Gnidrolog was an English symphonic-folk-rock band that released the albums …In Spite of Harry’s Toe-Nail and Lady Lake, both on RCA Victor in 1972. Led by twin brothers Colin and Stewart Goldring, they brought woodwinds and folk instruments into the rock format.

Members: Colin Goldring (lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, recorder, tenor saxophone, alto horn, harmonica), Stewart Goldring (lead guitar, vocals, 1969-1972, 1999), Nigel Pegrum (drums, percussion, flute, oboe, piano, 1969-1972, 1999), Peter “Mars” Cowling (bass, cello, 1969-1972), John “Irish” Earle (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute, vocals, 1972), John Knightsbridge (guitar, 1972), John Bedson (drums, 1972)


Gnidrolog formed in 1969 when twin brothers Colin and Stewart Goldring hired bassist Peter “Mars” Cowling and ex-Spice drummer Nigel Pegrum. The brothers conceived the name through a backward variant of their surname. That year, they recorded the tracks “Smokescreen” and “Saga of Smith and Smythe” at IBC Studios, London.

As Gnidrolog developed its setlist, Colin played recorder on the Yes track “Your Move,” conjoined with “All Good People” on The Yes Album, recorded in late 1970 and released in February 1971. The entire two-part suite, “I’ve Seen All Good People,” is an evergreen of FM radio.

In 1971, Gnidrolog cut a new track, “My Room,” and a second version of “Saga” at London’s Maida Vale Studios. That November, they cut an instrumental version of a new track, “Snails,” at De Lane Lea Studios. They re-entered De Lane in early 1972 and cut a new version of “Snails” (with vocals) along with five other songs for their debut album.

…In Spite of Harry’s Toe-Nail

Gnidrolog released their first album, …In Spite of Harry’s Toe-Nail, in May 1972 on RCA Victor. It features two medleys in the nine-minute range (“Long Live Man Dead,” the title suite), two seven-minute epics (“Snails,” “Time and Space”), and two shorter cuts (“Peter,” “Who Spoke”). The band wrote all the music collectively while Stewart penned the lyrics.

…In Spite of Harry’s Toe-Nail was produced by John Schroeder (Man, Status Quo, Quiet World, Trifle, John Kongos). Original copies have a textured rust-brown gatefold cover with lyrics and b&w band photos on the inner-spread.

The album’s release coincided with the Great Western Express Festival, a four-day concert event that took place May 26–29, 1972, in Bardney, Lincolnshire. Gnidrolog’s set (day four) occurred in the “Giants of Tomorrow” tent, which also featured performances by Budgie, Byzantium, Capability Brown, Jade Warrior, Jonesy, Magic Carpet, Morgan, Patto, Skin Alley, and Walrus.

Months later, Gnidrolog added reedist John Earle, an early member of German brass-rockers Nine Days Wonder who played on that band’s 1971 debut album.

Lady Lake

In the autumn of 1972, Gnidrolog entered Morgan Studios with producer Dick Parkinson and engineer Mike Butcher (Black Sabbath, T2, Egg, Rod Stewart). The resulting Lady Lake appeared in December 1972. It features two six-minute cuts (“Ship,” “Social Embarrassment”), two shorter pieces (“A Dog With No Collar,” “Same Dreams”), and two lengthy epics (“I Could Never Be a Soldier,” “Lady Lake”).

Lady Lake sports a fantasy cover painted by Bruce Pennington. It shows a giant hand emerge from the skyline, hovering over a swan on a lake with a seaside cottage in the distance.

Later Activity

After Gnidrolog folded, Cowling lent his bass skills to South African saxist Dudu Pukwana and joined jazz combo Amalgam for their 1976 release Another Time. He subsequently joined the backing band of Canadian guitarist/vocalist Pat Travers.

The Goldring brothers reemerged later in the ’70s behind spoof-punks The Pork Dukes, in which Colin and Stewart respectively assumed the aliases Vilos and Horrendous Styles. In 1999, they reactivated Gnidrolog for the one-off disc Gnosis.


  • …In Spite of Harry’s Toe-Nail (1971)
  • Lady Lake (1972)


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