Crystal Jacqueline and the Honey Pot

This was intended for mention yesterday but hell’s teeth, these fatigue lapses are kicking the fun out of our enjoyment of life, not to mention being the sole reason we’ve a crisis point back log of releases to get through and hear. Anyhow, stand down, just a grumble. Part of the Fruits de Mer Autumnal selection, though by the time they actually appear, surely they’ll be the Winter parade, this be Crystal Jacqueline, on this occasion aided and abetted by the Honey Pot with ‘I talk to the Wind’, another killer covers set, five in all, spread across two seven inch slabs of coloured vinyl and something sure to fly off the racks on pre-sales alone. What I love about these folk is that, give them a covers project and they won’t disappear for a few days, only to return with a lazily faithful routine without any personal identity. No, these folk are likely to run off, strip it down and rebuild it in their image, proof in the pudding being these five reworked nuggets. A set that opens with Traffic’s forgotten (at least I’d forgotten it) ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ here reframed and totally tripped and sprinkled in just the right amount of magic dust and all cut with such an acute, of the day vintage, that you double take swearing blind its awoken from some chemically assisted coma. Left in their hands, King Crimson’s ‘I talk to the wind’ is flashed through with a touching dream lke woozy, a magic wonderland blossomed with spell weaving psych folk charms and a genteel tethering both bewitched and beguiled in the surrendering wrap of prettying pastorals. The next two, I’m embarrassed to say are a loss to us, originals wise, an obscure b-side from Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich titled ‘sun goes down’ here given a serious garage freakbeat workout and a wonderfully far out hallucinogenic haloing, just out of it. Somewhere else, there’s Rare Bird’s ‘Sympathy’ on this occasion applied with a tormented and haunted Chanteuse toning, leaving Tonton Macoute’s ‘Dreams’ to exit stage left at the run out grooves, though not before lighting your way superbly, frankly this just smokes, a stately out of time, out of step 8 minute opus, stripped down and cut loose with everything from ethereal chorals, progressive whispers, momentary trips and some of the finest stoned out crystal riffage you’ll here this side of an Insektlife Cycle platter. Absolute class.

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