Sindelfingen

Sindelfingen was an English symphonic/folk-rock band that released the 1973 album Odgipig, now a high-priced collectible.

Members: Richard Manktelow (vocals, guitar), Mark Letley (bass, guitar), Roger Thorn (drums, percussion), Roger Woods (glockenspiel, oscillators), Matt Letley (drums)


Background

Sindelfingen evolved from a jam session by a group of teenagers in Rochester in Kent, England, called together in 1969 by teenage guitarist and singer Richard Manktelow. By 1972, the rhythm section of John Currie and Alan Parry cleared out for drummer Roger Thorn and 16-year-old bassist Mark Letley. Thorn, an enthusiast of Ginger Baker, used a twin kick-drum setup. They took their name from a city in Baden-Württemberg in south Germany.

Just prior to recording their album, they welcomed Roger Woods, who added glockenspiel and oscillators to the mix. Recordings took place in late 1972 at Medway Organs Recording Studio.


‘Odgipig 

‘Odgipig appeared in 1973 on Deroy Sound Service in a quantity of 99 copies. It features three numbers per side, including three lengthy tracks: “Three Ladies,” “Today & Tomorrow,” and the 12-minute “Perpetual Motion.” Each side starts with a miniature (“Song for Dawn,” “Mark’s Bach”). The three-minute title track rounds out the set.

Sindelfingen jointly wrote, arranged, and self-produced the album. The hand-drawn cover, credited to one Geoff, presents the letters of the band’s name in the shape of an armadillo. Original bassist Currie is credited in the liner notes for his musical contributions.


Later Actvity

In early 1974, Thorn cleared out for Letley’s 12-year-old brother, Matthew Letley, who drummed on their post-album epic “The Princess and the Predator.” Sindelfingen folded with Wood’s departure in late 1974.

In 1975, Manktelow arranged a multimedia show around a 48-minute suite, Triangle, consisting of five numbers: “Birth,” “The Undertaker,” “Death (Part One),” “Death (Continued),” and “Resurrection / Epilogue.” He performed this at churches with Matthew Letley and three new musicians: bassist Melvin Arnott, keyboardist Simon Hurst, and singer Valerie Hill (who later married Letley).

Manktelow and Hurst later teamed in Studio Band for the 1980 reggae single “Paper Money” (b/w “(Fallen By the) Straight and Narrow)”). That year, Manktelow also produced singles for mod revivalists The Odds and French new waver Jacques Seris on UK indie JSO Records. Along with Mark Letley, he played on the undated album Loving Country by Will Conrad and Friends.

Matthew Letley later drummed on select engagements by a-ha, Bob Geldof, and Kim Wilde. His name appears on 1983–86 releases by Magna Carta, Mari Iijima, and Zerra One. In 2000, he joined legacy rockers Status Quo for a 12-year run.


Reissues

In 1990, ‘Odgipig got reissued for the first time as a limited issue (300 copies) on Cenotaph as part of a double-album with the long-vaulted Triangle.

In 1992, UK archivists Background (Agincourt, Ithaca, Gygafo, Forever Amber) gave ‘Odgipig its first CD pressing. This sports a dark green cover with psychedelic typography over a clutch of flowers and rodents (the foreground racoon presumably representing the titular creature). A subsequent CD pressing on Kissing Spell (2002) is the only version that adds “The Princess and the Predator.”

In 2007, German bootleggers Minority Records pressed the contents of the Cenotaph release (Odgipig + Triangle) onto CD.

In 2010, Greek vinyl revivalists Anazitisi pressed ‘Odgipig with a restoration of its original cover art.


Discography:

  • ‘Odgipig (1973)

Sources:

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