and charming personalities did much to create an other worldly
effect , at times one could almost believe that these were minstrels from the
middle ages -until you spotted Rose playing the electric bass. Robin Williamson
would go on to become a master storyteller capable of holding the attention of
a whole opera house with his fantastic tales, such as that of The Poor Fisherman
and the Gruagach of Tricks, which lasted 30 minutes or more, but this was
to come later, in 1968 , at the time of the Sunbury Festival they had just released
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter , which is probably one of their best
ever discs , and they were playing lengthy numbers like A Very Cellular Song
live on-stage - and in my opinion, this was their most potent era.
Incredible String Band set list June 1968 Fillmore.
Its safe to assume that they probably
played a number of these songs at Sunbury in August.
Waltz of the New Moon.
You Get Brighter.
A Very Cellular Song.
|Man In The Hat.
See All The People.
Swift As The Wind.
Duck's On A Pond.
In addition to Mike and Robin
, in 1968 the String band also contained
Likki did the
background vocals and sang on numbers such as Cosmic Boy ( although this
came a few years later) and a very sweet and fragile voice she had too. Rose played
bass and whilst not exactly in the league of Bootsie Collins , she held the band
together nicely. Both girls were very much an integral part of the band , Likky
more or less until the ISB'S demise in the mid 70s.Likki disappeared in the 80s
when in the states and is possibly dead. Rose left earlier and is now, or was
until recently a local dignitary on her council and attends garden parties , opens
flower shows and wears big hats. Times change.
Likki and Rose
Mike and Robin got together again in 1998 and played a
few shows and there have been some shows with Clive Palmer , but all have separate
careers as musicians and I doubt if any reunion would be permanent.
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My first ever Incredible String Band concert