Dust On The Nettles is a glorious trundle through the British underground folk scene between 1967 and 1972 and as a record of the “scene” it is difficult to think of a collection better suited to chronicle this interesting (and very British) musical movement.

The music herein (across three CDs) is folk of course, but it’s folk that has been informed by the psychedelic experience and as such, somewhat acidified.

There are bands you’d expect to find on this kind of anthology (Steeleye Span, Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, and Pentangle) but Dust ventures a little deeper (OK a LOT deeper) and here you are treated to bands that were much more obscure (read unknown) and some tunes that have possibly never seen the light of day before.

Dust is nothing if not comprehensive and with the excellent booklet it comes packaged with, is a must have for anyone interested in this period of music, or indeed for those looking to hear something they may be unfamiliar with. Yes, some of the music is lyrically a bit twee and airy fairy, but for a period in musical history most associated with the acidic histrionics and electronics of Hendrix et al, Nettles serves as a historical document of what else was going on at the time.

I was born in ’67 and between the ages of 17 and 20 listened to a lot of this kind of music, wore bells on my jeans and had a somewhat rose tinted (read mushroom tinted) vision of a “life on the road….man” and so I can do little but admit that I absolutely loved this album; even if only for the nostalgia it sparked.

Out now.

Stuart Smith

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