Ripped by ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster 2020
Fresh Maggots were a short-lived folk duo from Nuneaton, Warwickshire in England, consisting of Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin, who played a variety of instruments including guitars, glockenspiel, tin whistles and strings. They released one album in 1970 before splitting up.
Taking their name from a newspaper advert for a sports shop that proclaimed "fresh maggots always available", the pair were spotted by Mike Berry of the Sparta Florida Music Company in September 1970 while playing only their second concert at Wolvey village hall, and signed a publishing deal with the company. They were signed by RCA Records, who released their only album in 1971 - when they were nineteen years of age. Fresh Maggots was recorded at the Radio Luxembourg studios in London over several months at a cost of 1,500 pounds, and produced by Berry.
Although its release was preceded by some degree of anticipation, delays in publishing gradually saw interest wane. Upon its release, it was met with favourable reviews, however record sales did not reflect this, and pressing was decommissioned soon after. The duo went on to play two live shows broadcast by BBC Radio 1. They released one single, "Car Song", before splitting up.
The resurgent popularity of folk music over the last decade reawakened interest in the band and the album became a collector's item fetching hundreds of pounds; The duo started to receive airplay in the US, prompting a reissue in 2006 as Fresh Maggots...Hatched on the Sunbeam label in the UK and Amber Soundroom in Germany, with the tracks from the "Car Song" single added.
The reissued album received a three and a half stars review from Allmusic, and an 8 out of 10 score from PopMatters, with Whitney Strub describing it as "a remarkably assured debut—and finale". Kevin Hainey, reviewing it for Exclaim!, stated the group's "concise and fast-paced songwriting tendencies certainly make this stuff transcend its own age in a strange and wonderful way". John M. James, in the River Cities' Reader described it as a "five-star masterpiece of hypnotic vocals, electric fuzz guitar, trippy tin whistle, and shimmering six- and 12-string guitars".
Although Fresh Maggots' sole album has a greater range of arrangements with a folk-rock base than many U.K. folk-rock albums of the time do, the songs aren't special enough to move this out of the desirable-mostly-for-the-sake-of-its-rarity category. While much of the material is acoustic and folky at the core, it's embellished by a good deal of instrumentation by Mick Burgoyne, who plays tin whistles, violin, and glockenspiel, in addition to some surprisingly burning distorted electric guitar.
There's some fine acoustic guitar picking and a bit of tasteful orchestration. Yet only "Rosemary Hill" has a bittersweet tune strong enough to merit a place on U.K. '70s folk-rock rarities, should a definitive series of those ever be assembled.
Line-up - Musicians
★ Mick Burgoyne - guitar, vocals, percussions, violin
★ Leigh Dolphin - acoustic guitar, vocals
01. Dole Song (3:23)
02. Rosemary Hill (3:30)
03. Quickie (1:23)
04. Everyone's Gone To War (3:55)
05. And When She Laughs (2:48)
06. Spring (3:21)
07. Balloon Spring (3:55)
08. Guzz Up (1:45)
09. Who's To Die (3:50)
10. Elizabeth R (2:50)
11. Frustration (6:00)
12. Car Song (3:59) [Bonus]
13. What Would You Do (2:42) [Bonus]
1. Fresh Maggots
2. Fresh Maggots