Monday, December 20, 2010

Hopkirk & Lee / Bitter Herb

Hopkirk & Lee

This Scottish band released one four song e.p. in their career, “Beneath the Apple Tree” on Gallery Recordings in 1998. Produced By “Hopkirk/Lee”. Further information of interest is scant. No photos. But what’s most mysterious is the music, which is of a nearly unbelievable quality. Apart from the obvious haze of gentle sixties psychedelia and folk that hangs over these four tracks, I will forgo any other musical reference points and allow them their enigma. Possibly the most unknown, unheralded band I know. Also among the best I have ever heard, anywhere.

Beneath the Apple Tree (1998)

  1. !Free Arthur Lee!
  2. A Love Like Ivy
  3. Summershine
  4. My Line is Short

Bitter Herb

And they’re back, maybe. Someone, somewhere, once briefly speculated that Bitter Herb is the present day incarnation of Hopkirk & Lee. In a complete vacuum, such rumors are true until proven otherwise. Upon listening, however, the question recedes as it becomes fairly clear that this is the work of the same person(s). Bitter Herb is unsigned and has not had any proper release I know of - just these four tracks, via a myspace page that now has him/them located in London. And while perhaps not as jarringly sublime as its predecessor, this fact stems more from its understated mood, subtler approach and switch to piano than any real drop-off in quality. Still operating on a celestially high plane, shrouded in complete mystery.

1. My Dancing Eyes

2. Turning Like A Leaf

3. The British American Dream

4. The Legions of Romulus



  1. Thanks Nick!
    I listened to the first one of these today. i like it. this ishy you are an author here. we like new blood!
    Affectionandos, this is nick. i met him at my house one night and we had a good conversation about burt. I was sold. I hope you like him and accept this affectionandito as one of our own.

  2. Hi,

    I was looking fr the Bitter herb recordings, and somehow i missed this post back then, so I'm asking a big favour can you please send me the files? I'd love to listen and I'll be grateful.

    this is my e-mail:

    Best wishes,



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