November 12, 2010

COB's 1971 first album (with Ursula Smith on cello) available in the Net for free download....

About the few collaborations of  Ursula Smith, one of the best known is that with the C.O.B. (Clives' Original Band) first album published in 1971 as "Spirit of Love" (CBS 69010) where she played cello on three tracks ("When he came home" - listen to it at, "Sweet Slavery" and  "Serpent's Kiss").

"It's no surprise that this album can be recommended to Incredible String fans, as it features singer-guitarist Clive Palmer, who was part of the ISB on their debut LP", writes Richie Unterberger. "It's less expected, however, that the album can also be recommended to British folk-rock fans who might not necessarily be enamored of the Incredible String Band. It's low-key, almost to the point of being subdued, and melodic British folk with that quasi-psychedelic mystical tinge characteristic of ISB. Yet the vocals are more tuneful and soothing - if, undeniably, less adventurous. The arrangements are nicely varied, too, something else that sets this apart from the standard British folk record. The embellishments from John Bidwell's dulcitar, Indian hand organ, and recorder - as well as occasional cello, haunting vocal harmonies, and the clever a cappella trio vocals of "Wade in the Water" - play a large part in the record's modest triumph".
Clive Palmer - banjo, vocals, arranger, guitar (12 string), guitar
Ursula Smith - cello
Mickey "Tickey" Bennett - organ, percussion, voices, vocals, arranger, washboard
Michael Bennett - percussion, keyboards, vocals
Gillian McPherson - voices
John Bidwell - organ, banjo, keyboards, arranger, vocals, voices, Indian organ, dulcitone, recorder
Steve Bonnett - bass, guitar
Ralph McTell - guitar, drums, producer

1. "Spirit Of Love"  2. "Music Of The Ages" 3. "Soft Touches Of Love" 4. "Banjo Land" 5. "Scranky Black Farmer" 6. "Evening Air" 7. "Serpent's Kiss" 8. "Sweet Slavery" 9. "When He Came Home"

COB original line-up

The record,  reissued on CD by Lady Eleanore label (catalog # 100LE 201),  is also available for  free download at!download|306l35|92423185||6216.

no©2010 Luca Ferrari


  1. Haven't got the album to hand, but if memory servges me right, Ursula's at her most 3rd Ear on Serpent's Kiss. Must be 30 years since I heard it last but just thinking about puts a chill up my spine...

    And how much of Joy of a Toy did Paul play on? Listening to it the other week I could have sworn I heard him cutting through on Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong.

  2. Just dug out my old vinyl copy - Ursula plays on three tracks: Serpent's Kiss, Sweet Slavery & When He Came Home.

  3. Thanks for your clarification, but my memory is just fucked up... Not the best journalism, I have to admit... but, you know, it's my precipitation... About Paul, if I remember well, he played on "Oleh Oleh" and on the single "Caribbean Moon", also in the anthology titled "Odd Ditties".

  4. More vintage Ursula!

    Maritime England Suite: a 40-minute sequence comprising Peter Bellamy's settings of Kipling, traditional and other lyrics arranged by Dolly Collins and performed by the trio of PB: voice / Dolly Collins : piano / Ursula Pank (nee Smith) : 'cello. It existed as a cassette-only edition with a photocopied cover, copies of which are scarce (and those extant are fading fast...) but the music is of a perfect and golden charm.

    This is a basic transfer of a very old unbranded cassette copy as sold by Peter Bellamy at his gigs. No attempt has been made to clean it up at source (no Dolby certainly!) or otherwise enhance it on the computer other than to fix a patricularly messy edit & fade it out at the end of Part Two which cuts out on the cassette. One hopes the masters are extant and that plans are afoot to release them officially, but as life is generally too short for the awaiting of such miracles, enjoy this in all its lo-fi glory.

    File expires on 22nd November, so get it while you can!

    Part One:

    Song of the Red War Boat (Kipling)
    Sir Patrick Spens (Trad)
    Sir Andrew Barton (Anon)
    The Spanish Armada (Anon)
    The Zealous Puritan (Anon)
    The Dutch in the Medway (Kipling)

    Part Two:

    We Have Fed Our Sea For a Thousand Years (Kipling)
    Andrew Rose & the Cruel Ship's Captain (trad)
    The Death of Nelson (trad)
    The British Man of War (trad)
    The China Clipper (Tardiff)

    All settings Peter Bellamy / arranged by Dolly Collins

    Part One:

    Part Two:

  5. Thanks, you're very kind. I'll get it and, possibly, I'll write a proper file on the album using your notes to make it available for more time...