It’s a sleepy Sunday here in Crotchety country. Mrs C has gone away for a few days, all is quiet in the neighbourhood and the late summer sun is bathing the house in its warm lazy rays. No-one is around. No children play outside, no cars drive down the street. No sounds break the silence of these strangely empty rooms. Old Man Crotchety was trying to concentrate but his eyelids were heavy and the blogger’s muse had deserted him today.
Some magic was needed to break the spell. But what form should it take? A dip into a random online stream, perhaps? But recently that has served up lullaby music. Instead of sending a cool, refreshing breeze of wakefulness it has wrapped the listener in the warm blanket of somnolence. If I was going to lift my head from the pillow and stride out into new lands I would first have to get my bearings. So, I thought, let’s look back over the single, double and kingsize blogposts of the last few months.
In doing so I noticed a dozen or so tracks that my streaming service thought would make good bedfellows with those that had booked berths here earlier in the year. It was then that the bedbug of curiosity bit, for none of the band names were familiar. Before my heavy eyes could open fully my bony old legs swung out, planted themselves on the streamway and took me for a walk down that old familiar ambient rut.
The first track on the recommended list started with the hypnotist’s exhortation to relax over synthesiser drones. “Let go and relax completely”, she intoned.
And let the music carry you into a still deeper relaxation. Just let it drift over all your body. Now that you are very relaxed all the following suggestions will sink into the subconscious part of your mind and leave a deep and lasting impression there.
But before I could either resist or comply jangly guitar chords broke through the keyboard’s audio haze and that was soon joined by a fluid bass and pulse-quickening drums. Ambient had been transformed into modern prog rock. This was Sleepwalk by the UK prog rock band, Jadis. The rut had turned a gentle and welcome corner.
There are varying accounts of the band’s formation. Some sources say Jadis was formed in 1982 while others prefer 1986. The Crotchety Research Department interprets these discrepancies as a band revolving around Gary Chandler (guitar, vocals) and Trevor Dawkins (bass), but with a fluid line-up from 1982 to 1986. Jadis then achieved some stability for a few years before Gary shuffled the pack again in 1990. Further changes of personnel occurred in the 90s with Jadis and IQ swapping members twice.
Discogs lists 13 albums by Jadis with release dates between 1984 and 2019. Reviews are quite scarce and the Crotchety schedule has only managed to squeeze in a few tracks from the 1992 release, More Than Meets the Eye. Judging by this very limited sample Jadis deserves much greater recognition within the prog rock community. They will be on tour in Europe and the UK in November and Crotchety Man wishes them every success.