third ear band - let's discuss.

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doomy drone folk with a penchant for medievel music and polanksi soundtracks or proto-new weird america or dodgy hippies in advanced music classes?

doomie x, Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:32 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd answer your question, but I'm too embarrased to, because work has been so busy, that I still haven't completed that "autobahn" write-up. I'm really sorry, I feel terrible about this.

The 2 I like are "Alchemy", even tho' it's a bit ramshackle in places, and the "Macbeth" soundtrack.

Whatever you do, don't get sucked into Harvest label collecting. If you have S&D Collins and T.E.Band releases, you probably have the best of it. A lot of it the other stuff on the label was pretty bad, so be careful, & don't spend too much!!

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:39 (eighteen years ago) link

You might want to pick up some stuff by Saddar Bazaar, if you can find any, that's sort-of similar, & moire recent (on Delerium records IIRC)

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:41 (eighteen years ago) link

ack. i am getting sucked into harvest record collecting...

ps don't be embarrassed. no hassle-no rush!

doomie x, Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:44 (eighteen years ago) link

The only other 2 Harvest acts I liked in any way were Bakerloo (which is power-trio blues rock) and The Edgar Broughton Band, who were pretty much indescribable. Check out their first 2 albums first. I'm not sure if I would still like them or not, but I used to really dig & get off on them.

Several Harvest acts ("Quatermass" is one of them) were poor quality deep-purple spinoffs.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:48 (eighteen years ago) link

there is one band that i am tracking down that i want to get yr opinion on norman. 'the battered ornaments' - what say you?

doomie x, Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:51 (eighteen years ago) link

I still haven't heard Third Ear Band. Would like to.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:53 (eighteen years ago) link

They had at least a couple of great albums: _Alchemy_ is total classic (check Werner Herzog's _Fata Morgana_ for a hypnotic visual interpretation of TIB's _Ghetto Raga_) and the soundtrack for Polanski's _Macbeth_ while patchy has many good moments.

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:53 (eighteen years ago) link

Pete Brown! Piblokto/Batered Ornaments! I honestly can't remember!!

If yr looking at early '70's brit u/g music, check this guy's site out:

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:56 (eighteen years ago) link

cheers for the link norman (ps you should be checkin' out affinity!)

hstencil - deffo check out third ear band -- i got the macbeth soundtrack which is good (but am obsessed with polanski at the mo') and this weirdo double album. it is an early 90s incarnation of the third ear (which indeed blows - picture stone hedge spinal tap and you aer almost there) but the second cd is their soundtrack to an early seventies television show which is like fourty minutes of freaky drones.

ps. red krayola review is in upcoming nme. hooray. how fucking bizarre is that? tis the year of the weird.

doomie x, Tuesday, 10 August 2004 14:00 (eighteen years ago) link

This is off-topic, but does anyone know what happened to Broheems/Mr.Diamond? Is he gone from ILM forever or just on vacation? Probably nobody knows, just thought I'd ask. I miss that dude. I don't like to lose psych fiends. I don't know what happened to Maypang either.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 14:50 (eighteen years ago) link

The artist formerly known as Broheems/Diamond has apparently been replaced by somebody called "monetizing eyeballs"!

These pseudonyms get more arcane each time out...

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 17:09 (eighteen years ago) link God, I totally forgot about maypang's very existence! And to think we practically live in the same city...

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 17:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Ah, okay. I think I've seen that Monetizing Eyeball tag. Wait, Myonga, are you Maypang? Oh, it's so confusing.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 17:48 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah, I'm still here scott!! but thanks for the props! I am trying to curtail my posting a little bit though. Not on any kind of anti-ILM trip at all though - I still like this place. I just realized I needed to get a bit more productive. But yeah - new pseudonym. Broheems felt kind of stale. The confluence of Bill Clinton at the DNC and Allmusic's crass redesign had me nostalgic for the late 90s, so now I have a name redolent of those glory days of the internet gold-rush.

