Caravan Album Shows Warmth, Humour And Sensitivity, Tour Dates
by Geoff Ford
Caravan, one of the doyens of the progressive rock, release their new album It’s None Of Your Business in CD format on 1st October 2021 and as a vinyl issue, in early November, on Snapper Music. Caravan are touring in October with dates in Chester, Leeds, Bury and Newcastle.
Formed in 1968, Caravan were at the heart of the ‘Canterbury scene’ blending rock, jazz, folk and classical influences into a warm and distinctive sound. Their previous 14 studio albums and numerous live recordings have seen them attract a large and faithful following and Caravan toured regularly until the restrictions of last year’s pandemic.
It’s None Of Your Business is Caravan’s first album since Paradise Filter (2013) and features nine new songs plus one instrumental track influenced, to a degree, by the events and restrictions placed on society over the past 18 months.
Founder member Pye Hastings (guitar/vocals) remains as Caravan’s guiding light and primary songwriter. Geoffrey Richardson (viola, mandolin, guitar) first played with Caravan between 1972 and 1981 and returned to the fold in 1995. Jay Schelhaas (keyboards) and Mark Walker (drums) complete the line-up while Lee Pomeroy (ELO, Rick Wakeman and Take That) guests as bass player, following the departure of Jim Leverton, and Pye’s brother Jimmy guests on flute.
“it is much more rewarding to be able to throw insults at each other in person rather than down a telephone line!”
The album was recorded, as restrictions allowed, ‘in the old-fashioned way’ between 24th June and 4th July 2021 at Rimshot Studio, Bredgar near Sittingbourne. “Sitting round in a circle having eye to eye contact, a large sound room was required,” Pye Hastings explained. “I much prefer this method because you can bounce ideas off each other as they occur, and voice encouragement when the whole thing begins to click.
“And it is much more rewarding to be able to throw insults at each other in person rather than down a telephone line or via email. This is something we are all very experienced at, believe me!”
This togetherness characterises It’s None Of Your Business with Caravan’s trademark warmth and humour and, also, a sensitivity reflecting the times in which we are living. Sitting among Caravan’s typically whimsical tales Down From London and If I Was To Fly sit the heartfelt and poignant Spare A Thought and Every Precious Little Thing which looks forward to a return to normality.
“Spare a Thought is a song that I hope will jog people to remember those unfortunate people caught up in the pandemic,” Hastings explains. “‘All those people who denied’ refers to the idiots who don’t follow the scientific advice. I get angry about that and the line ‘Sure are interesting times’ refers to an old Chinese saying: ‘may you live in interesting times’ because the virus is alleged to have originated in China!”
“Lyrics can sometimes be my Achilles Heel, trying to find anything meaningful to write about. But sitting in front of a blank screen with a pandemic raging all around, it was hard not to be influenced by the dreadful events going on. The lockdown certainly focused the mind when it came to writing the lyrics.
“Unfortunately,” Hastings laughs, “the sun shone everyday while we were recording which was a huge temptation to stop work and take a break in the garden but we resisted most of the time.
“We have a 14-date tour of the UK booked for October,” he adds “so we will have the opportunity to introduce some of the new material into the set – that is providing there is no 4th lockdown imposed! I expect to be a bit rusty after such a long time away but it will be great to play as a band once again. We are all really looking forward to getting back on stage.”
It’s None Of Your Business track listing:
01. Down From London (4.03)
02. Wishing You Were Here (3.55)
03. It’s None Of Your Business (9.40)
04. Ready Or Not (4.45)
05. Spare A Thought (4.06)
06. Every Precious Little Thing (4.25)
07. If I Was To Fly (3.23)
08. I’ll Reach Out For You (8.07)
09. There Is You (4.26)
10. Luna’s Tuna (3.14)
Produced, engineered and mastered by Julian Hastings with assistant engineer Mike Thorne.
It’s None Of Your Business is released on 1st October 2021 as a CD with the Vinyl Album available in early November through Snapper Music.
Caravan are on tour in the UK this coming autumn:
Wednesday 6th October, Basingstoke, The Haymarket
Thursday 7th October, Islington, The Union Chapel
Friday 8th October, Brighton/Hove, The Old Market
Thursday 14th October, Chester, The Live Rooms
Friday 15th October, Leeds, The Bridenwell
Saturday 16th October, Bury, The Met
Sunday 17th October, Wolverhampton, The Robin 2 (Bilston)
Thursday 21st October, Bury St Edmunds, The Apex
Friday 22nd October, Newcastle, The Cluny
Saturday 23rd October, Glasgow, Òran Mór
Wednesday 27th October, Bristol, The Fleece
Thursday 28th October, Exeter, The Phoenix
Friday 29th October, Dover, The Booking Hall
For more information, please visit https://officialcaravan.co.uk/gigs/