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SIMPLE VISIONS, 1977 to 1978

Simple Visions ran for seven substantial issues, Brian Cairney kept them all ... From Dick Greener's collection. Reproduced by kind permission of Anne Pancello (then Anne Steichen).


With a big dripping strawberry on the front (the front page is unnumbered - its reverse is page 1), Simple Visions was announced to the world, devoted to the "music, past present and future of the Strawbs". A review of Deep Cuts, a piece on album covers, a retrospective on Stealers' Wheel's first album, and a full page drawing with some Chas Cronk lyrics were the main features, as well as various bits of Strawbs news.


Issue #2 began the letters page which would continue to be a lively part of the fanzine throughout its existence. A retrospective on Ghosts by Barry Patton, accompanies a piece by Anne on the possible reasons for John Hawken's departure from Strawbs and a revieww of Illusion's Out Of The Mist. The regular round up of news, extending now beyond Strawbs, has a header "Pieces of 79 and 15 ...." and a footer " .... drifting along a jumbly scene" - nice touch.


The first 16pp issue, Issue #3 focusses on album reviews from Anne and her correspondents: the new Strawbs Burning For You album, Yes's Going For The One, Hudson Ford's Daylight, King Earl Boogie Band's Trouble At'Mill and finally a Sandy Denny re-issue.


Issue #4 marked a change of direction - the fanzine was to be "no longer exclusively Strawbs". In this issue, American Bands: Styx; articles by Anne on music and William Blake, Dave Lambert's Fire and a new section of concert reviews "In Living Black and White" with live reviews of the Carthy/Kirkpatrick line-up of Steeleye Span, Al Stewart and Frankie Armstrong.


Issue #5 includes: American Bands: Kansas, an article on Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, a article on theatre and music "Stranded At Centre Stage" as well as various short articles by Anne on Tony Hooper, Temptress Mythology, Rod Coombes, Tony Fernandez, and general Strawbs news. Live reviews are of Symphonic Slam, Horslips and one of Sandy Denny's last concerts in Edinburgh, written by Brian Cairney. Record reviews of Camel's Rain Dances and Hoelderlin's Rare Birds.


Two features dominate this issue - "Music and the Myth of Mental Illness" and "Theatre and Rock: The Concept LP". Also included, reviews of Steeleye's Storm Force Ten, Far East Family Band's Tenkulin and Henry Cow's Kew Rhone. News also of Strawbs' signing to Arista and forthcoming Deadlines LP.


Excellent cover from Anne's friend Norm DeValliere for the last issue (intro tells us that issue #8 would be the last, but it never apppeared). Reviews of the recently released Deadlines obviously, and Brian Cairney reviews Strawbs March 1978 shows in Edinburgh/Glasgow and a Gordon Giltrap show. Anne's main piece "The Pros and Cons of Bluebirds", discusses Dave Cousins' lyrics. Also included: feature and live review of an unusual band called Garfield; review of Sandy Denny's Rendezvous; the third Theatre and Rock article on theatricality of rock shows; literature and music; more American bands and "more madness".

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