Clive Palmer RIP


Keith Dolan has alerted me to the death of Clive Palmer who was a member of the original Incredible String Band (trio) on their first (Elektra) album. They became a part of my life (off-and-on) with the ‘Layers of the Onion’ album but the first one is very interesting if you’ve a fondness for psychedlicworldfolksongs (and who hasn’t?)

There’s a great book by Colin Harper called Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues Revival which pays lots of attention to the early 60s folk scene in Scotland – of which the ISB were a part. There’s lots there about Clive Palmer and if you are so inclined you can hear the whole first album on Youtube


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

5 thoughts on “Clive Palmer RIP

  1. Wow, I needed reminding about that album, which I’m playing at present. Absolutely fab.

  2. There’s also a bio – Empty Pocket Blues – The Life an music of Clive Palmer, written by Graham Hood ISBN9781905139255 Robin Williamson is still gigging, and John Renbourn is playing a number of gigs with Wizz Jones over the coming months to keep us going.

  3. I saw him play a few times. First in Launceston Town Hall in 1969 with the Famous Jug Band where he played with Pete Berryman. My mum took a group of us as it as too far to walk and there was no public transport. Mum quite liked the headliner, but preferred the jug band. When she says she likes Streets of London now I remind her that she preferred a jug band to Mr McTell. After that Clive formed the Weird Temple Creatures who played around the local folk clubs in Cornwall and I saw them a couple of times doing floor spots. Last time I saw him was a few years back in the reformed ISB at the Joiners in Southampton, which was a very enjoyable show.

    I had only seen the ISB once before that, at the Guildhall gig which is in Dr Dave’s list, they were incredibly disappointing, seeming more like a second rate rock band then. Some time ago I got back in touch with a friend from school days and in comapring who we had seen over the intervening years it turned out he had seen the same line up on the same tour but in Plymouth and had walked out in disgust at what was being played.

    I still have a poster for the first time I saw Clive somewhere, guess it will be historic now 😦

  4. There’s a trend now to reissue artist’s entire back catalogue in replica mini-album box sets at bargain basement prices. I bought the ISB set, and it is indeed a wonderful thing (apart from possibly a tad too much sitar). They would definitely not be signed nowadays (hence the need for SoundCloud?).

    Odd choice of ‘look’ from the late Mr Palmer – Lenin & McCartney, perhaps?

  5. I love The Incredible String Band…. or did. Last time I saw them was at Cropredy Festival- maybe five, 6 years ago? They were bloody awful. Still play “Wee Tam and The Big Huge” regularly….

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