Formed, very loosely indeed, somewhere between Greenhill and Ferndale Road in Weymouth in the mid-to-late 1990s, Gothic Chicken originally fell together as a drunken side-trip. At that time, Alan, Luke and Tom held down day-jobs with The Lucky Bishops, while Alan also pulled double-duty in Cheese with Marco (late of The Kevin McDermott Orchestra). The initial idea, if indeed there was one, was to bemuse and ideally uplift Dorset pubgoers by hosing them down with an evening’s worth of unruly ’60s psychedelic covers beloved of the band, whose early tendency was to convert insalubrious lager dens into candlelit caves draped in cheap, lurid and worryingly flammable 1960s curtains.
While there was an evangelical aspect in bringing songs by the likes of Blossom Toes, Shy Limbs, Timebox and Geranium Pond to (marginally) wider attention – and while the incongruity of playing roseate fare such as ‘Paper Sun’ or ‘The Porpoise Song’ within noseshot of pub toilets was undeniably significant – the basic fact was that the music was hugely enjoyable to perform. Essentially, the band existed as a means of ensuring they could have a convivial evening out with the ideal soundtrack playing in the background and foreground, even if they were forced to generate it themselves. Over time, the idea of writing and recording original material in a broadly psychedelic idiom began to appeal, hence the long-deferred songs on Lift The Cobweb Veil. Alan now fronts Schnauser while Marco and Tom constitute The Gathering Grey, but Gothic Chicken continue to fitfully exist, like an immutable mutating virus, whenever all four members are in the same dimension at the same time.
Lift the Cobweb Veil PINK HEDGEHOG, SMILE55 - 2016 album on LP/DL