Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1968-71)

- Richard Coughlan -- drums, percussion 

- Pye Hastings -- vocals, lead guitar 

- David Sinclair -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Richard Sinclair -- vocals, bass 


  supporting musicians:

- Jimmy Hastings -- flute

- Brian Hopper -- horns


  line up 2 (1971-73)

- Richard Coughlan -- drums, percussion 

- Pye Hastings -- vocals, lead guitar 

NEW - Steve Miller -- keyboards (replaced David Sinclair) 

- Richard Sinclair -- vocals, bass 


  line up 3 (1973-)

- Richard Coughlan -- drums, percussion

- Pye Hastings -- vocals, lead guitar

NEW - John Perry -- bass, percussion, backing vocals (replaced 

  Richard Sinclair)

- Peter Geoff Richardson -- viola

NEW - David Sinclair -- keyboards, synthesizers (replaced Steve Miller)


  supporting musicians:

- Paul Buckmasyer -- electric cello

- Rupert Hine -- synthesizers

- Jill Pryor -- layrix

- Frank Ricotti -- percussion





- Blodwyn Pig

Camel (Richard Sinclair)

- Dybill. Coxhill and the Miller Brothers (Steve Miller

- Carol Grimes and Delivery (Steve Miller)

- Fat Mattress 

- Hatfield and the North (Richard Sinclair)

- Juicy Lucy

- JIm Lewton and Geoffrey Richardson 

- The Loving Kind

- Matching Mole (David Sinclair)

- The Steve Miller Trio (Steve Miller)

- Steve Miller and Lol Coxon

- The National Health Band

- Penguin Cafe Orchestra

- Savoy Brown

- Richard Sinclair (solo efforts)

- Spreadeagle (John Perry)

- Daryl Way's Wolfe

- The Wilde Flowers (Richard Coughlan, Pye Hastings and

  Richard Sinclair)



Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Waterloo Lily

Company: London

Catalog: XPS 615

Country/State: Canterbury, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5620

Price: $25.00


1972's David Hitchcock produced "Waterloo Lily" was released in the wake of a personnel change that saw original keyboardist David Sinclair hook up with former Wilde Flower band mates Kevin Ayers and Richard Wyatt in Matching Mole.  He was quickly replaced by former Delivery member Steve Miller (brother of Matching Mole's Phil Miller - not the US Steve Miller of 'The Joker' fame).  Even to a casual fan like myself, it was obvious that Miller brought a distinctive change to the band's sound.  While they remained firmly entrenched in the progressive genre, Miller's keyboards gave material like the title track and the instrumental 'Nothing At All (reprise)' a distinctive blues and jazz vibe.  The one notable exception to the new direction was the side two suite 'The Love In Your Eye'.  Penned by drummer Richard Coughlan, guitarist Pye Hastings, and bassist Richard Sinclair, the twelve minute composition harkened back to their earlier improvisational moves (complete with Jimmy Hastings flute solo and some killer lead guitar from Pye).  Longtime fans apparently weren't all that thrilled with the changes, but to my ears it sounded pretty good in that even the extended jam sessions managed to go by quickly - something that in my estimation sinks a lot of progressive bands.  The other revelation came in the form of bassist Sinclair.  On earlier albums Sinclair had been relegated to a supporting role, but throughout this set he was featured way up front, his bass patterns occasionally challenging Pye Hastings lead guitar (check out 'It's Coming Soon').  The other thing I've always found kind of funny about Caravan has been their ability to construct highly commercial, radio friendly material.  In this case Miller's 'Songs and Signs', 'Aristocracy', and 'The World Is Yours' all  could have been FM hits.  Not a claim many progressive bands could make ...



"Waterloo Lily" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Waterloo Lily   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair) - 6:47

2.) Nothing At All (instrumental)   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair) - 10:25

   i.) It's Coming Soon   (Steve Miller) -

   ii.) Nothing At All (reprise)   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair)

3.) Songs and Signs   (Steve Miller) - 3:39


(side 2)
1.) Aristocracy   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair) - 3:03

2.) The Love In You Eye   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair) - 12:29

     i.) To Catch Me a Brother   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair)

     ii.) Subsultus   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair)

     iii.) Deboughements   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair)

     iv.) Tilbury Kecks   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair) - 

3.) The World Is Yours   (Richard Coughlan - Pye Hastings - Richard Sinclair) - 3:38


Even though the album was quite good, it did little to improve commercially sales which led to internal frictions among the members.  Miller promptly left and in an ironic turn of events was replaced by David Sinclair who'd recently quit Matching Mole.  Richard Sinclair also headed out the door, reappearing with Hatfield and the North.  





Genre: progressive

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  For Girls Who Grow Plump In the Night

Company: London

Catalog: XPS 637

Country/State: Canterbury, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing; gatefold sleeve; minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2622

Price: $25.00



The release of 1973's "For Girls Who Grow Plump In the Night" came on the heels of major personnel chances that saw Steve Miller replaced by keyboardist Dave Sinclair (returning for his second tour of duty with the band after a short stint with Robert Wyatt and Matching Mole), Richard Sinclair replaced by former Spreadeagle bassist John Perry and the addition of viola player Geoff Richardson to the line up.  Produced by David Hitchcock, the album saw another change in musical direction with singer/lead guitarist Pye Hastings stepping back into the creative forefront.  With Hastings responsible for 90% of the album, tracks like 'Memory Lain, Hugh'' and 'Surprise, Surprise' saw the band moving away from the previous set's jazz-rock moves to a more mainstream rock attack.  That shift in direction was tempered to some degree by Richardson's cello and violin which occasionally recalled the "Waterloo Lily" jazz moves (check out the ten minute closing suite 'L'auberge du Sanglier').  Still, this made for one of the band's most accessible collections which probably ticked off loads of prog heads.


