What does it sound like?:
Following on from the Residents review by Tiggerlion, here is another fairly eccentric release. This five cd box is credited to ‘various artists,’ but in reality all the albums are the work of the duo of Peter Howell and John Ferdinando. During the period covered by these albums, 1968-74, the pair used various ‘band names’ such as Agincourt and Ithaca, which existed only briefly as studio entities, as well as recording under their own names.
Of the five albums here, you get, under their own moniker, a musical version of Alice In Wonderland, a sort of comedy musical Tomorrow Come Someday, and a final album, Friends, which was abandoned at the acetate stage and remained unreleased at the time. I suppose the best description is a combination of English whimsy a la Syd Barrett, mixed with a rather weird psychedelic folk sound. In fact the strongest work here is the two band albums, especially A Game For All Who Know, from which the set takes its title, a concept piece dealing, I think, with the journey of life, and Fly Away, which is maybe the most musically conventional of all the albums. This set is certainly something of a mixed bag, best dipped into by selecting one album at a time and giving that a number of listens, rather than binge listening the whole lot.
What does it all *mean*?
These musical experiments ended when Howell took a full time job at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, over the years working on, among numerous other projects, the Dr Who programme. In fact, examples of his work appear on volumes three and four of the Dr Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop compilation albums.
Goes well with…
An evening of spaced out weirdness.
Might suit people who like…
Folk, psychedelia, electronica, whimsy of the archetypically English variety