Song of the Week – Solar Marmalade, The Bevis Frond


One of the dilemmas I face when I post each week is introducing my readers to songs that will appeal to the widest audience possible. But I’ve learned that when doing what I do (writing about obscurities) there will be large blocks of people that will HATE a certain percentage of my offerings. So I thank those of you that continue to read even when I suggest two or three songs in a row that you simply can’t stomach.

So be forewarned… today’s SotW will not have a broad appeal. But I know there are at least a few of you that would love to hear a good guitar wig-out. If you’re one of those people that appreciates guitarists that have huge pedal boards and use every one on it (e.g. J. Mascis), you will enjoy “Solar Marmalade” by The Bevis Frond. You know who you are!

“Solar Marmalade” is an 8 minute instrumental that starts “at 11” and never lets up. It employs fuzz, wah-wah and a whole lot more. It’s a bit psych, a tad proggy and just a little jazzy. Influences cover the spectrum from Hendrix and Black Sabbath to Punk and Grunge. The song is on the 30 cut, 1991 album, New River Head.

While you’re listening, here’s a little about the band. The Bevis Frond was the solo studio pseudonym of British guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Nick Saloman. He devised the alter ego in 1985, recording at home in the spare time he could squeeze out while raising his daughter as a stay at home dad. Once things started to take off, he formed a touring band.

If you like this “Solar Marmalade” but aren’t familiar with the band, check out their discography – it’s huge. By my count, they released 22 albums in the 18 years between 1987 and 2004 (and they’re on Spotify). The eclectic New River Head – with touch points from The Byrds to Husker Du — may be the best!

Enjoy… until next week.

2 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Solar Marmalade, The Bevis Frond

  1. The guy is nothing if not eclectic. The above tune is too jammy for me, but several years ago this next tune came up on my Pandora and I really liked it, power pop with a killer guitar solo.

  2. Yeah, I’ll take the Marmalade. I’ve heard too much poppy vocals with buzzy guitars in my life already. (Not that there aren’t enough loud, distorted guitar jams out there either. I just like those better, in general.)

    Wonder if they attempt to recreate Marmalade live or if it was a one-off in the studio?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.