( ROCK ) The Chemistry Set – **** Q Magazine **** PROG Magazine **** Classic Rock

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“The Psychedelic scientists exquisite English Toy town Acid-Pop songs achieve rare combinations of muscle and melody” – THE SUNDAY TIMES




The Splendour Of The Universe – https://youtu.be/uRoLBqqeCxk
Albert Hoffman – https://youtu.be/017Va06Cl6I
The Fountains Of Neptune – https://youtu.be/ydv4STWtBMI

Love or Confusion (Hendrix Cover) – You Tube link https://youtu.be/Z4MFcaIAWS0
Come Kiss Me Vibrate & Smile – You Tube link https://youtu.be/m5XY2ojbOrQ
Time to Breathe – You Tube link https://youtu.be/XCPaBEcNBtU
A Cure For The Inflicted Afflicted – You Tube link https://youtu.be/zCig4nHE0NY


FB: https://facebook.com/thechemistrysetuk
BC: https://thechemistryset.bandcamp.com/
SC: https://soundcloud.com/thechemistrysetuk

Cult London Psychedelic band The Chemistry Set have quite a history. Founded by Dave Mclean and Paul Lake in 1987, the band are veterans of the alternative Manchester label “Imaginary” and cassette only label “Acid Tapes”; they helped pioneer the late 1980’s neo-psychedelic boom.

The Chemistry Set counted Factory Records boss Tony Wilson amongst their fans (they appeared on his TV show). They also received regular airplay on the legendary John Peel’s show (Peel even went so far as to sending the band a hand-written fan letter!). The Chemistry Set have been championed by mainstream media such as The Times Sunday, Record Collector, XFM, 6 Music and Classic Rock as well as underground fanzines like Bucketful of Brains and Freakbeat in the UK, The Bob in the USA, Ruta 66 in Spain and Sound Effects in Sweden).

It was in several of these fanzines that you could find Chemistry Set flexi discs, (for younger readers, these were 7” floppy plastic records that used to last for about 5 plays if you were lucky!) and for a period between 1988-1990, it seemed that every other fanzine was including a Chemistry Set flexi disc, which gave the band a healthy international fan base. In the days before the internet, the only way to find out what was going on in the independent music world was through fanzines and The Chemistry Set were featured in the UK, Spain, Italy, Holland, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Japan, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Their numerous releases (The Chemistry Set’s discography currently stands at 42 releases!) both in the UK and abroad were accompanied by extensive tours throughout the UK, Europe and the United States.. As well as reaching the indie top 20 in the UK, the band’s single “Don’t Turn Away” made the national Top 20 in Spain.

The band split in the early 90’s, took a bit of a hiatus, remaining silent… until The Chemistry Set “MACH II” remarkably reappeared in 2008! The return came about when their unreleased LP from 1989 “Sounds Like Painting” somehow was uploaded onto numerous blogs and was downloaded over 5,000 times. Since the return in 2008, the second stage of the group has seen the birth of 3 CDs: “Alchemy # 101”, “This Day Will Never Happen Again and “Chemistry is Just Numbers” plus 5 vinyl singles and 5 compilation appearances.

Their first new release “Alchemy#101” in 2009 was heralded with radio play on BBC Radio 6 and XFM plus rave reviews. The Skinny said “a near-perfect fusion of rose-tinted 60s optimism and modern recording mastery. Almost every track offers a new reason to simply enjoy being alive” and Subba-Cultcha said “the return of one of the most underrated bands of the 80’s and they’ve presented a very convincing case for their continuing relevance. Great to have them back.” Clint Boon on XFM said “The Chemistry Set are a f**kin great band”

It was a track on “Alchemy#101” that caught the interest of Cult Arranger/songwriter [and former Electric Prunes member] David Axelrod. The band made contact with his son and sent the CD to David. He loved how they added a symphonic section of his song “Sanctus” from The Electric Prunes’ masterwork “Mass in F Minor” into their reworking of Del Shannon’s “Silver Birch”. Originally found on Shannon’s “The Further Adventures of Charles Westover”, his cult 1968 LP. David said of their cover “Real Music! Finally music that makes you think and really listen to!”

The Chemistry Set have always liked giving things a “twist” , and have inserted a cover version inside a cover version on other occasions, such as their version of Pink Floyd’s “See Emily Play”. It had the “Bicycle Rider” section of The Beach Boys from the unfinished “Smile” album inserted within the song. Their cover was included in the 2013 Pink Floyd tribute box-set “The Many Faces Of Pink Floyd” and was cited as one of the best covers in the package.

