Van der Graaf - Cat's Eye / Ship of Fools 7" (1977)
This is the last single the band will release in the 70's (and surely in his career). It's no more the VDGG we knew and they even shortened their name in VDG, removing the generator. Actually, Hugh Banton did not want to tour anymore and preferred to have a family life even it he had to sacrifice a musical career. David Jackson followed too, although the band was on the edge to break in America. So, Peter Hammill called back Nic Potter, the acolyte of the early years, and the violin from String Driven Thing, Graham Smith. The album was not totally a great one but actually more relevant to 1977 that would have been the previous formation. From the LP was drawn a single in France, with "Cat's Eye / Yellow Fever" on A-side (a very Albinoniesque one) and an unissued "Ship of Fools" on B-side, quite a heavy one this one, even Rikki Nadir's derived. It could have been associated with punk without any problem, much more than the Stranglers or Jam for example. And the band changed his look quite completely too. Not many 60's bands could look so fresh in that year. All in all, a fine way to close the history. There would be a live one and that's all. The Hammill's solo career will begin for long decades. I included the flac versions of both songs in the rar file + the MP3 one of the B-side (in streaming below). More to come. Enjoy (here).
Ship of Fools
Ship of Fools. The captain's in a coma, the lieutenant's on a drunk; the owner's in his cabin with his special friend, the monk; the midget's on the bridge, dispensing platitudes and junk - those wild and special places, those strange and dangerous places, those sad, sweet faces, it's a Ship of Fools. The nurse in black seamed stockings, she's already on patrol for fake fur starlets panicked by the watering-hole; everybody's waiting for the drama to unfold in those cold and treasured places, those old and degenerate places; those posed, posed, empty faces it's a Ship of Fools. Run, rabbit, run, you're the only one that can do it; turn, baby, turn, there's a ring of fire and you've got to go through it. Fun, baby, fun, when the sands have run to the limit turn, baby, turn, there's a ring of fire and you're in it. Looking for logic and adventure down the dark end of the street, open city, open season, open lips that gleam so sweet offer kisses like piranhas to the soft flesh of your feet, and any man's poison is every man's meat in those mad and special places, those sad and desperate places, those sad, sweet soul embraces, it's a Ship of Fools Those strange and special places those wild and dangerous places, those dead, dead, dead faces... It's a Ship of Fools; no rules.