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Number 226

Heron - Heron (Dawn DNLS 3010)

I have a recurring dream that I'm walking along Urban Road in Hexthorpe, the suburb of Doncaster where I was born, popping in and out of several second hand record shops, junk shops and charity shops, before they were known as such, with an armful of recently acquired LPs. The dreams take place in some unspecified time in my past but judging by the clobber I'm wearing I would say it’s around 1971. These shops have never existed, yet the dream repeats itself. There was actually one such second hand record shop on the shady side of Hexthorpe Road around this time, just about opposite Crimpsall Road, a short-lived venture if memory serves, a shop that had an eclectic mixture of LPs and singles with very little in the way of record shop decoration. These days the first thing you notice in a second hand record shop is the fact that the original walls are completely obscured by posters and record sleeves plastered everywhere. This record shop was very sparsely decorated with basic artificial yellow light. I distinctly recall picking up a sampler LP on the Dawn record label complete with gatefold sleeve. One of the bands on the label was Berkshire-based Heron, whose debut LP recorded in 1970 was unusual that it featured birds singing in the trees outside the house where the album was recorded in a delightful rural setting by the River Thames. The band consisted of Tony Pook on vocals, Roy Apps on guitar and piano, GT Moore on guitar, mandolin, harmonica and piano and Stephen Jones on keyboards. You may notice, no drums.