Wednesday, July 10, 2013

45 RPM Preview: Crystal Jacqueline - “A Fairy Tale”

First, a quick reminder to people in the Chicago area: Robert Plant Presents the Sensational Space Shifters will be the Annual XRT Free Concert in Grant Park as part of Taste Of Chicago this Friday. The Lone Bellow, an up and coming acoustic rock group, will kick things off at 5:30 PM. Reserved seating for the show has sold out but the lawn area is free. For those who can’t see the Plant show in person, WXRT will be airing it live, starting at 6:45 PM.

Fruits de Mer, the independent UK label devoted to releasing vinyl recordings of neo psychedelic and prog rock artists, has a batch of new singles coming out on August 10th. Each of these 45s, by Me And My Kites; Crystal Jacqueline; Stay; White Sails; and Jack Ellister, will be limited editions on colored vinyl. As with Re-Evolution, FdM’s brilliant LP/45 various artists tribute to The Hollies, most of the new records will feature reworked versions of classic 1960s material.

Here’s a look at one of those Fruits de Mer singles:

Crystal Jacqueline has been keeping busy within England’s psychedelic music scene; performing with The Green Question Mark (which also includes Mordecai Smythe) and The Honey Pot. (See January 30, and February 2013, respectively, in Archives.) This three-track single finds her working with Icarus Peel, from both of the previously mentioned bands. The eclectic choice of covers on “A Fairy Tale” ranges from the well known to the obscure, but she gives each song an authentic late 1960s feel.

“Cousin Jane,” originally recorded by The Troggs on their Trogglodynamite album, is one of those songs where a creepy underworld lurks beneath deceptively simple lyrics. Crystal Jacqueline gives it an ominous piano, synth, and strings arrangement that’s fairly similar to the original. Virtually no one in the States has heard of Second Hand, but Crystal Jacqueline does the English group’s 1960s gem “A Fairy Tale” proud with a swirling, high octane mix of psychedelic and garage rock. She doesn’t bother to flip the genders on The Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire,” but her bewitching vocals and haunting keyboards suggest there might be other-worldly consequences if you did try to cross her.


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