2005 – present (12 years)
There are two artist with this name.
1. Astral Navigations was a British psychedelic folk/rock disc, released in the 1971. 2 bands took part in production of this disc:
Personnel: (Lightyears Away)
BRIAN CALVERT vcls, piano A
TED HEPWORTH drms A
BILL NELSON gtr A
BRIAN WILSON bs A
and other guests A
DAVID JOHN vcls A
FRED KELLY drms A
DAVE MILLEN gtr A
FRANK NEWBOULD bs A
1(A) ASTRAL NAVIGATIONS (Holyground HG 114) 1971 R4
NB: (1) reissued on Magic Mixture (MM 2) and on Holyground in 1989 (R1) and on CD (Background HBG 122/1 CD) 1992. The CD reissue is limited to 1,000 copies and includes two bonus tracks, Rock Me Babe, and a spacey version of Come On Home.
These two bands share a side each of this album which is a nice mixture of folk and psychedelia with lots of fuzz guitar. A very difficult record to find now, the original came with a poster cover and booklet and the reissue came with a booklet and was lavishly repackaged. The five Lightyears Away tracks are mostly quite folky and melodic with pleasant male vocals and the occasional female voice too. The exception is Yesterday which begins with a recording of a space launch which leads into lots of fuzz guitar work.
Thundermother were a studio creation and their contribution was recorded over a weekend (mostly on acid). They were an amalgam of various Preston artists:- David John (David John and The Mood), Fred Kelly (Rare Bird), Dave Millen (The Puppets) and Frank Newbould (Little Free Rock). To my ears the three Thundermother tracks are better. Today, Tomorrow, Someday and Country Lines are both notable for some discordant instrumental work whilst on the first cut the vocals are rather folky. The magnum opus, though, is the extended and highly experimental finale Boogie Music, which is imaginative with lots of good fuzzy guitar work - one of Holyground's finest moments.
Thundermother have also been the focus of another CD retrospective No Red Rowan (Kissing Spell KSG 003) 1995, which features material recorded between '70-'71. You can also Thundermother's Boogie Music and Rock Me Babe on Loose Routes.
Bill Nelson went on to found Be-Bop Deluxe.
2. Astral Navigations were formed in 2005, in Northampton, England, by multi-instrumentalist Paul Mansell, after the demise of his previous band. Paul’s previous bands were all indie bands and had gigged up and down the UK, including gigs at Rock Garden, The Camden Monarch, The Bull and Gate and Nottingham Rock City. They were also featured on Radio One. When they split up Paul decided to move away from the indie music scene and revert to his real love of Ambient/Chillout music.
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