Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia… To A Distant Place (Review)
Story by Jack Foley
FUCHSIA is a British progressive folk rock band formed in 1970 whose self titled album was featured as one of Mojo’s Forgotten Classics.
Formed while a student at Exeter University, and comprised of Michael Day (bass guitar), Michael Gregory (drums, percussion).
The trio was soon augmented by Janet Rogers (violin, backing vocals), Madeleine Bland (cello, piano, harmonium, backing vocals) and Vanessa Hall-Smith (violin, backing vocals) so that Durant could explore his musical ideas. Stylistically, they drew comparisons to contemporaries, Jade and Comus.
Now, over 40 years later, band leader Durant (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lead vocals) has put together a record of new material that picks up where Fuchsia V 1.0 left off. The results sound…. well, dated.
The prog-folk sound remains intact, there is plenty of psychedelia and some tracks stand out by virtue of the terrific guitar arrangements. But in the main, this underwhelms.
Durant’s laconic vocals are perhaps part of the problem. The songs are so laidback for most of the time that you wish they would receive an injection of raw, edgy energy.
The lyricism is intelligent, even thought-provoking, but quite often the songs fail to grab you instrumentally.
There are exceptions. Girl From Kandahar combines some good guitar work with strings and robust percussion, sounding almost cinematic and moving away from anything too psych-folk or progressive. The chorus is one of the strongest on the LP too.
While my own personal favourite, Fuchsia Song, drops an instantly addictive guitar hook and continues to thread it throughout a really decent song… and one of few that sounds contemporary (think Newton Faulkner).
But overall, this feels like the type of album you may want to (or feel you should) like more than you actually do.
Track listing: Girl From Kandahar, Fuchsia Song