Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Folk You Very Much

These guys were big in the UK provinces back when folk clubs were the places to eye up the local broads, roll herbal smokes in licorice Rizlas, nurse a warm half pint through the entire evening, and enjoy some superlative music.

At the same club - usually above a pub, or in the back room - you'd catch national talents like Bert Jansch on sleeping-in-the-van tours, but it was the core of local acts that kept the places going. Davey Graham's Anji was the gateway party piece for the solo picker, generally drowned out by conversation.

Dando Shaft were different - a full band of virtuoso players, fronted by the comely Polly Bolton, a vocalist of the class of Jacqui McShee, who at least stood up some of the time, unlike the others, who opted for the sedentary Pentangle-style look. Sitting down was a thing for folkies back then, and maybe still is.

They scored a deal with Neon for their first album, moving up to the parent label RCA for their third, Lantaloon, just before the inevitable internal forces split them up. As a bonus, the teeth-gratingly unlistenable Sun Clog Dance, an ill-advised tilt at commerciality, is not included in this otherwise worthwhile assemblage. The band reformed sans la Bolton for Kingdom in 1977. I suspect they may have stood up at gigs, too.


  1. Replies
    1. Ah yes, licorice Rizlas.
      Thanks for the post.

  2. Dave - I've removed your comment and amended the piece.

    More about Polly Bolton at pollybolton dot co dot uk

  3. And here I was about to make my first post talking about how the good Ms Bolton went on to work with the Guv'nor himself, Ashley Hutchings, only to find all that happily self-contained in the information available at the link immediately above, so I won't say any of it. Great to run across, regardless and all the same!

  4. Thank you very much for the Dando Shaft. I did not have "Kingdom", so it is a nice addition. I much prefer the first two albums.

  5. Replies
    1. Could be The Man is preventing you from liberating files from Zippyshare?