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Thursday, 10 March 2016

11:59 & Yesterday Today Forever

11:59 were an 'English Christian acid folk band, named after the time on the “Doomsday Clock” ... [who] produced as their only recorded legacy ... a wonderful, pastoral, non-judgmental record.' Their early 1970’s album (released on Dovetail Records c. 1974) This Our Sacrifice Of Praise 'has dreamy, moody production values, with special effects (nature sounds like sea gulls and babbling brooks) set against a beautiful landscape of acoustic guitar, soaring Mellotron, flute, autoharp and male/female vocal harmonies.'

Yesterday Today Forever 'was a musical drama of the life of Christ from Genesis to Revelation.' 'There are three complete stage sets. There's a complicated lighting system. There's quadraphonic sound, a 50-piece choir, a 12-piece band, dance, narration, and great variety in music - rock, folk, classical, Elizabethan, plain song, blues And the film. Back projected on a huge screen, and shot specially for the show, mostly in the USA, by Jim Swackhammer.'

Yesterday Today Forever was 'based in the stirring UK folk and rock style of groups like Cloud, Valley Of Achor and 11:59. In fact most of the members of 11:59 are here, together with a few additional participants. Begins with selections inspired by Genesis (‘Let There Be Light’, ‘The Fall’), on to the life of Christ (‘Behold The Lamb Of God’, ‘I Am’, ‘Blessed Are You’, ‘Father Forgive Them’), closing with the Revelation-based ‘They Have Conquered’ and ‘And There Was Light’. Mostly a gentle progressive folk/praise atmosphere utilizing such instruments as acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizer, piano, string organ, flute, percussion, plus a long list of unusual items (sugar shaker, road drill, baby rattle, cough medicine bottle and plastic guitar to name a few). A few driving fuzz guitar moments here and there, coupled with some harsh dissonant psychedelic experimental passages. Vocals are provided by six different male/female lead singers, along with a small choir that has a moving style very similar to Cloud. A number of spoken-word-over-music portions, alternating the ultra-fragile 13 year-old Hedi Taylor (female) with the bold dramatic tones of Nigel Goodwin (whose poetic readings can also be heard on the UK albums Alive! and Sound Vision In Concert). Includes re-interpretations of ‘The Earth Is The Lord’s’ and ‘The Sacrifice’ from 11:59’s This Our Sacrifice Of Praise. Written by 11:59’s John and Ross Harding. Another peak moment for ‘70s British Jesus music.' (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).


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