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Brian Hopper with Beggars Farm — Brian Hopper with Beggars Farm
(Voiceprint VP145CD, 1970/1997, CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 1998-02-01

Brian Hopper with Beggars Farm Cover art

Here's one of the latest of the Canterbury music resurrections. Brian Hopper, brother of former Soft Machine bassist Hugh, was a key member of the "original" Canterbury band, The Wilde Flowers. His rhythm guitar, winds, occasional vocals, and R&B sensibility had a lot to do with The Wilde Flowers' embryonic Canterbury rock sound. So, as an encore to the successful reissue of old Wilde Flowers material, Voiceprint has released this, ostensibly a Brian Hopper project. Do not be misled, however. There is very little Hopper, Brian or otherwise, to be found on this disc. The liner notes credit Hopper for flute, saxophone, electronics, and "growler" (?), but in reality, there are only a couple of tracks on this album which contain any of the above. Hopper receives no songwriting credits, either.

What we do have is a pretty basic rock band playing heavy prog-inspired music that relies more on crunchy riffs than on instrumental color. At their best ("Story"), they sound a bit like early Jade Warrior at their hardest. At their worst ("Your Lovin' Man"), they resemble a sloppy garage band jamming to "Louie Louie." At other times, they even sound like the Yardbirds, as on the standout track "You're Not My Girl at All". Overall, it's an entertaining album, provided you're not expecting A) that it qualify as progressive rock, or B) that it actually feature Brian Hopper — which are, ironically, two of the main reasons you're reading this review in the first place! Not at all bad, but be careful before you shell out for this one.


Filed under: Archives, Issue 14, 1997 releases, 1970 recordings

Related artist(s): Brian Hopper

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