Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Sun Also Rises

Talking of odd folk, The Sun Also Rises were an acid folk duo from Cardiff. More specifically they were husband and wife team Graham and Anne Hemingway. In 1970 they released their one and only LP on Village Thing entitled The Sun Also Rises (it's the title of an Ernest Hemingway novel).

At the time it received really positive reviews from the music press. Sounds said it was, "One of the most refreshingly original albums of the year". Melody Maker, too, gave it the thumbs up - "Their voices complement each other extremely well, and when combined with Graham's considerable skill as a classically influenced guitarist, provide a very soothing sound".

With its kooky hippie lyrics and wide array of instruments - from dulcimer and glockenspiel to bells and a kazoo - the result is reminiscent of outfits like the Incredible String Band and Dr Strangely Strange. Guesting on the LP were John Turner on string bass and Andy Leggett on whistle who were both from The Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra.

The Sun Also Rises was reissued on CD in 2007. Fortunately for us someone has put the entire album up on YouTube. Here are a few random tracks: Green Lane; Flowers; Song of Consolation; Until I Do.

I don't know much else about the Hemingways other than that they used to perform in local pubs. So, if you have any additional information on this all but forgotten acid folk duo, get in touch.

UPDATE: Graham and Anne are both alive and well and living in Cardiff. Apparently they split up in the 1970s but remain good friends. Anne has since remarried. I'm told by Ian Anderson, editor of the excellent fRoots magazine (and the man who produced The Sun Also Rises in 1970), that Village Thing are putting out a 40th anniversary compilation in 2010. Graham and Anne will, of course, be featured. Now that's something to look forward to.