Skip to main content

Earthling Society: England Have My Bones

Pagan psych from deepest Lancashire.

Many bands create music that reflects their environment.

The difference with Earthling Society is that they seem to want to escape theirs. They’re clearly less than besotted with their hometown of Fleetwood (“Sticking out of the British Isles like a crippled dick” – their words, not ours). Their open-ended jams instead suggest that their spiritual home is a commune just south of Munich in 1968. Certainly, Amon Düül loom large amid the contorted fuzz of opener, Aiwass. But the real boon about England Have My Bones is its ability to suddenly take you places you didn’t expect. Fred Laird’s pale vocals map out a perilous old seafaring yarn on Tortuga, whose gentle guitar riff is gradually swept into doomy breakers of freak-rock before finally making land in the form of a sailor’s hornpipe. The real, unlikely keeper is a 15-minute version of Alice Coltrane’s Journey In Satchidananda. Turning yogi jazz into a strafing epic of heavy psychedelia is one thing, but reconfiguring Pharoah Sanders’ sax lines on guitar is another. More than anything, it shows that Earthling Society are as much about intuition and sensitivity as they are sheer volume.

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.