Medicine Head

Live at the Marquee 1975

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Recorded near the end of their career, these performances feature Medicine Head in their two-man-band incarnation, with Peter Hope Evans on vocals, harmonica, and Jew's harp, and John Fiddler on everything else, which included guitars, drums, and more harmonica. Fiddler's playing in particular is impressive for coaxing a lot of sound out of several instruments simultaneously, although it does mean that the drums move toward rudimentary thumping. It's good-natured bluesy, folky rock that sometimes explores a gently contemplative air, and sometimes goes into more standard blues-rock stomp. Fiddler gets a nice trembly sound from his guitar on the slower, folkier tunes. It's not as derivative as much British rock of the kind in the early to mid-'70s, and it's not all that interesting either, other than the aforementioned achievement of getting such a full sound from two musicians. The sound is alright, but a little hollow, which slides this further into the area of "essential for fans only." Those fans, though, will like the packaging, as the liner notes include a thorough band history and discography, even down to a complete (and surprisingly long) list of the sessions they did on Britain's Radio 1, replete with dates and song titles. As another bonus, there's a home demo of "Pictures in the Sky" with ex-Yardbirds singer Keith Relf on guitar.

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