Long term readers of this site will be familiar with my fascination with the Incredible String Band. The first band I truly loved as a teenager, I keep coming back to them, thinking I’ve left them behind then having something trigger another wave of affection.
This year it was when my friend Rossco played a Facebook Live set entirely composed of Ronnie Lane covers. I mentioned to him the idea of doing a set of String Band songs and we took it from there. Years back, I put together a couple of medleys for the launch of Adrian Whittaker’s book about the band. These were my starting point but I eased in a few more bits of songs and came up with the two medleys I present to you below.
Why medleys? Many of the String Band’s songs ran to ten or fifteen minutes, like little suits of songs stitched together. Some would work with solo voice and guitar, some wouldn’t. If I wanted to cover some reasonable ground in 25 minutes I would have to selectively take a pinch from this song, a peck from that.
The first set is as I performed it on the night. The second, with lower volume and a few mistakes, is a rehearsal I recorded for the second set. When it came time to perform the second set, my phone ran out of charge five minutes into the performance. Excruciating. Oh well.
If you don’t know the String Band and this piques your interest, I have written a short book called The Ocean That Only Begins – The Incredible String Band for Newcomers.