Skip to main content

Various - Another Splash Of Colour – New Psychedelia In Britain 1980-1985 Album

Three-disc celebration of the Thatcher-era psych scene.

Another Splash Of Colour – New Psychedelia In Britain 1980-1985 album artwork

In a move that pretty much echoed what happened in the late 60s, the early 1980s saw the now defunct UK music paper Sounds precede its coverage of what it termed the ‘New Progressive’ movement by filling its pages with coverage of the short-lived but rather colourful ‘New Psychedelic’ movement.

Cashing in on that scene, WEA Records released a vinyl compilation, A Splash Of Colour, in 1982, boasting many movers and shakers of the time. Mood Six, The Doctor from Doctor & The Medics, The Times and Miles Over Matter are just some of the acts to be found on this three-disc set, which expands on that original album, albeit 34 years later. Another Splash Of Colour also digs up fellow early-80s psych protagonists including Playn Jayn, The Revolving Paint Dream, The Marble Staircase and Nick Nicely and splices them with more well-known acts such as Robyn Hitchcock, The Barracudas, Captain Sensible, Julian Cope, The TV Personalities and The Icicle Works.

In truth,a lot of the music here is actually mod-inspired power pop often lacking the winsome frivolity and druggy vision of their 60s progenitors. But over the three discs there are some real gems to be found – even if some of them are the songs contained on that original A Splash… album (this writer had the album and was a big fan).

But what Another Splash… does do is add in the likes of Le Mat (whose Waltz Of The Fool is one of the real finds here), Michael Moorcock’s Deep Fix, The Brainiac Five and Magic Mushroom Band, all of whom show where psychedelic music in the 80s began drip-feeding into progressive rock, just as the original movement had done
in the late 60s. As a nostalgia trip this is OK. But ultimately it’s a bit like going back and digging out something like Fire In Harmony, EMI’s 1985 prog sampler containing tracks by Solstice and Pendragon. It’s all very nice at first, but it doesn’t bear repeated listening.

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.