July 26, 2011
RPM Records

Album Review

Shy Boy: The Complete Recordings 1967-1969, the first collection to focus specifically on Kippington Lodge, the Brinsley Schwarz precursor featuring Schwarz, Bob Andrews, and Nick Lowe, doesn’t contain much that wasn’t on the 1998 Brinsleys comp Hen’s Teeth. That collection rounded up Brinsley Schwarz’s non-LP rarities and singles they released under the names the Hitters, the Knees, Limelight and the Brinsleys -- so the singles of Kippington Lodge fit snugly within that context, yet there was still a handful of Kippington tracks that hadn’t seen the light of day. To be precise, there are five: the unreleased song “Land of Sea,” present in two takes, an alternate take of “And She Cried” that bears some notable differences, and then “Shy Boy” and a cover of Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Younger Girl” from a BBC session. Although these discoveries hardly qualify as earth-shattering, they are worthwhile for Brinsley Schwarz diehards: “Land of Sea” is an endearing piece of precious psych-pop, allegedly written by Schwarz as a satire but not quite playing that way; the Lovin’ Spoonful cover is a comfortable fit; and the alternate takes are different enough to be interesting. These tracks, combined with liner notes from Stefan Granados that tell the Kippington Lodge story in detail, are the reasons for owners of Hen's Teeth to acquire this, yet all the first-rate material already surfaced on that previous disc. Those unlucky enough not to have Hen's Teeth will find this very appealing, not only as that 1998 disc is long out of print but because Kippington Lodge were an ingratiatingly twee British psych-pop band that slowly summoned strength from single to single. “Shy Boy” and “Lady on a Bicycle” slide by on the strength of their period charms but Kippington started to come into focus with the “Tell Me a Story”/”Understand a Woman” 45, then once they incorporated a heavy Yes influence for “Turn Out the Light” and “In My Life,” they found firm footing, with Nick Lowe’s first original and lead vocal “I Can See Her Face” strongly pointing toward Brinsley Schwarz. All these pleasures are modest, but they are pleasures for Brinsley/Nick and psych-pop fanatics alike.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Shy Boy
  2. Lady on a Bicycle
  3. Land of Sea [Take RM 2] [#][Take]
  4. And She Cried [Alternate Take RM6] [Alternate Take][#]
  5. Rumours
  6. And She Cried
  7. Land of Sea [Take RM 20] [#][Take]
  8. Shy Boy [BBC Radio Session] [#][Version]
  9. Younger Girl [BBC Radio Session] [#][Version]
  10. Tell Me a Story
  11. Understand a Woman
  12. Tomorrow Today
  13. Turn Out the Light
  14. In My Life
  15. I Can See Her Face
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