Sunday 26 May 2013

Pilgrims (Van Der Graaf Generator, 1976)

Van Der Graaf Generator's songs are hardly appreciated the first time you listen to them, but this song - the opening track of "Still Life" - immediately stroke me. Peter Hammill offers here a stunning performance, varying his voice's tone, volume and mood many times and perfectly melting his cries and whisperings with Hugh Banton's organ.

VDGG in a mid '70s photo.

Those two "instruments" (as we can really consider Peter's voice an additional instrument) keep going on up and down the scale, alternating soft verses and epic choruses. Of course, Guy Evans emphasizes all that with an increasing waterfull of drums and cymbals.  So, when David Jackson's sax replaces Peter's vocals, the songs is ready for its majestic finale. Even the lyrics are more optimistic than usual for VDGG, including weird notions like hope, future, awakening and union. An unforgettable end exciting experience... oh, yes, I forgot to add this: IMHO.

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