On sale June
Cranium Pie’s Baking Research Station
A Visit To Newport Hospital
Cranium Pie were responsible for one of the finest progessive rock albums of 2011, 'Mechanisms Part 1' - PROG magazine's Geoff Barton called it, "bonkers prog album of the year", plaudits rolled in,the album sold out instantly and copies are already fetching up to £100 on ebay. They've been responsible for brilliant tracks on Fruits de Mer's 'Roqueting Through Space' and 'Keep Off The Grass' compilations and they are currently working on their follow-up to 'Mechanisms Part 1' (bet you can't guess what it's called).
In a break between drug, alcohol and menthol cigarette-fuelled sessions, The Pie off-shoot 'The Baking Research Station' have sneaked off into their underground bunker to deconstruct the track from Egg's 2nd album, 'Polite Force', released back in 1972 (I think) on Deram and a superb example of truly progressive prog rock........(when I bought Egg's 1st album over 40 years ago, I can't think of many things that would have been further from my mind than to be involved in releasing a cover of one of the band's tracks four decades later - but I am!!! Wonderful track, wonderful band - do I mean Egg or Cranium Pie? Both, of course)
The b-side is just as wonderfully and wilfully obscure, it's all of Cranium Pie with 'Queen St Gang', taken from Arzachel's only album, so more more Eggy connections as Dave Stewart played keyboards for both bands, although the track was actually written by Keith Mansfield a couple of years earlier. (There's also a great version by a band called Standarte).
Dying to hear a bit of one of the tracks...?
I pressed up about 800, I've already sold out of all my copies so check the list of FdM-friendly shops to track one down for yourselfand then email me to get on the FdM mailing list for future releases
In their defence, the band explain Queen Street Gang....
...Cranium Pie's 'Queen Street Gang' interpretation centres around a 'through the keyhole' episode, with Lloyd Grossman attempting to identify 'who would live in a house like this''. Easy vibe Hammond grooves lead Lloyd through the clues: a talisman, a selection of leather caps and whips, the pentagram, the freezer full of various goat limbs - obviously leftovers from some kind of ritual sacrifice.
They hired the services of Madame Toffana, a psychic medium, to attempt to contact past residents of the house (once home to the infamous 'queen street gang'). The queen street gang reached notoriety in the late 1960's with the legendary love train suicide pact. Mme Toffanas unconventional approach in contacting the spirit world led the Pie on a very creative journey. The song became a complete trip into her dark psychic world - one from which some of them never returned.
"Read the prayer backwards in the mirror. Midnight chimes call your name.
Curiosity called from the other side of time where the restless spoke in flickering flame. The glass knew the name of a loved one.It spelled in fearful delight.
Does anyone have any reason to think why the spirits were angry tonight?"
Meanwhile, The Baking Research Station claim that their interpretation of A Visit to Newport Hospital….
...takes you, the listener, on a medical odyssey through the wards and corridors of the secret 'exotic experiments' wing. It slowly dawns that you are in fact the half-sedated subject of some bizarre cloning experiment, as you wake up to find yourself surrounded by three other identical heads to your own...for indeed you are to be the first 'quadrapathic pioneer'...
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