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Magic Mushroom Band - Pictures In My Mind: 1984-1994 reissue album review

Ersatz space rockers compiled

The passing of time, coupled with any number of documentaries spread over BBC 4 and other arts channels, has served to obscure the fact of just how big the hippies still were as a subculture back in the shoulder-padded and mulleted 1980s. Lest we forget, this was as much a decade of protest, travellers and free festivals as the 1960s ever were, if not more so.

It’s against this backdrop that the Magic Mushroom Band came into being. Formed in the wilds of, um, the Home Counties, the band took their cues from the likes of Hawkwind, Gong and the Pink Fairies, as well as West Coast rock.

As evidenced by this 31-track, two-CD compilation, with material taken from the five albums the group released on Magick Eye Records, Magic Mushroom Band were never going to win any prizes for originality. Though played with a verve and enthusiasm that’s in all too short supply, Magic Mushroom Band were too in thrall of their forebears to be truly innovative.

Magic Eye and Wild Eyed And Electrick lean heavily on Dave Brock and co, while Love Resurrection tips a hat to La Düsseldorf. The years have not been kind.