For a few years, it seemed as if Bruce Soord’s Pineapple Thief would always be a genuine underground band. Then, with the release of ‘Tightly Unwound’ gaining favourable press in 2008 and 2010’s ‘Someone Here Is Missing’ being compared to Porcupine Tree, the band made a huge leap forward in the world of cult prog rock. From then on, each release has been eagerly awaited by fans and critics alike and The Pineapple Thief have truly carved themselves a place in the annals of thoughtful rock music.
For those of you who don’t know, neil (often written in lower case) was a hippie character, played by Nigel Planer in the alternative comedy series The Young Ones. After that programme came to an end, Planer reprised the character and recorded this album, full of late 60s/early 70s hippie classics, interspersed with spoken word comedy pieces. What’s of greatest interest here though are the musicians involved – the cast list (in addition to a few of Planer’s comedy chums) features a handful of musicians from the early 70s Canterbury Scene. Dave Stewart (the Hatfield and the North man, not to be confused with the beardy one from the Eurythmics) has the greatest impact, playing lots of instruments as well as handling production duties. The first big question which needs asking is exactly how did Planer get these musicians involved? Did he know them personally? Planer, unfortunately, has never gone on record to discuss the roll-call of famous faces and they almost certainly never met him at the recording sessions, but there they are. It almost seems like a minor miracle.