The twist also extends to singing in foreign languages. In 2011 they co-wrote and sang a song La Logica Del Canvi” in Catalan with their Barcelona based producer. It was released as a b-side to a Spanish single and the record company sent the single to the Catalan Ministry of Culture and received a reply from the minister congratulating them for being the first English band to sing in Catalan. They have also worked with other singers and released Chemistry Set songs in French and Spanish.

In 2011 the band signed to French label Dead Bees records, which were the first European label to release The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Black Angels. In 2012 Dead Bees released their second album “This Day Will Never Happen Again” it received substantial critical acclaim and radio play in the USA, France, Spain and the UK. The English newspaper The Sunday Times saying “The Psychedelic scientists exquisite English Toytown Acid-Pop songs achieve rare combinations of muscle and melody”.

The Chemistry Set’s previous success in Spain proved beneficial in getting the band back on stage for the first time in 14 years. Longtime fan DJ Gato (who co-incidentally bought the “Don’t Turn Away” single when he was 14 years old) approached the band to bring a new dimension to the live show, adding even more electronics than the Mellotrons and Farfisas that the fans might have been accustomed to. Using instruments and methods old and new, acoustic, electric and electronic, together we returned to the live stage on 5 February 2010 at Razzmatazz indie club in Barcelona and have been a surprise at European festivals since, including Benicasim (FIB), Bilbao Rocks and Low Festival.

The band are huge fans of Vinyl and have formed a very special relationship with the cult-English vinyl only label Fruits de Mer records releasing 5 vinyl singles. The last single sold out within 24 hours of release.

The band were still up to their old tricks of putting a cover within a cover on the recently released Fruits de Mer records Box-Set of seven 7” vinyl singles entitled “7&7 is”. They cover “A House Is Not a Motel” & “Live And Let Live” by Love from “Forever Changes” and on “Live And Let Live” they have inserted some more Electric Prunes (this time an excerpt from “Get Me To The World On Time”) into Arthurly’s autobiographical confession.

The band released the “Elapsed Memories” EP in February 2015 to rave reviews and airplay. It included an unusual cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Love or Confusion” given a twist with 12 string acoustics, sitars, tablas and a mellotron. The New York Music Daily said of their version “The Chemistry Set re-invent Hendrix’s classic as an Indian Jam”

The band returned to the studio in the spring of 2015 to record their new album “The Endless More & More”. The album will feature 12 original songs plus a bonus 12”featuring their cover of Hendrix’s “Love or Confusion” and 2 remixes. The first remix is by Spanish indie duo Viggo, who have made a psych disco remix and the second is an incredible 22 minute remix by Swordfish from the alternative Psych-trance band “Astralasia” The 22 minute remix is reminiscent of “Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun” era Pink Floyd meets The Orb!

Later, In spring 2016, there will also be a very special limited-edition box set that will be housed in a ‘Chemistry Set’ box, with experiments, test-tubes filled with candy and assorted paraphernalia, plus a bonus 12” featuring that cover of Hendrix’s ‘Love or Confusion’ and two new remixes, the first by Spanish indie duo Viggo, who have created a ’psych disco’ version, the second an incredible 22 minute remix by Swordfish from Astralasia.

Fruits de Mer records are an independent, vinyl-only label specializing in psychedelia, acid-folk, R&B, krautrock, spacerock and gangsta rap (ok, maybe not gangsta rap).

Our ‘Regal Crabomophone’ label was launched specifically to enable us to release singles that combine original songs with covers of classic tracks from the sixties/early seventies, in fact we launched Regal Crabomophone to enable to release a first single by The Chemistry Set in 2010, ‘cos we like them so much.

FDM’s 100 plus releases have been played out on BBC Radio 6 by Stuart Maconie, Lauren Laverne and Gideon Coe, and on BBC Radio 2 on Mark Radcliffe’s Music Club.

Fruits de Mer made the front cover of Record Collector magazine in July 2015 and included a 3 page feature on them.

“The excellent British psych label” Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio
“This is what 7″‘s should be all about” Record Collector
“Remember Island, Charisma…think FdM” Geoff Barton, Classic Rock
“Most records on this tie-dyed revival label shoot out of our stockroom quicker than a VW Camper running on kerosene” Norman Records
“Fruits de Mer are in danger of becoming a UK national treasure” Terrascope”
“Our favourite singles label” Shindig!