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Light Flight - Pentangle

Another early folk rock success was Pentangle. Unlike Fairport Convention who were rock / blues based folkies, Pentangle were jazz influenced as this track beautifully illustrates. "Light Flight" was from their best album "Basket of Light" but was also a minor hit, peaking at number 43 in the UK early in 1970. The album featured Jacqui McShee's searing vocals as well as Bert Jansch's and John Renbourn's nimble contrapuntal guitar work. But it's Danny Thompson (double bass) and Terry Cox (drums) who power the song along, investing it with thrilling rhythm from start to finish. Jansch, Renbourn and McShee were from folk backgrounds, but it was Thompson and Cox, veterans of London's jazz scene and Alexis Korner's legendary Blues Incorporated who gave the band their edge.

The song became well known as the theme music for the 1969 tv series "Take Three Girls", the story of three young women sharing a flat in London in the "swinging sixties". I remember the programme being considered a bit risqué, but nowadays its claim to fame is that it was the first BBC drama series to be broadcast in colour.

Mind you, there are times when I think McShee's vocal could, with many repetitions, get the most obdurate of captured soldiers to cough up more than his name, rank and serial number:

"Strange visions pass me by, winging sweetly close inside over the water......

swirling, the waters rise up above my head. gone are the curling mists - how they all have fled. Look, the door is open, step into the space provided there."

Genuinely far out. They don't write words like that any more. Maddeningly good.

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