The Enid

The Enid was an English symphonic-rock band from Tenterden, Kent, that released the 1976 album In the Region of the Summer Stars on Buk Records and the 1977 sophomore effort Aerie Faerie Nonsense on EMI International. Two 1979 titles appeared on Pye, after which The Enid issued numerous 1980s albums on their eponymous label and another round (1990s era) on self-press Mantella.

The Enid’s leader throughout its 42-year history was Robert John Godfrey, a composer, conductor, and keyboardist who arranged the first two albums by Barclay James Harvest (1970–71) and released a 1974 solo album, Fall of Hyperion, on Charisma. 

Members: Robert John Godfrey (keyboards, vocals, 1974-2016), Stephen Stewart (guitar, vocals, 1974-88), Francis Lickerish (guitar, 1974-80), Dave Storey (drums, 1974-76, 1978-88, 1997), David Williams (bass, 1974), Dave Hancock (trumpet, 1974-77, 1984), Neil Kavanagh (bass, 1974-76), Glen Tollet (keyboards, 1974-76), Terry Pack (bass, 1975-79), Nick Magnus (keyboards, 1975-76), Charlie Elston (keyboards, 1976), Jeremy Tranter (bass, 1976), Willie Gilmour (keyboards, 1976-80), Robbie Dobson (drums, 1976, 1980), Martin Russell (bass, 1979-82), Chris North (drums, 1980-82), Nick May (guitar)


Background

Robert John Godfrey was born on July 30, 1947, at the Leeds Castle estate in Kent, England. He took up piano at age twelve and gained admission to the Royal College of Music, where he studied under concert pianist Malcolm Binns.

In 1969, Godfrey became the musical director for orchestral rockers Barclay James Harvest, the namesake act of EMI’s new Harvest division. He served as their conductor on their first two albums, the 1970–71 Harvest titles Barclay James Harvest and Once Again.

In 1973, Godfrey played Steinway grand piano in Siddhartha, a symphonic-rock band that gigged the university circuit and courted interest from Charisma Records founder Tony Stratton Smith. Siddhartha (not the contemporaneous Kraut band, also named after the 1922 Hermann Hesse novel) also featured singer Chris Lewis and a Hammond C3 organist named Colin Green. They demoed three tracks but disbanded album-less over personal differences.


Fall of Hyperion

Robert John Godfrey released his first album, Fall of Hyperion, in 1974 on Charisma. Side One consists of three long songs and Side Two features “The Daemon of the World,” a six-part suite at just under fifteen minutes.

Godfrey composed the music, which features lyrics and vocals by Siddhartha singer Chris Lewis and instrumental backing by bassist Neil Tetlow, Hammond organist Nigel Morton, future Pretenders guitarist James Honeymoon-Scott (credited here as Jim Scott), and percussionists Ronnie McCrea and Tristan Fry (a future Sky mainstay).

A1. “The Raven” (8:46)
A2. “Mountains” (6:56)
A3. “Water Song” (5:57)
A4. “End of Side 1” (0:04)
B1. “Isault” (5:10)
B2. “The Daemon of the World” (14:44)
      i. “The Arrival of the Phoenix”
      ii. “Across the Abyss”
      iii. “‘The Daemon”
      iv. “The Wanderer”
      v. “IHS”
      vi. “Tuba Mirum”

Sessions took place in the autumn of 1973 at Sarm Studios, with Decca–Deram producer Neil Slaven (Egg, Khan, Keef Hartley, Chicken Shack, Pink Fairies, Savoy Brown) and engineer Gary Lyons, a soundman on subsequent albums by Be-Bop Deluxe (Futurama), David Essex (Out On the Street), Fox, Jet, Pilot, and Starry Eyed and Laughing.

The UK post-psych design firm Hipgnosis designed the cover to Fall of Hyperion, which sports a fantasy painting by “Face” (aka Keith Davis), whose artwork also graces covers by Mighty Baby and Skin Alley. Godfrey dedicates the album to “the life, work and memory of” George Aubrey Lynward OBE (1894–1973), an English psychotherapist and educator who founded the Finchden Manor, a boy’s therapeutic community in Tenterden once attended by young Robert.>


Enid Forms

In 1973, amid the Siddhartha and Fall of Hyperion projects, Godfrey found musical camaraderie with fellow Finchden Manor alumni Francis Lickerish, Stephen Stewart (both guitarists), and David Williams. In 1974, they added bassist Glen Tollet and drummer Dave Storey. They rehearsed material for a debut album with singer Peter Roberts, who committed suicide on New Year’s Day 1975. Shaken by the loss, they proceeded as an instrumental act.


Discography:

  • In the Region of the Summer Stars (1976)
  • Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1977)
  • Touch Me (1979)
  • Six Pieces (1980)
  • Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1983)
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
  • In the Region of the Summer Stars (1984)
  • The Spell (1984)
  • Fand (1985)
  • The Stand (1985)
  • Salome (1986)

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