Singer/guitarist Russell Hibbs deserves the top billing on 2000's Nectans Glen, as his is the strongest authorial voice on the album. The somewhat better-known Daevid Allen, who had previously collaborated with Hibbs in the fancifully named Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, wrote only two of the songs and limits himself to a primarily instrumental role. Hibbs favors a psychedelic folk influence, neither as twee as the Incredible String Band (although the album does feature some of the same sort of ethnomusicological exotica) nor as spacy as post-Floyd Syd Barrett (although there's a certain vocal resemblance on some of the slower songs). A clever albeit occasionally quite silly sense of humor similar to Robyn Hitchcock's rears up on a few songs, most notably the hilarious Arthurian fairy tale "Kerridwen," and elsewhere Hibbs skirts the line between the pretentious and the profound with much more skill than some of his cohorts. Nectans Glen is more for psychedelic folk fans than for fans of Daevid Allen's usual space rock experimentation, but it's an interesting, often enchanting release.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason