May 06, 2011

Who's that Groan quoted on TEB's "Groan Dance"?

Mervyn Peake
Except for few tracks, TEB compositions have been only instrumental. As we know, they used to title tracks with some references (sometimes obscure) to philosophy, religion, science, culture...
One track, apparently mysterious, is titled "Groan's Dance" and was performed by the band at the BBC programme "Drummond" on March 21th, 1972 .

Who's that Groan?
Maybe some TEB's fans ignore that Titus Groan was one of the main characters of a famous trilogy written by English writer (and artist) Mervyn Peake (read at between 1946 and 1959.
A trilogy of Fantasy quite near to the more famous (and contemporaneous with) J.R.R. Tolkien.

In the rock history other groups quoted some references to the Peake's works: Steerpike and  Gormenghast was names of bands
recording in 1969-1971 taken by Peake's characters/places. So the progressive English groups Titus Groan (with an album recorded in 1970 with the track "Fuschia" (!) on it...) and Fuchsia with only one album in 1971. 

A drawing by Peake based on the trilogy

Al Stewart quotes Peake on his sleeve notes for "Zero She Flies" (1970), while the Strawbs titled a track "Lady Fuchsia" in their 1973 album "Bursting at the Seams". Another English band called Fruupp titled a track "Gormenghast" for his record "Modern Masquerades" in 1975.
In 2000 also ex-Can Irmin Schmidt composed and conducted an opera based on the Peake's trilogy titled "Gormenghast"...

PS: Because a TEB track of the same period is titled "Groom's Dance", a beautiful medieval dance composed for the soundtrack of Polanski's "MacBeth", it could be possible it was a misspell of the title possibly made by the DJ during the radio programme. Unfortunately no radio recordings of that broadcast seem to be around...

At the page on May 22th, 2011 Denim Bridges makes the things clear revealing the right title is "Groom's Dance"...

Last update: May 23th, 2011

no©2011 Luca Ferrari


  1. Does anyone have a recording? Perhaps it might clear up the mystery.

    I've often wondered who Jason was...

  2. Do you mean the Jason of "Jason's Trip"? It is from the Greek mithology character Jason that with his heroes, the Argonauts, takes a ship (called Argo) for searching the Golden Fleece... You can read something at
    But I'm sure you know it...