but the second cd is their soundtrack to an early seventies television show which is like fourty minutes of freaky drones.

hmm - is this that Abelard & Heloise thing? I've always wanted to hear that but I've never come across a copy of the Blueprint release. Hey Doomie if you like the Third Ear Band stuff you might want to keep an eye out for that German band Limbus. They had two albums from the early 70s that are definitely cut from the same
cloth. also Pete Brown Piblokto/Battered Ornaments are great! Nothing like Third Ear Band though; more toward the crazed Edgar Broughton end of Harvest stable. The Battered Ornaments record from '69 has an awesome version of "Politician" (which Brown wrote with Jack Bruce).

and hey Pashmina that Quartermass record is actually pretty good! But I'm easy to please. Then again I guess I'm just a fan of that whole Atomic Rooster/Crazy World of Arthur Brown/Rustic Hinge/Andromeda/Hard Stuff axis...

Monetizing Eyeballs (diamond), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 18:03 (eighteen years ago) link

I did a search, and we haven't been on the same threads that much since the two week break. That and the new moniker is why I thought you might have bailed on the place. This cutting back on ILM idea of yours is a good one though. I need to try it sometime. ( I remember that you completely confused me with the Broheems thing too. I was wondering why this Broheems person was talking to me like he knew me. I'm not that good at making a note of e-mail addresses.)

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 18:39 (eighteen years ago) link

there's been some discussion on the bruton_town list about this today - some attempted rarities album. i don't have the patience to read the whole thing right now.

the "alchemy"/"macbeth" love is flowing, but doesn't anyone like the s/t one? with "air," "fire," etc? it's got some really nice moments, i think.

(and i always thought of limbus as being way more abstrusely 'free' than the third ear band. but if you like limbus, check out horde catalytique pour le fin.)

el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 20:07 (eighteen years ago) link

There was a good interview with Glen Sweeney, the percussionist in the band in this English zine called Unhinged from 1990. He describes the origins of the group thusly:

"I was crashing in Notting Hill Gate, getting very hungry and we had no equipment, so I thought we should have a go at the folk scene, more or less! (Describes recruiting some of they guys...) So two violins, an oboe and I'd made myself a drum out of a shell I'd found in a pad! I'd managed to fix a skin on it and painted it up to look a bit Egyptian! We knew a guy, a guitarist called Davey Graham, who used to work down Les Cousins, really brilliant guitarist. We used to sit and eat daffodils together! He told us to get down to Cousins and he booked us a gig. We went down there. Davey was there. They gave us a free Coca-Cola, which didn't help at all and Davey finished his set. He announced us as the Third Ear Band--Carolyn (Glenn's missus) thought it up. At the time we only had about one number, we weren't sure about. We all decided to play our arses off. We went through this one number that must've lasted about 20 minutes, stood up for the applause and went to dismount at the side of the stage. The guy came up and said, 'Davey told me it's an all nighter.' He then gave us another Coke and we went back on and played this number over and over again...which is where the idea of Alchemy came from, you see. By the time we'd actually collapsed, he took pity on us and gave us three quid; we'd now got three numbers!"

The whole story of the band just goes on and on like this!

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 20:27 (eighteen years ago) link

On the self-titled album:

"Yeah, that was really bad news. It was a fuckup from beginning to end...It was bad news and we were bad news. My God!"

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 20:31 (eighteen years ago) link

three years pass...


Is this offa any of the albums? This is the first I heard by 'em, but it's more 'song' than I figured they'd sound. Although it does keep on rolling. But very nice!

gnarly sceptre, Tuesday, 14 August 2007 19:31 (fifteen years ago) link

from the comments:

this is pretty much as they sound on the Jan 71 BBC session - though without the conga player.

their "proper" albums, the 3 on Harvest, have no vocals. This sounds more like the 4th (unreleased) album "Magus".