full cover


"For Girls Who Grow Plump In the Night" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss   (Pye Hastings) - 9:14    rating: **** stars

For anyone who thought these guys were just a bunch of shaggy-haired pretentious blowhards, I suggest they check out the stunningly commercial 'Memory Lain, Hugh'.  Penned by Hastings, this song managed to blend a surprisingly commercial melody, some of the prettiest progressive moves you've ever heard, and some meaty rock moves - kudos to new bassist Perry and long time drummer Richard Coughlan for their pounding performances on the track.   

Actually the second part of the opening medley, 'Headloss' was even more commercial, complete with harmony vocals, one of Hasting's best lead solos, and a distinctive top-40 flavored sheen.  Hum, imagining Caravan on the top-40 play list was certainly an odd picture.   

2.) Hoedown   (Pye Hastings) - 3:18    rating: **** stars

- Opening up with an immediately arresting Pye guitar riff and cowbell percussion courtesy of Rank Ricotti, 'Hoedown' was about as close to an outright pop number as these guys could come without exploding.  Surprisingly Richardson's country-tinged violin solo made the song even better.  

3.) Surprise, Surprise   (Pye Hastings) - 4:05    rating: **** stars

With bassist Perry handling lead vocal (?) 'Surprise Surprise' was a pretty, breezy mid-tempo number with some amazingly chirpy vocal harmonies.  Every time I hear it I have to scratch myself to make sure I'm listening to a Caravan performance.   

4.) C'thlu   (Pye Hastings) - 6:12    rating: **** stars

Apparently based on the H.P. Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu",  'C'thlu'  opened up with John Perry's bass giving the song a dark, ominous feel.  David Sinclair's wailing ARP synthesizers underscored the weird feel.  And then the song suddenly hit the upbeat, poppy chorus.   Strange, but one of my favorite songs on the album.


(side 2)
1.) The Dog, the Dog, He's At It Again   (Pye Hastings) - 5:38  rating: ***** stars

I cant really explain it, but occasionally a song just sounds like it came out of a certain timeframe and that was definitely the case for 'The Dog, the Dog, He's At It Again'.  It may have been recorded in 1973, but had a distinctive mid-1960s feel (at least until Sinclair's ARP kicked in), that recalled such perennial favorites as Brian Wilson and The Fab Four.  Instantly engaging with some stunning layered vocals and another album highlight with a wonderfully quirky lyric.   

2.) Be Alright / Chance of a Lifetime   (Pye Hastings) - 6:35  rating: **** stars

Kicked along by a first-rate Pye solo, 'Be Alright' was interesting for showing these guys could actually belt out a true rock song.  Another performance that would probably shock anyone who came to the band through their jazz-rock, or progressive moves.  I love it.  

- 'Chance of a Lifetime' shifted gears into a pretty, acoustic ballad.  Sinclair's synthesizer added a nice edge to the track, with Pye turning in his prettiest solo.  Richardson's violin solo not so much ...   rating: *** stars  

3.). L'auberge du Sanglier - 10:05

'L'auberge du Sanglier' was a ten minute, four part suite that found the band returning to their earlier progressive roots,

     i.) A Hunting We Shall Go (instrumental)   (Pye Hastings)    rating: **** stars

 A Hunting We Shall Go' was a hard edged instrumental with a great rock edge that turned even better when Pye's guitar solo kicked in.  Richardson's distinguished himself on this one with a true rock violin solo.  

     ii.) Pengola (instrumental)    (Pye Hastings)   rating: ** stars

     iii.) Backwards   (John Perry)    rating: ** stars

Showcasing Sinclair on keyboards and synthesizers (yes, his opportunity to grab the spotlight), 'Pengola' started out as a stark, atmospheric ballad.  Quite pretty, though the impact was lost when the track morphed into the 'Backwards' segment where heavy instrumental backing kicked in reducing it to what sounded like incidental music out of a 'B' flick soundtrack.  

     iv.) A Hunting We Shall Go (reprise)    (Mike Ratledge).   rating: ** stars
The brief 'A Hunting We Shall Go' reprise was nice enough, though I'm not sure what the closing explosion sound effect had to do with it all. 


Caravan fans can seldom agree on anything, but I'll step up and say that in spite if a couple of missteps (the closing suite), this is my favorite Caravan album (extra half star for the great album title and packaging which they were forced to revamp when London marketing rejected the original photo of a naked pregnant woman).

For hardcore fans the album was remastered in 2001, adding five bonus tracks (DERAM catalog number 8829802).  With the exception of the instrumental 'Derek's Long Thing', these tracks reflected earlier demo versions of material on the original album; occasionally with different working titles and different personnel line ups. I've only heard it once and don't recall any of it being essential.


    bonus tracks:

1.) Memory Lain, Hugh / Headloss (US mix)   (Pye Hastings)  - 9:18

2.) No! ('Be Alright') / Waffle ('Chance of a Lifetime')   (Pye Hastings)  - 5:10

3.) He Who Smelt It Dealt It ('Memory Lain, Hugh)   (Pye Hastings)  - 4:43

4.) Surprise, Surprise   (Pye Hastings)  - 3:15

5.) Derek's Long Thing (instrumental) - 11:00