Search - Allan Holdsworth & Friends :: Igginbottom's Wrench

Igginbottom's Wrench
Allan Holdsworth & Friends
Igginbottom's Wrench
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Previously unavailable early recording from the founding member of Gong and Soft Machine. 10 tracks including 'The Castle', 'Out Of Confusion' and 'Sweet Dry Biscuits'. 2000 release. Standard jewel case.


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CD Details

All Artists: Allan Holdsworth & Friends
Title: Igginbottom's Wrench
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Cleopatra
Release Date: 8/1/2000
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Styles: Europe, British Isles, Jazz Fusion, Progressive, Progressive Rock, Rock Guitarists
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 741157090727


Album Description
Previously unavailable early recording from the founding member of Gong and Soft Machine. 10 tracks including 'The Castle', 'Out Of Confusion' and 'Sweet Dry Biscuits'. 2000 release. Standard jewel case.

CD Reviews

What an amazing surprise!
David Starns | South Louisiana, a stone's throw from the swamp | 10/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Last week, the guitar player in my band (I play bass) handed me this
CD, saying, "check this out--it's the new Allan Holdsworth."
Now, he and I are both ardent fans of the brewer, so we were surprised
that he'd come out with another new album, so soon on the heels of the
marvelous "Sixteen Men of Tain." I asked him what he thought
of it, and he just grinned, "listen to it and tell me what you
think." I popped it in on the way home, and popped it back out
after 20 or 30 seconds, just to make sure he'd given me the right
CD--it didn't sound like any Holdsworth album I'd ever heard. It
wasn't polished or smooth, there was nothing resembling a Synthaxe (or
even a keyboard synth) on the songs, and most strikingly, the chord
progessions and solos didn't have anywhere near the virtuosic
complexity you find on every Holdsworth album since "IOU."
This sounded like a 60's band playing some kind of primitive
proto-prog/fusion! Now, I've got pretty much every available
Holdsworth album, from his days with Soft Machine to Tony Williams to
Gong to Bruford--I've even got "Velvet Darkness." "This
can't be an old album," I thought, "I'd have known about
it."By the middle of the second song, I thought I had it
figured out. Knowing how Holdsworth and his friends like to drink
beer, I assumed that they had tossed back a few and then decided to
attempt a fictional take on a 60's band ("hey mates, what do you
think it would sound like if fusion hadn't started with 'Bitches
Brew'; what if it had been invented by a late 60's psychadelic band
from the north of England?" "Gear idea--let's try
it!"). After all, that sort of thing's been done
before--Utopia's "Deface the Music," XTC's two Dukes of the
Stratosphear albums. But while Utopia just parodied the Beatles, and
the Dukes lampooned as much 60's musical territory as they could (a
"Seeds-type" song, a "Pet Sounds-type" song, and
early Hollies sort of song, etc.), this sounded unified--like a real
band, at a specific moment in time. The instrumentation was basic:
vocals, two guitars, bass and drums. The songs weren't derivative of
anything or anyone in particular, beyond the Jack Bruce-sounding bass
player, the spacy lyrics and the oh-so psychadelic propensity to
meander. In fact, it sounded as if it had been recorded in a single
session--every song had the same guitar sounds, and even the same
panning placement.My respect for Holdsworth increased (quite a
feat, as I already viewed him as the world's finest electric
guitarist), knowing that a guy noted for such unflinching,
self-critical perfectionism would release such a playful record--a
record with, God forbid, mistakes! I was amazed that he could hold his
playing in check that way. The solos have none of the polychromatic
eloquence he displays nowadays. They're fast, but they're also mostly
modal, and in some cases, pentatonic! More importantly, they display a
kind of fumbling grace, like someone of blinding talent who's only
just learning to play.And this is what I love about this
album. Like the best of the 60's bands who folded jazz ideas into
their music (Spirit, for instance), Igginbottom is best listened to at
night. In fact, once I'd gotten home, I sat in my car and listened to
the whole CD in my driveway, completely enthralled. The playing has a
gentle, intelligent, introspective feel to it that I found
unbelievably endearing. The music on this album is, to me, filled with
the things that made 60's music cool. It has the "anything is
possible" vibe that infused Hendrix's best music. Holdsworth and
the other guitar player seem to relish the idea of each playing a
different chord at the same time, making a larger, more complex single
chord (later, of course, Holdsworth would figure out how to do that
all by himself!) That innocent, total lack of irony is also expressed
vocally, and the sweet-sounding tenor singing lead is, believe it or
not, Holdsworth himself! Who would've thought he could sing too? Now,
I wonder why he bothered to hire Paul Williams--nothing against
Williams's Jack Bruce-meets-Greg Lake style, but I think Holdsworth
sings circles around him. Of course, the context is everything; while
I couldn't imagine someone like Williams singing these songs, I
suppose "White Line" (on "IOU") would've sounded
silly with such pretty, earnest vocals as these.Anyway, the next
day I checked out the liner notes, and lo and behold, realized that it
was, in fact, an old album: that a band of guys from the North of
England really did invent progressive rock/fusion! What do you
know--there goes my respect for Holdsworth, inching up yet again!

Igginbottom's Wrench
Reesho Cornay | East Setauket, NY USA | 11/01/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"As an Allan Holdsworth fan, I was naturally eager to get my hands on this album especially for the fact that it is early Holdsworth as I also have an interest in the technical developement of his musical style. The music on this album may be a bit difficult to listen to for some fans of Holdsworth recent material but it's a must have for both serious collectors and Holdsworth fans. Take for instance the fact that Allan is the principle lead singer in the group. His voice is a natural and refreshing pure tone expression of his original musical thoughts and his pitch is quite good. The hardest thing for me to like on the record is the stark meatless tone of the guitars. They sound almost as if they were plugged directly into a characterless mixing console with no effects or helpful EQ. Despite this, the playing is extraordinary, with enough momentary gems to warrent the purchase of this piece of history."
Milking it!
Jean-Pierre Mutti | Brighton, MA United States | 09/14/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Don't buy this if you even remotely like Holdsworths current stuff. Sounds like an unrehearsed, below average 60's bar/cover band. Unfocused hippie vocals with unrelated guitar nuddeling. The poor recording quality doesn't help either. Somebody's really trying to make money on everything that can be dug up with Holdsworth on it. Sad. ...