Captain Marryat



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Named after the 19th Century mariner and novelist (writer of sea adventures) Captain Frederick Marryat (associate and friend of Charles Dickens), this Glaswegian band made just one privately-pressed LP, released in 1974. The line-up on the album was Tommy Hendry (vocals, acoustic guitar), Ian McEleny (lead guitar, acoustic guitar), Allan Bryce (organ, vocals), Hugh Finnegan (bass, vocals) and Jimmy Rorrison (sic) (drums, vocals). They were originally intending to record a single, but the engineer at the Glasgow studio they’d booked told them that there was time enough to make a whole album. The result came in a drab flipback sleeve, and according to one dealer is “a progressive rock rarity with psych flourishes – doom-laden organ plus acid guitar riffs and strong male vocals.” The 150-200 copies pressed on the Thor label were sold at gigs. Not seeing that they were getting any attention from labels in London, they parted and went their separate ways. From the opening, ‘Phantom Of The Opera’-type keyboard trills of ‘Blindness’ all the way through to the prog-mania that is ‘Dance Of Thor,’ Captain Marryat are brilliantly of their time. The second song on the record, ‘It Happened To Me,’ is the band’s tour-de-force. At eight minutes, it is also the longest track here. They needed that amount of time to get the full guitar and organ solos in though. Until we come to ‘Changes’ that is. The tune seems to be their bid for airplay, as it is certainly the most radio-friendly cut on the record. “Gonna be changes come someday, gonna be changes come your way.” Truer words have never been spoken. The six minute instrumental ‘Dance Of Thor’ closes Captain Marryat out. On top of a driving drumbeat comes the power-organ of Allan Bryce, followed by Ian McEleny’s searing guitar work. The band had a passion for prog and was really impressed by Beggar’s Opera, which remains one of their main influences (next to Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, as admitted by band members themselves. On the other hand, Captain Marryat, leaning heavily on organ-driven melodies, comes pretty close to the Rare Bird’s ‘As Your Mind Flies By.’ Very much a UK styled rock/progressive album from 1974 influenced by Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Beggar’s Opera, a true lost classic. The remastered album comes with cover sized insert sheet. A secret tip!