23rd May, 2022

Music Matters - More Fresh Maggots on the way on Coventry Museum's very own record label

Coventry Editorial 30th Oct, 2020 Updated: 30th Oct, 2020

COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.

MICK Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin were two parts of a late 60s duo with the dubious name The Fresh Maggots, hailing from Nuneaton Town.

The band fitted perfectly into the current scene of the day, the hippy acid rock folk culture, but theirs was music a little different from what was the norm of the day.

Their music had the power and the energy of any of the current rock bands then, but these guys were heavy on the acoustic side and their first self-titled album was released in October 1971 followed by a single.

They had some success doing the university circuit, clubs like the Marquee and doing live sets for Night Ride and the Johnny Walker show for Radio One plus The Kid Jensen show for Radio Luxembourg. However, they split after arguments with RCA and management problems but still remained friends.

There were several re-releases, some of which included live tracks done for The Kid Jensen show and their tracks appeared on four compilation albums including one released in 2019 that featured a previously unreleased demo track. Mick moved to Wales in 1976 so that was the end of Fresh Maggots, well so we thought.

They were asked to do a question and answer session for a German magazine, and the joint communication led to the guys deciding to make some more music. Mick travelled to Nuneaton and recorded Leigh playing three songs. Mick took them away and wrote the lyrics and so it started. It was as though they had never stopped writing and after about 14 songs the question was asked ‘are we going to do anything with them?’

The band eventually met up with producer Nick Burns, once the guide tracks were done and arrangements agreed.

Nick went to Nuneaton to record Leigh’s guitar parts and Mick went to London to do his guitar parts and vocals. It was then decided to put Glockenspiel on one track which Mick did in his bedroom in Carmarthenshire, using the instrument used on the first album all those years ago.

Before the idea of recording had come about a friend of Mick’s had visited me at The Coventry Music Museum and had mentioned he knew Mick from Fresh Maggots.

I was excited and asked her to get Mick to contact me. Mick sent some records, CDs and documents for us to display and later paid us a visit with more including the old reel to reel tape recorder which the original demo tracks for the first album were recorded on.

So Fresh Maggots ended up with a small display in the museum. He later contacted the museum to see if we would be interested in releasing the new record on our own Coventry Music Museum Record label given the local connection. Of course, we were.

The new album ‘Waiting for the Sun’ was released this month so that it will be exactly 49 years since the first, which I believe is the record for the longest time between first and second studio albums.

It’s available at The Music Museum for £6.99 with a pound from each going towards the museum fund.

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