Felius Andromeda - Meditations b/w Cheadle Heath Delusions

Felius Andromeda
Meditations b/w Cheadle Heath Delusions

Released 1967 on Decca
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 07/11/2007ce

Procol Harum's summer 1967 hit "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" created a serious ripple effect among the UK's "underground" rock community. It seems the Procol's hit influenced numerous UK combos to try and ape it's sound of eeriness. Two obscure UK groups really got carried away in trying their luck of duplicating "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" one being the 1969 recording "Reputation" by The Shy Limbs (CBS 1969), however 2 full years before that record the equally obscure Felius Andromeda really went overboard with all things Procol Harum.

There is supposedly only one official photograph of Felius Andromeda, this photo shows the group sporting monks outfits to hide their identities. I recall seeing Procol Harum's Mathew Fisher decked out in similar attire, so perhaps even that idea was pinched from the Procols. But regardless of Felius Andromeda's obsession with the UK chartmakers, their lone recording is a classic in it's own right and can hang it's hat with Procol's best sides.

"Mediations" begins with what sounds like moaning from the group's singers, then the doomy Mathew Fisher organ enters the fray while the lead singer (who sings in a carbon copy style to Gary Brooker) sings his tale of madness and disorientation. The backing vocals sound like the chants in Jason Crest's chilling 45 "Black Mass." Towards the end of the song the lead singer does a spoken word piece about his descent into oblivion (meditating in eternity!) The song itself freefalls into chaos aided by a screeching Rick Grech-like violin. A very impressive record indeed!

On the flipside "Cheadle Heath Delusions" is somewhat similar lyrically, this one also finds the singer lost in a nightmare of his own making, however the backing track is a bit more controlled and melodic. In conclusion Felius Andromeda were clearly Procol Harum influenced but I'll be damned if they didn't take Procol's sound and kick it up a notch or two!

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