Caravan (band): Wikis

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Caravan
Origin Canterbury, England
Genres Progressive rock, Canterbury scene, psychedelic rock, jazz
Years active 1968 - present (part time)
Website caravan-info.co.uk
Members
Pye Hastings
Richard Coughlan
Jim Leverton
Jan Schelhaas
Geoffrey Richardson
Doug Boyle
Former members
David Sinclair
Richard Sinclair
Mike Wedgwood
John G. Perry
Derek Austin
Stuart Evans
Steve Miller
Dek Messecar

Caravan are an English band from the Canterbury area, founded by former Wilde Flowers members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan.[1] Caravan rose to success over a period of several years from 1968 onwards into the 1970s as part of the Canterbury scene, blending psychedelic rock and jazz to create a distinctive sound like their contemporaries Soft Machine. Caravan still remains active as a live band in the 21st century.

Contents

History

Following the dissolution of their former band, Wilde Flowers, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan formed Caravan in 1968. The band became the first British act to sign for American record label, Verve, who subsequently released the band's debut LP, Caravan, later the same year. After this Verve closed their rock and pop division, causing Caravan to move to Decca Records for the release of If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You in 1970, from which the title track gained the band an appearance on Top Of The Pops, and then Deram (Decca's progressive subsidiary) for 1971's In the Land of Grey and Pink. After the third album's release David Sinclair chose to leave the group, to be replaced by Steve Miller. The change in keyboardist caused a change in musical direction, and the band's next album, Waterloo Lily, was distinctly more jazz influenced than earlier work. This caused some unrest for followers of the group and the band disintegrated soon after Waterloo Lily's release, leaving just Hastings and Coughlan. The duo recruited viola player Geoffrey Richardson, bassist Stu Evans and keyboardist Derek Austin and toured extensively. This line-up did not make any recordings before Evans was replaced by John Perry and Dave Sinclair rejoined the group in 1973. The resulting album For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night was well-received critically.[1] Perry left soon afterwards and was replaced by Mike Wedgwood.

Despite considerable success in Continental Europe – particularly in France, the Netherlands and Germany where they played some of those countries' most prestigious venues and enjoyed healthy record sales – the band's chart performance in the UK and US was minimal, charting one album, Cunning Stunts at US#124. In the UK, Cunning Stunts (#50)[2] and Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's (#53)[3] were their only hits.[1] A loyal following has ensured steady back catalogue sales and a lengthy live career for the band, who continue to this day featuring founder members Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals, songwriting) and Richard Coughlan (drums). Caravan's best-known recording is the 1971 set In the Land of Grey and Pink, their second album for Decca. Thirty years after its release this album finally received a platinum disc for sales of over 100,000.

The album "showed off a keen melodic sense, a subtly droll wit, and a seductively smooth mix of hard rock, folk, classical, and jazz, intermingled with elements of Tolkien-esque fantasy".[1] A fair summary of Caravan's late sixties to late seventies work. Prolific and inventive, the band appeared to have too many ideas to produce direct, radio-friendly singles. 21st century reissues of their albums featured lengthy tracks, previously unreleased, demonstrating the huge amount of releasable material that had failed to make their 1970s albums.

The band were largely dormant in the eighties until a 1990 reunion, planned as a one-off for television, reinvigorated their career. Latterly they have also achieved steady sales and a fan following with the support of the more eclectic corners of radio, like BBC Six Music's "Freak Zone" and the growing re-emergence of progressive rock. After performing at NEARFest in 2002, they released The Unauthorized Breakfast Item album in 2003.

Discography

Caravan line-ups, 1968-present
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Studio albums

Year Album details Credits
1968 Caravan Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Richard Sinclair with Jimmy Hastings
1970 If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Richard Sinclair with Jimmy Hastings
1971 In the Land of Grey and Pink Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Richard Sinclair with Jimmy Hastings
1972 Waterloo Lily Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Steve Miller, Richard Sinclair, with Jimmy Hastings
1973 For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, John G Perry, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy Hastings
1975 Cunning Stunts Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Mike Wedgewood, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy Hastings
1976 Blind Dog at St. Dunstans Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Jan Schelhaas, Mike Wedgewood, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy Hastings
1977 Better by Far Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Jan Schelhaas, Dek Messecar, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy Hastings
1980 The Album Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Dek Messecar, Geoff Richardson
1982 Back to Front Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Richard Sinclair with Jimmy Hastings
1995 Battle of Hastings Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Jim Leverton, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy Hastings
2003[4] The Unauthorized Breakfast Item Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Jim Leverton, Geoff Richardson, Doug Boyle, with Jimmy Hastings

Live albums

Release Year Album details Credits Performance Year
1974 Caravan and the New Symphonia Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, John G Perry, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy Hastings. 1973
1991 BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Mike Wedgewood, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy 1975
1998 Live in Holland: Back on the Tracks Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Steve Miller, Richard Sinclair, with Jimmy Hastings
1992 Live 1990 Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Jimmy Hastings 1990
1998 Ether Way Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Jan Schelhaas, Dave Sinclair, Mike Wedgewood, Dek Messecar, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy 1975-1977
1999 Live: Canterbury Comes to London Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Jim Leverton, Geoff Richardson, Doug Boyle, Simon Bentall 1997
1999 Surprise Supplies Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Jan Schelhaas, Mike Wedgewood, Geoff Richardson, with Jimmy Hastings 1974
2002 Bedrock in Concert Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Jimmy Hastings
2002 Live at Fairfield Halls, 1974 Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Geoff Richardson, Mike Wedgewood

The Show of Our Lives - Caravan at the BBC 1968-1975 (2007)

1974
2003 A Night's Tale Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Jim Leverton, Geoff Richardson, Doug Boyle, Simon Bentall 2002
2003 Nowhere to hide Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Jim Leverton, Geoff Richardson, Doug Boyle, Simon Bentall 2002
2003 With Strings Attached Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Jim Leverton, Geoff Richardson, Doug Boyle, Simon Bentall 2002
2007 The Show of Our Lives - Caravan at the BBC 1968-1975 Pye Hastings, Richard Coughlan, Dave Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Jan Schelhaas, Mike Wedgwood, Jim Leverton, Geoff Richardson, Steve Miller with Jimmy Hastings 1968-1975

Note: Live 1990 was released as Live in Nottingham in 2002 and Bedrock in Concert, with additional DVD content) in 2003.

Boxsets and compilations

References

External links


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