FELT - 'Penelope Tree'/'A Preacher In New England' (Cherry Red 59) June 1983
By 1982 I had discovered 60s groups (apart from the well known ones) and in particular West Coast outfits like The Byrds, Love, Turtles etc...I was only 16 years old and no one of my age group was interested in these groups or the 60s sound....pre internet, fanzines and glossy hip music magazines that write about such things....I'm telling you, it was a lonely place I inhabited.
I was immediately attracted to the folk jangle sound and would listen to my one and only Byrds album for hours. I was also enthralled by the folk-rock sound of Simon & Garfunkel.
It was only natural that I'd take an interest in indie groups from England that used 12 string guitars or jangle to colour their sound. I can't remember how I discovered Felt, John Peel probably played 'Penelope Tree' or something as it was this 45 that I located first.
Felt were an ignored English indie guitar band from the early/mid 80s. They were hopelessly unfashionable at the time but have now received some acclaim in recent times.
At the time I thought the title of the A-side was strange but have since sussed out that Penelope Tree was a 60s swinging London fashion model. Playing the record for the first time in years it sounds even better than I remembered it to be.
The flip 'A Preacher In New England' is a guitar instrumental written and performed by Maurice Deebank. He was a classically trained guitarist and it showed on this performance...Jangle soundscape...really beautiful. For some reason the song wasn't even listed on the sleeve (front or back).
One of the best early 80s records by an English band for sure.
(updated entry from April 2008).