Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Principal Edward's Magic Theatre

Principal Edward's Magic Theatre were, like Medicine Head and others, on John Peel's Dandelion label c 1970 and played the Lanch about then.

Bio: Formed at Exeter University in the late sixties (their name was apparently inspired by the head of the university), Principal Edwards Magic Theatre were more a multi-media enterprise than a rock group, appearing with dancers and lightshows. John Peel signed them to his Dandelion label and helped produce their albums. They also appeared regularly on his 'Top Gear' show. One of the main assets was lead vocalist, Vivienne McAuliffe, whose crystal clear voice helped make them a little special. Their music was innovative and imaginative with a strong folk influence and an air of mysticism. This is typified by The Death Of Don Quixote and Third Sonnet to Sundry Notes of Music on their second album. However, arguably their best track was Pinky: A Mystery-Cycle. It's a melodramatic number with a thudding drumbeat, haunting lyrics and frequent changes of tempo.

However a loosely-knit outfit at the best of times, the group went their separate ways after three singles and a further album. The last one Round One, was made for Deram in 1974.

Compilation appearances have included: Weekdaze on Psychedalia - Rare Blooms From The English Summer Of Love (CD); The Whizzmore Kid on Progressive Pop Inside The Seventies (CD); Autumn Lady Dancing on Dandelion Rarities (CD); The Asmoto Running Band on Dandelion Sampler 1969-1972 (CD).

1.) McAlpine's Dream
2.) McAlpine Versus the Asmoto
3.) The Asmoto Running Band (hou'amih)
4.) Asmoto Celebration
5.) Further Asmoto Celebration (after the ball)
6.) Total Glycerol Esther
7.) Freef ('r) All
8.) Autumn Lady Dancing Song
9.) The Kettering Song
10.) Weirdsong of Breaking Through at Last


This was their first single on the Dandelion label

and the B side 

Lament for the Earth

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