2015/04/09

Gryphon Reunion Revisited

GRYPHON - 2015 tour poster
This week, I learned that the eclectic band of progfolk medievalists GRYPHON are finally going to tour again this year (next month, in fact! Hoorah!). I thought it worth recalling the last time they got together, for a fantastic one-off reunion at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, on the 6th June 2009. They really should have taken the opportunity to put out a live album of the event (Maybe this time around, eh guys?)

Still, at least along with the obligatory souvenir programme and t-shirt, we do have these tantalisingly brief snippets of video to remember it by (including a couple of new ones that weren't there before!), shot by a single camera mounted next to the mixing desk and subsequently posted on That YouTube They Have Now. I'm sure there must be a lot more of this footage in existence... and I apologise for the aspect ratio on the last clip being completely wrong... and they're not necessarily in the right order... but ENJOY!

When I was at school, GRYPHON were My Top Fave Band, equal in stature only to the Dutch yodelrockers Focus.
I Was An Odd Boy (Who Doesn't Like Sport).
None of my peers 'got' what Gryphon were about, so they were somehow something that was exclusively mine! Bear in mind that the average fifteen-year-old secondary modern schoolboy in 1973 would have favoured the stomping stylings of Slade or T-Rex. The more adventurously 'progressive' amongst the fifth form went for Cream or Hendrix, Free or Zep, Uriah Heep or Hawkwind, or (gawdelpus!) Ten Years bloody After. I was only just discovering Yes and Genesis for the first time.
But along came a band that ditched the loud guitars in favour of wheezing harmoniums, recorders and bassoons, not to mention those funny looking instruments that resembled upturned walking sticks. They had a lot of hair and wore colourful renaissance frock-coats. This particular spotty teenager was smitten. However, my compadr├ęs stared in befuddlement.
Over a three-year period in the seventies, I travelled to see Gryphon play in various venues, some as small as folk clubs and some as large as stadia (with Guildhalls and Cathedrals in between). I bought all the albums on vinyl (still have them!) and then, much later, again on CD. Some of them twice. I was there at their 2009 reunion at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and I haven't shut up about it since...


"MIDNIGHT MUSHRUMPS I"


"RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE" MEDLEY


"DUBBEL DUTCH"


"THE JUNIPER SUITE"