Spirogyra is an English progressive folk band that recorded three albums between 1971 and 1973, with further original albums in 2009 and 2011.
Martin Cockerham (vocals/guitar) and Mark Francis originally formed Spirogyra as a duo in Bolton, Lancashire, UK in the summer of 1967. When Martin went to University in Canterbury in 1969 he expanded the band to include fellow students Barbara Gaskin (vocals), Steve Borrill (bass), and Julian Cusack (violin). They were soon spotted by student union entertainments officer Max Hole, who offered to manage them and got them a deal with B&C Records.
Their debut album, "St. Radigunds", was named after the street that their student house was on. It established them as a cult act on the underground club circuit, and sold respectably. Its follow-up, 1972's "Old Boot Wine", appeared on Peg Records and showcased a harder-edged sound than their predominantly acoustic debut. After the release of "Old Boot Wine", the band was pared back to the duo of Cockerham and Gaskin, who were by now romantically involved. Their final album, "Bells, Boots and Shambles", appeared on Polydor in April 1973 and sold very poorly. Widely regarded today as one of the great classics of British 'acid folk', it featured guest appearances from the band's former members, as well as contributions from Henry Lowther on trumpet. Copies of all three albums are rare and expensive today, with Bells, Boots and Shambles almost impossible to acquire. All three also appeared on Brain Records in Germany, with gatefold sleeves (unlike their UK counterparts).
Dave Mattacks of Fairport Convention played drums on all three albums as a guest.
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