Saturday, 18 July 2009


When it all gets too much (any day now) the plan is to head for the hills. In Wales. And live in a house in the ground. And listen to the Incredible String Band. Years ago I was intrigued by a fleeting reference to them somewhere which just said that they were very different. I don't really know that much about them - I recently read White Bicycles. A good read but not massively detailed. The Incredible String Band feature and the basics are: they're Scottish, their girlfriends were a bit of a pain, they got into Scientology. I feel sorry for Scientologist celebrities - the amount of stick they get. Is it any more ridiculous than any other, bigger religion? Shadowy leader, ridiculed followers - it wouldn't surprise me if in a thousand years' time it's become the official Earth religion. Still, I admit it was a bit of a bummer to hear that Beck was a believer.

Anyway, shortly after my curiousity had been piqued I was rooting around in a cave-like bric a brac shop in Bowness (since closed) and I found a copy of "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter". Like a lot of folk music (at least the stuff I like) it's got a bit of a chilly sound but that doesn't stop it sending me off to a happier place. Maybe it's a childhood thing - all the music in Bagpuss is cold, cold folk. It's something in the production I think. I remember reading in his autobiography that Oliver Postgate would run off to Wales from time to time as well.

This track is actually from "The Big Huge" and is quite crackly (still working on the anti-donk and crackle software). More bands should have harps in their songs.

The Incredible String Band:The Circle Is Unbroken


  1. Hi Artog,

    Oh, God, The Incredible String Band :/! I loved them a while. They’re Scottish. :) Sometimes a bit OTT! I also love folk music, mostly Finnish, I must admit.
    It seems like a fine plan, to live in a cottage in Wales and hit the Snowdonia ridge (or something like that)!

  2. I was resistant to folk music for years, I think it was hearing “Liege and Lief” at college that changed that. As for Wales – I’ve really had enough of the city but not sure I’ll ever make the break. I only meant to stay for a couple of years. But how do people live in the countryside? There can only be so many jobs milking cows, baling hay etc.

  3. Well, I guess there is a limited demand for cow-milkers and mule-keepers these days. Hmm, I live ten minutes from the city centre but have cows and goats around the corner, myself. But that’s Sweden. :) As for modern jobs in the countryside there is a demand for IT gurus who work at home in weird places. Otherwise… haven’t Wales’s large estates which provide working opportunities for the rural population (Prince Charles is Prince of Wales, isn’t he)?

  4. Not sure I want to toil in the fields for the Royal family.