30 October 2016 (released)
09 January 2017
Not your normal Prog. 9:30 Fly combine folk and Progressive, making a very individual and strangely attractive noise.
The folk side of their sound lies largely in the harmonies of the husband and wife team of Michael and Barbara Wainright and the pure highly pitched vocals of Barbara Wainright.
Couple that with Lyn Oakey’s electric guitar and the songs that seem to be pitched into the outlandishness of Progressive and 9:30 Fly have a pretty unique plavce in musical history.
They were a perennial support band back in the early ‘70’s, working constantly but never quite making the leap to headliners but that hard work ethos did mean that the songs were well tried and polished and the band had worked up their arrangements in the cauldron of empty rooms – the recording is surprisingly good and as usual Esoteric have done a fine job on the remastering.
One thing that appeals to me as a listener is the darkness and faintly unhinged tone of the lyrics – Michael Wainright saw himself as more of a poet than a songwriter and the band built the music around his poems.
This all gives the music a very different feel to the stock rock bands of the time but also without the over the top productions of the Yes & Genesis type of bands – in many respects it is naïve but never amateurish.
As an album, it grows on you. It has hidden depths but it is also good enough to appeal at first listening. Barbara’s keyboards are a good foil for Oakey’s guitar work and the rhythm section of Gary Charman and Mike Clark – while not exactly stellar – gives a solid foundation. My favourite tracks are the contemplative ‘Unhinged’ while the standout track is probably ‘Brooklyn Thoughts’.
Well worth digging into – a rather lovely lost gem.