The term “classic rock” makes me cringe since we all know that, great as some of these songs are we are fed up to here in hearing the same songs over and over again. If my 9 year old son started listening to the local classic rock station, within one month he would probably conclude that the sum total history of rock and roll consists of only perhaps twenty bands singing maybe 500 songs. The reality of course is much different both now and during the hallowed “golden age of rock and roll” (pick your decade). It is for this reason that I enjoy listening to compilations like Shindig! We Set the Scene. Subtitled “The gospel according to Shindig! Choice British delights 1966-1974” this CD is put together by the fine folks at the great Shindig! Magazine and their choices are exemplary in both their obscurity and quality. Shindig! insists on marching to their own eclectic drummer and their first compilation sets the stage for hopefully more to come. Shindig’s mission as quoted in their liner notes is great in its “niche free-ness” and is neatly encompassed on the CD.
“Why pigeonhole ourselves as ambassadors for one particular genre when we can sneak in the odd surprise amongst the obvious choices and disregard the accepted notions of genre-bound compilations? We at Shindig! revel in juxtaposing the twee toytown pop of Sounds Around with the grimy post-psych rock of Little Free Rock, the razor-sharp freakbeat of Les Fleur de Lys with the sultry psychedelic funk of Ruth Copeland and the orchestrated kitchen sink grandeur of Julian Brooks with the jazz-tinged urban cool Bert Jansch.”
For me the revelation was the sole-funk of “Jubilation” by Blue Mink but who knows which song will catch me ear on the next listen? “We Set the Scene” is a great compilation of songs that are obscure but great. Check out the site for some cool samples to try before you buy. If they do another Austin Powers movie I vote that they get the Shindig! team to put together the soundtrack. Ya baby ya!