Jan Dukes De Grey - Sorcerer/Mice & Rats In The Loft

Forgotten folk thankfully remembered at last!

First pressings of Jan Dukes De Grey’s two LPs, 1970’s Shadows
and the following year’s Mice & Rats In The Loft, have shot up in
value in recent years as buying the original pressings (foreign CDs
aside) was, up until now, the only way to hear the delicious music
made by this Yorkshire band.

Thankfully, Cherry Red’s new imprint have stepped in to
reissue both albums on one set. As with Tyrannosaurus Rex, Jan
Dukes De Grey started off as a duo, comprising of Derek Noy (12-
string guitar/vocals/bass/organ) and Michael Bairstow (flute/
clarinet/saxophone), and signed to the fledgling progressive Decca
Nova label. Their debut album managed to shoehorn an amazing
18 tracks onto two sides of vinyl, showcasing their sparse yet rich
sound. Running at less than a minute, Dragons seduces and
segues into the ethereal Rags, Old Iron. Elsewhere, High Priced
Room and MSS are sweet musical honey highlighting Noy’s strong
voice and corkscrew lyrical threads.

Originally released on Transatlantic, Mice & Rats… sees the
band augmented by drummer Dennis Conlon. As a result, the
three tracks are more driven, open-ended and reflect the more
improvisational approach the band delivered when gigging like
mad. With fantastic sleevenotes from David Wells, this is a musthave
reissue.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Cherry Tree | CRTREE 003 D (2-CD)

Reviewed by Ian Shirley
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