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Plainsong were the closest the UK ever came to producing a rival to the Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, a gloriously harmonic marriage of olde English folk, Appalachian gospel and dustbowl travelogues.

link Andy's Solo Career

Plainsong's new (and farewell) album, Fat Lady Singing.

Iain & Andy, David Hall Sept 2012

Plainsong's farewell tour poster

Plainsong 1972-ish

Plainsong advert from the Sounds music newspaper for the BBC's 'In Concert' programme in February 1973.   CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

'Bluebird Morning' from Plainsong's DARK SIDE OF THE ROOM

 

'Wordplay' from A to B

 

Amelia sticker which came with the publicity pack

PLainsong as a duo in 2001

Plainsong at Birmingham's MAC in 2003. Photo: Paul Cary

Andy Roberts and Iain Matthews playing at Queens College Bristol in 2001. Photo: Paul Cary

Andy, Iain, Julian and Andy Metcalfe during recording for Pangolins. Photo: Paul Cary

Andy and Iain. Photo: Paul Cary

PLAINSONG

"Fairport Convention goes to Nashville"

"...one of the finest British folk/rock bands ever"

"Quite simply and without any hype - a supergroup"

"Plainsong are probably the best English folk - country rock band
of the past thirty years" (now forty)!

A Brief History of the Band

Plainsong was a country rock/folk rock band formed by Andy Roberts and Iain (then Ian) Matthews in early 1972, along with Dave Richards, and Bob Ronga. Following the release of their classic LP "In Search Of Amelia Earhart" the group toured extensively and then set about recording a second album. Before these sessions were completed the band disbanded. In less than a year, Plainsong had been born, made an indelible mark on musical history and then disappeared.

Fast forward eighteen years and Iain and Andy meet up in a Brighton pub and decide that the time is right to revive Plainsong. They recruit Mark Griffiths and Julian Dawson and released three albums from 1992 to 1996 and build up a strong following, a combination of fans of the original line-up, of solo projects by group members and people hearing Plainsong for the very first time.

In 1996 Julian left the band to concentrate on his solo career. Clive Gregson joined and Plainsong version 3 was formed.

Two years later the nucleus of Plainsong, Andy and Iain, record a mini CD entitled A to B (Amsterdam to Brighton - where Iain and Andy live!) and tour the UK as a duo. (version 4)

And in 2003 Julian rejoins Plainsong and together with Mark Griffiths form version 5 and record Pangolins and again embark on a UK tour to promote the album.

And finally...

2012 will be the 40th anniversary of Andy Roberts and Iain Matthews forming Plainsong with Dave Richards and Bob Ronga and also the release of the legendary ‘Amelia Earhart’ album. 

To celebrate, the band will be releasing a live studio album, ‘Fat Lady Singing’ (on the Blue Rose label) and touring Europe and the UK in August and September. The sad news is that this will be a farewell tour for Plainsong, as it has become harder to pin down the four current members in one place, let alone schedule dates for touring. 

 

Plainsong version 5 2003

Discography

FAT LADY SINGING | BLUE ROSE RECORDS | available at gigs now....

This 'Live' studio album will be released prior to Plainsong's farewell tour which begins in August. The tour will take in several UK and European Festivals and visit venues across the UK between August and September.

2012 is the 40th anniversary of Andy Roberts and Iain Matthews forming Plainsong and the release of the legendary ‘Amelia Earhart’ album. [ more info here ]

Plainsong's new 'final' album, Fat Lady Singing.  Released in time for their UK & European tour 2012.

IN SEARCH OF AMELIA EARHART / NOW WE ARE THREE | WATER RECORDS WATER149 | 2005

This 2CD set contains the original 1972 Plainsong quartet, which included Andy, Iain, Bob Ronga and Dave Richards. The CD set includes "In Search of Amelia Earhart" together with the unreleased second album "Now We R 3", and bonus tracks. [ more info here ]

PANGOLINS | BLUE ROSE BLU CD0299 | 2003

Julian Dawson rejoins Plainsong for this long awaited album featuring four great voices and lots of guitar. A great album - supported by a comprehensive tour. Line-up 4 is formed. [ more info here ]

IN SEARCH OF AMELIA EARHART | PERFECT PITCH PP009 | 2001

At last! Released on CD. And worth the wait! Those glorious harmonies without the clicks. [ more info here ]

A TO B | SPIN ALONG RECORDS SPACD002 | 2001

Andy and Iain create a mini CD containing six tracks. The voices of Plainsong's two founder members combine to make a recording with a special quality, a warmth and unique sound which has been perfected over thirty years. On this CD, Andy creates 'We Bid You Goodnight - in memorium' a warm tribute to his long time friend and collaborator Adrian Henri who passed away late 2000. [ more info here ]

NEW PLACE NOW | SPIN ALONG RECORDS SPACD001 | 1999

Clive Gregson joins Andy, Iain and Mark in another re-incarnation of Plainsong, this time produced by John Wood. A very good album and a comprehensive tour to promote it. 'Live' this band are very, very special. Pity it doesn't happen more often. [ more info here ]

PLAINSONG ON AIR - STRANGE FRUIT | BBC SFRSCD047 | 1998

This is a re-release of archive session tapes from 1972 (Band of Joy) This CD contains two extra tracks. [ more info here ]

LIVE IN AUSTRIA | PLAINSONG | PL0001 | 1997

Live recordings from Thalgau in July 1997. Clive Gregson had replaced Julian Dawson who had left to pursue his solo career. Plainsong line-up 3 is formed. [ more info here ]

SISTER FLUTE | LINE MUSIC | 1996

Still with Julian at this stage - but with 'I Love This Town', written by Clive Gregson - another wonderful album. [ more info here ]

VOICES ELECTRIC | LINE MUSIC | 1994

Produced by Mark Hallman who sat alongside Iain in Hamilton Pool. Again some stunning material. 'Voices', written by Iain, is an electrifying track - four voices once more creating those glorious harmonies. [ more info here ]

DARK SIDE OF THE ROOM | LINE RECORDS LICD 9.01247 | 1992

After years not seeing each other Andy meets up with Iain who was playing in a pub in Brighton - they play a couple of gigs together - Julian Dawson and Mark Griffiths join and Plainsong line-up 2 is born! [ more info here ]

...AND THAT'S THAT | TAXIM RECORDS | TX20022TA | 1992

This CD is the second Plainsong album comprising of unfinished recordings from 1972 ... after Bob Ronga had left but before Iain went to America to work with Mike Nesmith.

And that was the end of Plainsong the first line-up. [ more info here ]

PLAINSONG ON AIR - BAND OF JOY | BBC BOJCD005 | 1992

Archive recordings from BBC sessions in 1972 - both TV and Radio. I can remember taping Plainsong from the TV sometime in the early 1970's and playing the cassette to destruction in just a few short years! [ more info here ]

IN SEARCH OF AMELIA EARHART | ELEKTRA K42120 | 1970

A real gem of an album containing some wonderful songs and those glorious harmonies that have become the trade mark of Plainsong. Today this is a highly sought after album. [ more info here ]

Released on CD in Japan. [ more info here ]
ELEKTRA produced a Press Pack to publicise the release of Amelia. We have a copy of this rare item [ more info here ]