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Caravan: Who Do You Think We Are? (Box Set Demonstration Sampler)

There is no denying Caravan’s place in the annals of progressive rock having been a major progenitor of the Canterbury scene, along with The Soft Machine, releasing their self-titled debut album in 1968. The band had a run of excellent albums in the ‘70s but like so many bands have had their share of ups and downs. These past few years has seen a increase in popularity for the band, culminating with the release of their last studio album It’s None Of Your Business in 2021. That album had founding member Pye Hastings as well as long time contributors Geoffrey Richardson and Jan Schelhaas.

Now the band is back with a massive thirty-seven CD boxset titled Who Do You Think We Are?. The set includes all the studio and live albums plus eleven unreleased concert performances along with two coffee table books and assorted memorabilia. Unfortunately, this review is not of the entire set but of a small sampler disc containing nine tracks from various studio albums and concerts. So, really, this is just a small taste.

The disc begins with “Place Of My Own”, performed live at Old Buckenham in 1990. The song dates back to their first album and this rendition is quite superb with its sweeping arrangement, jangly rhythms and nice acoustic guitar. Pye’s vocals also sound great. Next is the fourteen minute “For Richard”, taken from their performance at The Festival D’ete Quebec in 2002. Gorgeous violin and flute, supported with Hasting’s serene vocals begin the piece, leading into a jazzy mid tempo jam before the electric guitar brings in the heavier riff. This track shows the instrumental complexity the band was/is capable of in a live setting. “In The Land Of Grey And Pink”, which I’m sure is familiar to many of our readers is one of the band’s prettiest tracks. “The Last Unicorn”, taken from the album Better By Far is another gorgeous track, before it ramps up with scintillating bass, complex drums and an awesome synth solo. “A Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik” focuses on the pop side of the band with its irresistible melody and vocals and features a great bass line. Ending the sampler is the tasty “I’m On My Way”, another infectious pop rock nugget.

It is very hard to give a thorough representation of a band like Caravan with only nine tracks. This is just to give a small sample of what the band has to offer and is not for sale. For the real deal you are going to have to splurge and dig into the full box released on Snapper Music. Eventually, I hope to do just that.

Note: Image is of the Who Do You Think We Are? Box Set

Track Listing:
1. Place Of My Own (Live at Old Buckenham 1990)
2. For Richard (Live at The Festival D’ete Quebec 2002)
3. In The Land Of Grey And Pink
4. The Love In Your Eye/To Catch Me A Brother/Subsultus/Debouchment/Tilbury Kecks (Live at the New Victoria Theatre 1976)
5. A Very Smelly Grubby Little Oik
6. The Last Unicorn
7. Nightmare (Live at Trading Boundaries, Fletching 2018)
8. The Unauthorised Breakfast Item
9. I’m On My Way

Added: February 19th 2022
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band on Facebook
Hits: 502
Language: english

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