Amongst the more revered of 1970s Canterbury bands--including Egg, Soft Machine, Caravan, Gilgamesh and Gong--Hatfield and the North has always occupied a special place in the hearts of fans of this distinctly British amalgam of complex progressive music, singular lyricism and self-directed humor. A band that was seemingly over before it began, Hatfield and the North represented a major step forward for all its members; a group that seamlessly blended jazz-like improvisational abandon with detailed composition, occasional pop tendencies and a sense of humor that eliminated any potential for excess and self-indulgence...unless the group did so intentionally and with complete ...read more
Hatfield and the North is a remarkable group whose music remains familiar, resonant and timeless after three decades. That's even more remarkable, considering the band recorded only two albums during its brief existence and never broke through commercially. But in many ways, the British group was the quintessential Canterbury band. Its complex and progressive music was delivered with a self-effacing sense of the absurd that kept it distanced from the bombastic art rock of many of its contemporaries.
It was great news when Hatwise Choice: Archive Recordings 1973-1975, Volume 1, a collection of BBC radio and live recordings, was released ...read more
A little-known fact is that when the progressive rock movement emerged in the late 1960s/early 1970s, the province of Quebec, Canada, was singularly responsible for breaking more than a few European groups in North America. Along with a number of lesser-known artists, better-known bands including Gentle Giant and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis not only attained their first North American footholds in Quebec, but it's questionable whether they'd have gone on to achieve the degree of success they ultimately did get, were it not for the support of this largely Francophone province. Perhaps it's because Quebec has always felt more European than ...read more
It's hard to believe that Virgin Records, ultimately reaching questionable heights with Janet Jackson and the Rolling Stones, actually began life promoting progressive acts like Mike Oldfield, Henry Cow, and Hatfield and the North. With the exception of Oldfield, few groups would go on to great commercial success, but the truth is that both Henry Cow and Hatfield enjoy a cult-like status thirty years on that sees their small but significant catalogues continue to sell to new audiences tired of the girth and bombast of more commercially-successful groups like Yes and Genesis. Hatfield and the North in particular, with a ...read more