A review of their only album from London Music Advertiser 29th September 1979. I think I must have written it but it doesn't say so! tk


'The release of an album by Reading band, Spredthick, one of the folk club circuit's most imaginative bands has long been overdue. Sadly their first release has come just prior to the departure from the band of Andy Bannister and the imminent departure of long serving member Phil Fentiman.

Let me say at the outset that this is a first class album totally representative of their live performances, and that my criticisms are somewhat trivial. But in my view the choice of some of the material leaves something to be desired - My Johnny Was A Shoemaker, Satisfied and Tickled Too, Black and White Rag (It actually says Rage in the original. Ed.) and Saucy Bold Robber, are a little bit hackneyed, though Spredthick's treatment of them are as good as any.

I enjoyed the 'gimmick' tracks most of all - Beethoven's Sonatina in C Major no less performed with digital dexterity by Messrs Fentiman and Mayor, two George Gershwin ditties They All Laughed and one which he placed firmly in his waste bin The Real American Folk Song and Home James featuring multi-instrumentalist Simon Mayor doing things with coconut shells you would not have thought possible.

Lead vocals are taken by Hilary James, no criticism of her is intended when I say that it would have been nice to have changed the mood slightly by having one of the gentlemen take a track or two. The album is full of good things - the arrangements are first class and the musicianship is second to not very many! As I said at the outset some of the material does not do justice to the band's abilities, similarly more thought could have been given to the overall feel of the album. A live album would be worthy of consideration since one is otherwise deprived of Simon's sparkling wit and repartee.'

Simon seems to have acquired legendary status as a musician and he and the lovely Hilary are still producing work of the very highest quality. Investigate at once!