Caravan (band)

Caravan (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Caravan

Img_capt =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Canterbury, England
Genre = Progressive rock, Canterbury scene, psychedelic rock, jazz
Years_active = 1968 - present (part time)
Label =
URL = []
Current_members = Pye Hastings
Richard Coughlan
Jim Leverton
Jan Schelhaas
Geoffrey Richardson
Doug Boyle
Past_members = David Sinclair
Richard Sinclair
Mike Wedgwood
John G. Perry
Derek Austin
Stuart Evans
Steve Miller
Dek Messecar

Caravan are an English band from the Canterbury area, founded by former Wilde Flowers members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan.cite web |url= |title= "Caravan Biography" |accessdate=2007-04-20 |author= |last= Elder |first= Bruce |publisher= Allmusic] Caravan rose to success over a period of several years from 1968 onwards into the 1970s as part of the Canterbury scene, blending psychedelic rock and jazz to create a distinctive sound like their contemporaries Soft Machine. Caravan still remains active as a live band in the 21st century.


Following the dissolution of their former band, Wilde Flowers, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan formed Caravan in 1968. The band became the first British act to sign for American record label, Verve, who subsequently released the band's debut LP, "Caravan", later the same year. After this Verve closed their rock and pop division, causing Caravan to move to Decca Records for the release of "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" in 1970, from which the title track gained the band an appearance on Top Of The Pops, and then Deram (Decca's progressive subsidiary) for 1971's "In the Land of Grey and Pink". After the third album's release David Sinclair chose to leave the group, to be replaced by Steve Miller. The change in keyboardist caused a change in musical direction, and the band's next album, "Waterloo Lily", was distinctly more jazz influenced than earlier work. This caused some unrest for followers of the groupfact|date=October 2007 and the band disintegrated soon after "Waterloo Lily"'s release, leaving just Hastings and Coughlan. The duo recruited viola player Geoffrey Richardson, bassist Stu Evans and keyboardist Derek Austin and toured extensively. This line-up did not make any recordings before Evans was replaced by John Perry and Dave Sinclair rejoined the group in 1973. The resulting album "For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night" was well-received critically. Perry left soon afterwards and was replaced by Mike Wedgwood.

The band's chart performance in the UK and US was minimal, charting one album, "Cunning Stunts" at US#124. In the UK, "Cunning Stunts" (#50) and "Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's" (#53) were their only hits. A loyal following has ensured steady back catalogue sales and a lengthy live career for the band,fact|date=October 2007 who continue to this day featuring founder members Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals, songwriting) and Richard Coughlan (drums). Caravan's best-known recording is the 1971 set "In the Land of Grey and Pink", their second album for Decca. 30 years after its release this album finally received a platinum disc for sales of over 100,000. fact|date=October 2007

The album "showed off a keen melodic sense, a subtly droll wit, and a seductively smooth mix of hard rock, folk, classical, and jazz, intermingled with elements of Tolkien-esque fantasy". A fair summary of Caravan's late sixties to late seventies work. Prolific and inventive, the band appeared to have too many ideas to produce direct, radio-friendly singles. 21st century reissues of their albums featured lengthy tracks, previously unissued, demonstrating the huge amount of releasable material that had failed to make their 1970s albums.

The band were largely dormant in the eighties until a 1990 reunion, planned as a one-off for television, reinvigorated their career. Latterly they have also achieved steady sales and a fan following with the support of the more eclectic corners of radio, like BBC Six Music's "Freak Zone" and the growing re-emergence of progressive rock.fact|date=October 2007 They released "Unauthorised Breakfast Item" album in 2003.


* "Caravan" (1968)
* "If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You" (1970)
* "In the Land of Grey and Pink" (1971)
* "Waterloo Lily" (1972)
* "For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night" (1973)
* "Caravan and the New Symphonia" (1974)
* "Cunning Stunts" (1975)
* "Blind Dog at St. Dunstans" (1976)
* "Better by Far" (1977)
* "The Album" (1980)
* "Back to Front" (1982)
* "Live 1990" (1992)
* "Radio One Live in Concert BBC 1975" (1991)
* "Cool Water" (1994)
* "Battle of Hastings" (1995)
* "All Over You" (1996)
* "" (1997)
* "" (1998)
* "Songs for Oblivion Fishermen" (1998)
* "Ether Way" (1998)
* "Show of Our Lives" (1998)
* "Surprise Supplies" (1999)
* "All Over You Too" (1999)
* "Headloss" (1999)
* "The HTD Years" (2000)
* "Where But For Caravan Would I?" (2000)
* "Green Bottles For Marjorie" (2002)
* "Live at Fairfield Halls, 1974" (2002)
* "The Unauthorised Breakfast Item" (2003)
* "The Show of Our Lives - Caravan at the BBC 1968-1975" (2007)


External links

* [ Official website]

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