Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1968)
- Wilgar Campbell -- drums, percussion
- Gordon Barton -- drums, percussion
- Dave Lewis -- vocala, guitar, organ
- Nigel Smith -- vocals, bass
line up 2 (1968)
NEW - Gordon Barton -- drums, percussion (replaced
- Dave Lewis -- vocala, guitar, organ
- Nigel Smith -- vocals, bass
- Bob Downes (RIP) -- flute, sax, percussion
- Andwella (Dave Lewis)
- Khan (Nigel Portman-Smith)
- Dave Lewis (solo efforts)
- The Magic Mixture
- Magna Carta (Nigel Portman-Smith)
- The Method (Dave Lewis)
- The Pentangle (Nigel Portman-Smith)
- Razar (Gordon Barton)
- A Wild Uncertainly (Gordon Barton)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Love and Poetry
Country/State: Belfast, Northern, Ireland
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: reissue; thick vinyl pressing
Catalog ID: --
In his teens, singer/guitarist/keyboard player Dave Lewis joined the Belfast-based soul band The Methods. Managed by George Mechan, the group attracted some attention performing on the Belfast and Dublin club scenes, going though a stream of members, including briefly future Thin Lizzy members Phil Lynnot and Gary Moore. In 1967 Lewis, drummer Wilgar Cambell, and bassist Nigel Smith decided to strike out on their own. The trio relocated to London, where they caught the attention of Andrew Cameron Miller's CBS affiliated Reflection Records. Dubbing themselves Andwellas Dream, still in their teens, the trio ended up signing with CBS. During the resulting recording sessions drummer Campbell became homesick and returned to Ireland. He was quickly replaced by Gordon Barton and within a couple of months the revamped line-up debuted with a 45 produced by former The Konrads bassist Shahan Chowdhury (aka Rocky Shahan):
- 'Sunday' b/w 'Midday Sun' (CBS catalog number CBS 4031)
Produced by Shahan, 1969's "Love and Poetry" has been widely labeled as a psych classic. While there are clearly psych influences across these grooves, that's not a particularly apt description of the album. It's actually one of the most musically diverse LP's in my collection. My ears detect as least six genres scattered across these 13 tracks. The influences included Byrds-styled folk-rock ('Man Without a Name'), jazz-rock ('Clockwork Man'), Hendrix-styled hard rock ('Sunday'), psychedelia (the lysergic-tinged ballad 'Midday Sun'), and even a stab at world music (the first half of 'Lost a Number Found a King'). Given the album's diversity, Lewis was clearly the trio's point-man. In addition to writing all the material he handled lead vocals, guitar and organ. He certainly had a nice voice; capable of easily handling the band's diverse repertoire. He was also a gifted guitarist and had a knack for crafting catchy melodies. Virtually every one of these tracks had an appealing hook. That's not intended to downplay the contributions of the Barton-Smith rhythm section. On tracks like the single 'Sunday' drummer Barton demonstrated he could easily keep up with the likes of a Keith Moon. Smith was a gifted bassist; highly inventive and melodic - check out his work on the opener 'The Days Grew Longer for Love.' Admittedly not the most original LP I have in my collection, but one that I treasure and well worth tracking down a legitimate reissue - unless you want to pay $1,000 or more for an original.
No idea who he was, but I've always liked C. Nevil Boussmayeff's abstract cover art.
Love and Poetry" track listing:
1.) The Days Grew Longer for Love (Dave Lewis) - 3:55 rating: **** stars
'The Days Grew Longer for Love' opened with a sweet acoustic guitar section that then morphed into something echoing The Beatles' 'Dear Prudence.' And then the song was off to the races. Powered by a wonderful Nigel Smith bass line and an awesome double-tracked Dave Lewis lead guitar, it made for a dazzling way to open an album. Asked by the Songfact website about the song, Lewis described his inspiration as: "The song was written about my first love and times shared together in Northern Ireland. It was also a song about moving on, and I think I wrote it when I first lived in London. I was probably about 17 at the time."
