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Formed in 1972 and named after a motorway road sign, Hatfield and the North were one of the best-loved of the so-called 'Canterbury' bands. The group became a legend with music fans in Europe, America and Japan, but broke up in 1975 just as its reputation began to build.
Hatfield's music ranged from the dreamy lyrical songs of ex-Caravan musician Richard Sinclair to Dave Stewart's complex instrumentals, via the jazzier, more free-ranging and experimental tunes of Phil Miller and Pip Pyle. During their brief life span, the group recorded two highly acclaimed albums (Hatfield & The North and The Rotters' Club), played numerous live gigs and recorded several radio shows in the UK and Europe.
Hatwise Choice is the band's own selection of unreleased material culled from their tape archive. It consists of over 68 minutes of live concert tapes and radio recordings, the latter mastered from first generation sources. The gig tapes show aspects of Hatfield's music never before heard on record - on stage, the tight control of the group's studio work is replaced by a looser, improvisatory approach. Flashes of humour give way to frightening electronic landscapes, interspersed with extended arrangements of the band's compositions and occasional moments of utter musical madness.
The CD comes in a full-colour Digipak with a 20-page booklet, featuring an extensive history written by the four players and additional text by best-selling author Jonathan Coe. This is a carefully researched, lovingly compiled package which should interest not only committed Canterbury collectors, but all supporters of creative, experimental and improvisatory pop/rock music.
Band Website: www.hatfieldandthenorth.co.uk
Features selections from live concert tapes and radio shows recorded 1973-1974.
Unreleased tracks include Hattitude, Strand on the Green, Dave Intro, Son Of Plate Smashing Dog, Blane Over Paris, Laundry Soup, Effing Mad Aincha and many more.
A rare 1973 studio demo, made prior to recording the first album, is also included as a bonus track.