Tuesday, October 02, 2007

by Nel #3

Parchment "Light Up The Fire" 1972

SUE McCLELLAN vcls, gtr A
JOHN PAC mandolin, autoharp, gtr, vcls, sitar, nasal horn A
KEITH RYCROFT dobro, gtr, vcls A
(Several additional musicians appear on individual tracks)

(up to 1976)
1(A) LIGHT UP THE FIRE (Pye NSPL 18388) 1972 SC
2( ) HOLLYWOOD SUNSET (Pye NSPL 18409) 1973 SC
3( ) SHAMBLEJAM (Myrrh MYR 1028) 1975 R1

1 Light Up The Fire/Let There Be Light (PS) (Pye 7N 45178) 1972 31
2 Where Can I Find You/Working Man (Pye 7N 45214) 1972 -
3 You Were On My Mind/Rock'n'Roll Part Time (Pye 7N 45233) 1973 -

A long forgotten group, though they did achieve a minor hit with the gospel-influenced Light Up The Fire. Prior to forming the trio had separately been part of a number of groups in Liverpool's folk scene performing in folk clubs. The trio wrote all the songs on the first album except Love Is Come Again, a traditional carol melody which was sung by Church choirs and Pack Up Your Sorrows, a Richard Farina song which was in their repertoire in Liverpool's folk circuit. Many of their songs are religious dealing with Jesus. For example, the sleevenotes tell us Zip Bam Boom "was written for a Good Friday session at Liverpool's Cavern. It aimed at bridging the communications gap through a free translation of the life of Jesus into the language of today. The result - a working class hymn"! It's certainly lively and, along with Better Than Yesterday, is one of the better tracks. The remaining material is softer, more mellow and acoustic-based. Of these Love Is Come Again has a beautiful melody sung by Sue McClellan, with strings and sitar. Very Eastern-influenced. The album was produced by Key Records, who also produced religious-orientated albums on their own label.


Blogger MadPriest said...

Well, this one takes me back a long way. In the early seventies I saw them quite a few times. The biggest concert I saw them at was when they supported Larry Norman and Liberation Suite at the Royal Albert Hall. I remember that Norman refused to get off stage at the time he had agreed with the management. So they put the house lights up on him. But he still carried on. Mind you he was a miserable git, like a hippy version of Will Oldham.

The irony is that of all the artists that you put up at this excellent blog, Parchment's music must be the most performed (and by a long way). The track "Light Up The Fire" became "Colours Of Day" and is sung in churches, and especially schools, throughout the world. I think this is especially satisfying because Parchment were not really liked by the evangelical community because they didn't tow the party line and were "a bit dodgy" in what they believed. Good on 'em.

02 October, 2007 22:08  
Anonymous Manila said...

I've never heard this album, but I remember Parchment. They were, I think, the only group ever invited to perform at my school (by a pupil who suddenly got religion, bigtime, though later switched his allegiance to David Bowie and started wearing eyeliner). The headmaster presumably agreed because, well, how could he refuse anyone who was 'spreading the message'? Afterwards I remember him saying they were a little loud for his taste. Considering they played autoharp, mandolin, etc., I can only assume his taste was complete silence. I thought the concert was pretty good, but the only song I've remembered all these years was 'Light Up The Fire' so it was a trip to see this post. Thanks Nel, I'm very curious to hear it again.

02 October, 2007 22:46  
Blogger frumious bandersnatch said...

I discovered Parchment a few years ago thanks to a compilation "Psychedelic Pstones" that includes the magnificent "Love is come again" & another song, "Son of God".
I never would have imagined finding this album one day !
Thanks a lot !

03 October, 2007 04:37  
Blogger UK folk junkie said...

This one is like having an old friend come back home!

10 October, 2007 12:00  
Blogger Randy Hill said...

I remember the Parchment concert at the Royal Albert...I am the drummer for Liberation Suite and remember the evening well. Our roadie Nev Nicholson was running the spot on Larry when he was told to turn it off. A fight ensued backstage between Norman Miller of Word and the Royal Albert manager, "Albert." Norman got punched in the nose. www.liberationsuite.com
-Randy Hill

17 November, 2007 09:32  
Anonymous pf said...

Mixed feelings about you posting this because all but one of these songs are available on a CD on current release. Much of the credit for the quality of this album goes to the producer John Pantry who went on to produce all four Parchment albums.

There was a fourth album Rehearsal for a Reunion released in 1976. Sue McClellan formed a female vocal band in the late 90s and released four terrific, privately pressed CDs before disbanding about a year ago.

Loads of info at my site http://parchmentmusic.blogspot.com but we're alway on the look out for more, especially photos!

18 November, 2007 22:48  
OpenID smudge77 said...

thanks for posting

29 March, 2009 23:39  

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