Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mandrake Paddle Steamer - Overspill (1968-69)

Mandrake Paddlesteamer made one, now legendary, psychedelic 45 which inevitably interests collectors. The original release of Strange Walking Man is now very expensive to purchase but aside from the disc's reissue by Bam-Caruso in 1988, the 'A' side, Strange Walking Man has also been heavily compiled. It's unusual for a tempo change towards the end where the vocal parts end and the song culminates with an instrumental passage. The track also features some great understated guitar work, and superb trippy lyrics. The flip side, Steam, is a pretty decent keyboard-driven instrumental. Their second 45, Sunlight Glide/Len (Parlophone SD 6072) 1969, was only released in Sweden, though no-one seems to know quite how this came about. It was written by Clae Fellbom and Calvin Floyd, two film producers responsible for a minor Swedish film called 'Skottet', which the songs were included in. Sunlight Glide is a melancholic, slow number, quite unlike this first 45. The flip side, Len, is a fuzzy instrumental.
(taken from "Tapestry Of Delights")

This collection (Scaner Jots Records BD 20002 / 199?) contains acetates and recordings from John Peel's Top Gear show from '69. A pretty rough sound indeed but you can hear their pontential on songs like "Overspill", "Cooger And Dark" or "Ivory Castle Of Solitaire Husk". They did never reach the heights of "Strange Walking Man" again though. I've added "Strange Walking Man" and their sole swedish single where they've shortened their name to Mandrake as bonus cuts. There's also an official website where you can find more information about the band.

- Overspill
- Carmen
- Cooger And Dark
- Steam
- Slo Blo
- Senlac Lament
- Cooger And Dark
- Janus Suite
- Ivory Castle Of Solitaire Husk
- East Wing
- Strange Walking Man (bonus)
- Sunlight Glide (bonus)
- Len (bonus)

Brian Engel (vcls) [A]
Martin Briley (lead gtr, vcls) [AB]
Paul Riordan (bs) [ABC]
Martin Hooker (keyb'ds) [ABC]
Barry Nightingale (drms) [AB]
David Hooker (drms) [C]

Band origin:

1. Strange Walking Man/Steam (Parlophone R 5780) 1969
2. Sunlight Glide/Len (Parlophone SD 6072) 1969

[2. as Mandrake /Sweden only release]

Get it here (Artwork included / vinyl rip)

Listen to Cooger And Dark


Anonymous said...

amazing, amazing blog.
thank you for your dedication and for sharing with us all this superbe music.

-iker (a faintly blowing from paris, france)

Tarkus said...

british, good!
thanx a lot.

frumious bandersnatch said...

Great to find this, as it's pretty rare nowadays and we're still waiting for the rumoured "complete works" remastered reissue that was said to be in the can for some time now.
Thanks a lot, really !!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. another great here.

Anonymous said...

I have the album "Forgotten Jewels" of this fantastic group, if anyone intertested....
Thanks for this GREAT UPLOAD !!!!

Simon House

Anonymous said...

These were a local band to where I lived (Hornchurch) and they were excellent live. I rushed out and bought their single on the strength of that (Strange Walking Man). Must admit, I was really disappointed when I got it home. Not that it was bad, just that they were so much better than this.
The good news is, that the B side was a killer (Steam), and I still have this (now) rare gem in my collection! Thanks for the post, as I never got around to the album after the first disappointment.

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear the forgotten jewels album....if you could post it or let me know how to get a copy. great lost band...such a shame


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

the so called "Forgotten Jewels" album - actually the name of the german bootleg label that released it, not the album title - is posted august30, 2010. link still working. as you'd expected, there are some doublers with this here release, but a lot of worthwhile other stuff from the Steamers. Lolly Pope