One of the things that’s fascinating about the early 70s is just how many innovative bands were formed. Such a band were Irish progressive rockers Fruupp, who formed in Belfast in 1971. This would have been in the midst of The Troubles, and people who aren’t Irish aren’t aware of how difficult it was to be in a band in Ireland in those days, this is the time, for instance, of the infamous Miami Showband Massacre.
But, none the less, there were many great bands formed in Ireland in those days. Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy of course, the great Horslips, Mushroom, Limerick’s superb Granny’s Intention, Taste with Rory Gallagher, and many more. I tried to interest a major UK music magazine in a feature on Irish bands of this period, but they never even had the courtesy to reply, such is our “interconnected” age.
Fruupp remind me of a cross between Hawkwind and Van Morrison. Their music is beautifully played but impossible to define, ranging as it does from wild prog work-outs to wistful melancholy. It is engaging and sincere on every level, and there are great songs here. What strikes me is the contrast to the environment the band formed in, the music is romantic and otherworldly, yet was created against a harsh backdrop.
But, that is what all good music should do, transcend reality, and that is achieved with fine results on Maid In Ireland.