The Great Imperial Yo-Yo - Chicken Island. 1996 England

With a name like The Great Imperial Yo Yo, an album titled Chicken Island, a label named Bongheads, and a booklet filled with cartoons that look like Dilbert on acid, one can be forgiven in presuming this album will sound like part of Gong's Flying Teapot trilogy. And in some ways it does, except mercifully without so much of that Pothead Pixie silliness. What you do get is coherence where it is most needed, and that's with the instrumental component. This is more Hillage's Gong than Allen's, that is to say. And while the icons of the UK Festival movement - that of the Ozric Tentacles - are definitely in the same ballpark, Great Imperial Yo Yo's sound is tilted towards the 70s, with more jazz rock influences than most of their peers.

Personal collection
CD: 1996 Bongheads (Belgium)

Chicken Island came along very late in the game for the primary round of the UK Festival Psych scene, and few noticed its existence initially. Bongheads is the cultural magazine Crohinga Well's (Belgium) own label. It took me some years to finally secure my own copy for a decent price, so don't miss out if you happen to run across it.

Hopefully someone will also reissue the Blink! cassette as well (from 1993). I have it on CD-R and it's just as good as Chicken Island.

Last listen: September 9, 2016

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