[Hidden Rarities #7] Fuchsia

Fuchsia was formed in Exter, UK in 1967 from a project by Tony Durant. The group takes its name from the book by Mervyn PeakerTitus Groan“, also used by the homonymous group. Durant was already in the musical circle, having played in a group called Louise, which he left to pursue his university studies. When he resumed writing, he used Micheal Gregory‘s collaboration on drum and Michael Day on bass, thus forming a trio. Interested in enriching the sound with strings, and thus came into contact with another trio, of girls, who played classical music. The project developed as a trio of Folk music, enriched by the presence of string arrangements. In 1971, they published the only and rare self-titled album for Pegasus, a sub-label of B&C, specialized on Progressive. The cover depicts Lady Fuchsia Groan and was created by the artist Anne Marie Anderson. The album was produced by David Hitchcock and recorded at Sound Techniques Studios by Vic Gamm. A single advertisement on the Melody Maker and the inability of their manager to organize a long promised tour, caused a poor sales result and the consequent end of the band. So Durant moved to Australia to work with Dave Warner, and only later became aware of the popularity of the album among collectors, as well as unauthorized reprints. He decided to use his original tapes and digitally remastered the album at Sound Practices Studios in Sydney and then released the official vinyl and CD reissue in 2003 for Night Winds Records. Another CD reprint takes place in 2015, for Esoteric Recordings, while in 2018, Fruits De Mer Records, publishes a special 2xLP + DVD edition, with the addition of demos and re-recorded versions of old songs and in the DVD interview with Durant. In 2005 he released in CD “Fuchsia, Mahagonny & Other Games” for Night Wings, containing three tracks by Fuchsia recorded after the first LP, while searching for a new label. The other eight tracks from other projects, Mahagonny, a play on the works of Bertoldt Brecht and Kurt Weill complete the album. In 2013, after creating a new band in Australia, named Fuchsia II, Durant released the album From Psychedelia … To Distant Place, for Sound Practice. The new work gets good reviews, especially on British soil, counting new material, except for the song The Rainbow Song, a reworking of Shoes And Ships. In the same year the single “The Band” is released, a song written for a new album in the 70s, never released. The track was performed by the Swedish band Me And My Kites, with Durant on vocals. In August 2017, a Fuchsia line-up comprising Durant and Day, the only members of the original lineup, began a British tour, between England and Wales, also announcing the beginning of the writing of Fuchsia III. In the same year a double EP is published with the title Song, with the same formation. This band was well-received by both fans and critics above all, but not adequately sponsored, as many other artists of the time, was forced to disband. The LP version of the first album is very difficult to find, and has also been reprinted in unofficial CD versions over the years. Fuchsia offers an elaborate Folk, with Prog and Psych influences, and alternate male and female vocals, the latter more centered with musical discourse. Given its rarity, and at the same time the peculiarity of the compositions, it enters by right in this editorial, as it is a real “Hidden Rarity“. For all lovers of Prog Folk sounds, and of bands like Jade and Comus.


(1971) Fuchsia
(2005) Fuchsia, Mahogonny & other gems
(2013) Fuchsia II: From Psychedelia…To a Distant Place
(2017) Song EP


Tony Durant / Acoustic & Electric guitars, Lead Vocals, Composer
Bill Beare / Guitars
Dick Haynes / Bass
Su Kim / Cello
Jackie McGuire / Violin

Past Members

Tony Durant / Acoustic & Electric guitars, Lead Vocals, Composer
Vanessa Hall-Smith / Violin, Backing Vocals
Janet Rogers / Violin, Backing Vocals
Madeleine Bland / Cello, Piano, Harmonium, Backing Vocals
Michael Day / Bass
Michael Gregory / Drums, Percussions

Fuchsia |Official Webpage|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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