Two for Tuesday: Barclay James Harvest



Another example of a band I heard a lot about but never heard much of their music. Barclay James Harvest started in Oldham, England, in 1966, and until 1979 were John Lees (vocals, guitars), Les Holroyd (bass, guitars, keyboards, vocals), Mel Pritchard (drums, percussion), and Stuart “Woolly” Wolstenholme (vocals, Mellotron, keyboards, guitars). They sounded quite a bit like the Moody Blues, with their dreamy sound and heavy use of the Mellotron in their music.

This is “Mocking Bird,” from their 1971 album Once Again.

Here’s “Poor Man’s Moody Blues,” from 1977’s Gone To Earth. You’ll notice it sounds a lot like “Nights In White Satin.”

Wolstenholme left the group in 1979, and they continued for a while as a trio with guest musicians before splitting into two groups, John Lees’s Barclay James Harvest (starting in 1998) and Barclay James Harvest featuring Les Holroyd (starting in 2002). Wolstenholme joined the John Lees band from 1998 until taking his life in 2010; Pritchard was with the Holroyd band from 2002 until his death from a heart attack in 2004. The original band has a website, as do the Lees and Holroyd versions of the group.

Barclay James Harvest, your Two for Tuesday, March 29, 2016.