2.) Sunday (Dave Lewis) - 3:13 rating: **** stars
A rollicking slice of psych-rock, it's easy to see why CBS tapped 'Sunday' as the leadoff single. Pounding, but melodic, this was an awesome performance and easily one of the album's most commercial efforts. Gordon Barton's drums would give Keith Moon a run for his money.
3.) Lost a Number Found a King (instrumental) (Dave Lewis) - 6:03 rating: *** stars
LOL - talk about a song title that just screamed the '60s. Powered by Bob Downes' flute and an array of oriental sound effects, the first half of 'Lost a Number Found a King' was very much an atmospheric piece - kind of a World Music vibe going on here. About two and a half minutes in the track morphed into a pleasant acoustic folk number that showcased Lewis' excellent voice.
4.) Man without a Name (Dave Lewis) - 2:41 rating: **** stars
Showcasing Lewis' jangle-rock guitar, 'Man without a Name' found the band dipping their toes into folk-rock. To my ears this one has always sounded like a British Roger McGuinn and the Byrds. Again, very melodic and I have to admit to loving the guitar solo.
5.) Clockwork Man (Dave Lewis) - 2:44 rating: **** stars
Opening up with a nice Bob Downes' sax solo, 'Clockwork Man' unveiled a highly commercial slice of jazz-rock.
6.) Cocaine (Dave Lewis) - 5:00 rating: **** stars
Certainly one of the earliest references to this illicit substance I've seen. How to described 'Cocaine'? Imagine a head-on collision between Stevie Winwood and Traffic and the Young Holt Trio. Lots of Lewis organ and lead guitar. The ending was certainly disconcerting.
'Shades of Grey' started side two with a lovely mid-tempo ballad. Another tune that leaned radio-friendly and highly commercial. Check out Barton's about-too-lose-control drumming.
2.) High On a Mountain (Dave Lewis) - 2:31 rating: **** stars
Lysergic-pop with an awesome Lewis guitar solo. The Lewis-Smith shared vocals have always reminded me of "Magical Mystery Tour" era.
3.) Andwella (Dave Lewis) - 3:15 rating: **** stars
Imagine Fairport Convention deciding they really wanted to be a rock band rather the folk-rockers ... I suspect it might sound something like 'Andwella.'
4.) Midday Sun (Dave Lewis) - 3:40 rating: *** stars
Opening up with backward tapes, 'Midday Sun' quickly shifted into a pretty, lysergic-tinged ballad showcasing Lewis' pretty voice. Hard to imagine he was only 18 at the time.
5.) Take My Road (Dave Lewis) - 3:22 rating: *** stars
'Take My Road' found Lewis toughening up his vocals; kind of a blue-eyed-soul slams into Joe Cocker blues sound.
6.) Felix (Dave Lewis) - 4:16 rating: **** stars
Featuring original drummer Wilgar Campbell, 'Felix' was apparently one of the first tracks the band recorded. Showcasing Lewis Hammond organ and treated lead guitar, this one sounded a bit like an early Procol Harum outing. One of the songs that's grown on me. Always wondered what it was about ...
7.) Goodbye (Dave Lewis) - 2:17 rating: *** stars
'Goodbye' closed the album with a pretty acoustic ballad - just Lewis accompanying himself on guitar. A little too sensitive for my tastes, but sweet and charming. I've read that his hyper-rare first solo album features similar sounding material.
For hardcore collectors, before morphing into Andwella, the original band released three non-LP singles:
- 1969's 'Mr. Sunshine' b/w 'Shades of Grey' (CBS catalog number S4634)
- 1969's 'Mrs. Mann' b/w 'Felix' (CBS catalog number S4469)
- 1970's 'Every Little Man' b/w "Michael Fitzhenry' (Reflection catalog number R.S. 1)
Lewis has a web presence at: www.davelewismusic.com
For anyone curious, in 2011 Lewis started a FaceBook page dedicated to the band: https://www.facebook.com/andwellasdream/
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