The stuff from their late 80's reunion is all great as well - Live Ghosts, Magic Music, and Brain Waves.

sleeve, Tuesday, 14 August 2007 19:44 (fifteen years ago) link

two months pass...


admrl, Monday, 12 November 2007 17:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Wow at that youtube clip! Never heard that before. Who'd have thought popol vuh meets t rex would be such a perfect fit?

Pashmina, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:04 (fourteen years ago) link

This sounds more like the 4th (unreleased) album "Magus".

it does! and i like that album quite a lot, now that i finally found a bloody copy.

GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Monday, 12 November 2007 18:27 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

i picked up the s/t album a little while back. it wasn't quite clicking for a good while there, but then i put it on as mood music before i went to sleep last night and it really got under my skin, damn near scaring the shit out of me. those discordant claps of violin never let up, like somebody poking a stick up your backside.

charlie h, Thursday, 3 November 2011 03:23 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

I got that Harvest compilation lp A Breath of Fresh Air when I started doing a radio show in Dublin and fell heavily for the Third Ear Band lp on there so was playing it pretty frequently.
I've had Alchemy for years but not got massively into it. A label called Gott put out the 1st 2 lps together about 10 years back which I've had on a shelf for most of taht time.
I'm just ripping tracks to add to a new walkman so have that among the tracks being ripped.

It was interesting to see what material turned up on the LOst Broadcasts dvd cos it seems for the most part to be more electric than what is on those first couple of lps. May just be chance and an inevitable development since from what I understand they developed out of a band who had a lot of their electric gear nicked. So maybe they were likely to be electrifying as money came in for them to buy instruments.

Stevolende, Sunday, 19 January 2014 13:16 (eight years ago) link

six months pass...

i love third ear band -- can anyone point me to other/contemporary bands that blend those particular medieval/drone/rhythm elements? i've been rewatching my herzog box set and fata morgana is up next. their music is so perfect for that movie!

cross over the mushroom circle (La Lechera), Monday, 18 August 2014 19:21 (eight years ago) link

four years pass...

2019 update - my new band reminds me of third ear band :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 7 January 2019 19:55 (three years ago) link

THere's a new box set version of the 2nd s/t lp alongside an unreleased lp from the time and some other stuff
meant to pick it up while I was in London but forgot about it. Read the review of the release as fresh news while on the flight over.

There's also a new remaster of the Macbeth soundtrack out.

both through Esoteric/Cherry red

Stevolende, Monday, 7 January 2019 22:03 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

just picked up a copy of the unreleased-at-the-time 4th album The Magus - chucked it on with no expectations and it’s blowing my miiiind - like, there’s the expected hippy dribble BUT some of these tracks sound like proto-post-punk, some weird undiscovered country between PiL and This Heat - perhaps a touch of Eno in the vocals - if you’d told me they were from some lost Wire side-project i would believe it

i knew Lydon name-checked TEB in that interview that’s quoted at the beginning of Rip It Up & Start Again - and feel there’s a line you could draw from that to Flowers of Romance - but obviously this unreleased LP didn’t influence him or anyone!

the synth is unreal too!

listening to this LP is one of those experiences that shreds the space-time continuum! it is from 1972 ffs!!

also, how cool was Simon House’s 1970s?! TEB > Hawkwind > Bowie, what a ride.

meat and two vdgg (emsworth), Thursday, 22 September 2022 09:15 (one week ago) link

Don't forget his early proto prog-doom band High Tide!

promised you a spiracle (Matt #2), Thursday, 22 September 2022 10:02 (one week ago) link

Ha I did try High Tide once but found it tough going - perhaps I am ready to go again!

meat and two vdgg (emsworth), Thursday, 22 September 2022 11:00 (one week ago) link

thanks for the rec! i found it on Sp__fy, it does indeed sound prescient

budo jeru, Thursday, 22 September 2022 18:03 (one week ago) link

High Tide Sea Shanties is the one to hear if you started with the s/t.
Mind numbingly heavy . & the guitarist is the other guitarist in the London line up of the Misunderstood as I hope is well known.

Stevolende, Thursday, 22 September 2022 18:38 (one week ago) link

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