Mellow Candle

Barely Appreciated

Mellow Candle  were a progressive folk rock band.  Principally Irish, the members were also unusually young, Clodagh Simonds being only 15 and Alison Bools (later O'Donnell) and Maria White 16, and still at school, at the time of their first single, “Feelin’ High”, released in 1968 on Simon Napier-Bell’s SNB Records.  By 1972, the lineup had expanded to include Dave Williams on guitar, Frank Boylan on bass, and William Murray on drums.  With this lineup in place, the band released their only album, Swaddling Songs (Deram Records), which was commercially unsuccessful at the time.  Over the years, however, the lone album by the band has received considerable critical acclaim, and original vinyl copies are now very valuable.  Boylan was later replaced by Steve Borrill (ex-Spirogyra), but shortly afterwards the band split up.  (More from Wikipedia)

Writing in the Time Has Told Me blog, Paul Martin has a glowing review of the album; he compares Chimera to an Irish all-female folk-rock band of the same time period called Mellow Candle that I am not familiar with.  He also wrote:  “What we have as the musical legacy is a game of two halves.  Half, or perhaps slightly more, of the songs are real vehicles for the girls’ voices (all the songs are originals).  These are acid-folk of the very first order . . . and many of the numbers would have fitted deftly in to The Wicker Man film soundtrack [the original film that is, from 1973]. . . .  It should be said that none of the songs on this album have a predictable or conventional pattern to them.  They are beautifully syncopated affairs with interesting vocal patterns, lilting bass lines, etc. – in fact ‘progressive’ in the very best sense of that often abused word, with rhythms rising seemingly from nowhere and winding back down again. . . . 


“All songs on this album are instrumentally very strong and seem to go out of their way to find counter rhythms rather than plump for the obvious, both instrumentally and vocally.” 


(November 2013)


Last edited: March 22, 2021