SAPHRON - Red Amber
"Co-release with UK Shagrat label. "Because he is a relentless seeker of strange truths (especially as they relate to music), Nigel Cross was the gent who uncovered the fact that the London-based artist, Jill Tipping, had been a member of a Sunforest-style folk-rock group back in the day . . . Here are some notes from Jill on what's what. It's early '70s London and in a small all-girls grammar school a band is born. There had been an extant group of sixth-formers -- The Folk Group -- who provided musical filling at morning assemblies and religious services, but they were moving on. The spot became vacant, so up stepped Janice, Kim, Lesley, and Jill, with Barbara for moral support. Like many teens at the time, they had guitars and teach-yourself books, so they started strumming their way through religious songs, folk tunes and Beatles songbooks and attempted the music that was all around them. Some was pop charty -- Monkees, Kinks, Faces; some was folky -- Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Simon and Garfunkel; some rocky -- King Crimson, Pink Floyd, David Bowie; some singer/songwritey -- Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, and Elton John to name but a few . . . The quartet played in their teen bedrooms, as well as a couple of churches, school assemblies and events. They also had a very small taste of fame in the shape of an appearance on London education TV, which earned them a feature in the local papers. And luckily, there were recordings. Surviving house moves and dusty lofts for nearly 50 years, the tapes finally made their way into the hands of Shagrat's Nigel Cross . . . here are some songs from a previously unreleased girl group in all their genuine and sweetly harmonized innocence. A snapshot of '70s teenage-girlhood, an era predating TV talent shows and the internet. Along with traditional tunes "Sovey" and "Sinner Man," are covers of Lesley Duncan's "Love Song" (by way of Elton John's version on his Tumbleweed Connection album) and an endearingly scratchy "Moonchild" (courtesy of King Crimson), plus six lovely original songs of happiness, sadness, love, loss, anxiety, hope, yearning . . . The cover and inner sleeve are a collage of photos and ephemera with generous notes telling the story of The Folk Group/Saffron/Saphron/Red Amber -- they never quite settled on a name -- while the label (and badges) are by ace artist Savage Pencil." --Byron Coley. Edition of 450." - Feeding Tube Records.