Z’s Deep Cuts: Mayfly (1973)

I discovered Mayfly during a trip in the Netherlands back in 2006. I found so much amazing music in the Amsterdam record shops. This store was near a canal and you had to go down the stairs. The walls were filled with album covers and Mayfly’s caught my attention. So did the price – that rare album cost over €300. But it was the album sleeve that caught my attention. That music had to be good.

And it was so good. I managed to download the album from one of those blogs dedicated to rare psychedelic folk music from the 60s and 70s. Albums that had been lost in obscurity and had never been re-released. Those blogs were treasure chests. An amazing source of life-changing music.

There had been no reissues of the Mayfly. It wasn’t on Youtube and there was barely any information about it online. You could only really download someone’s vinyl rip if you wanted to listen to it.

The first listen blew my mind. The guitar, the melodies, the harmonies. The themes – summer, horses, country life. It was dreamy, but also playful, funny, inventive. Who were these guys? What happened to them? As it turned out, this is the only album they ever made.

I became obsessed with this record. A few years later when I was already in London I looked up online for more information. Still nothing. But somehow I managed to get the contact details of Maarten, the original lead singer of the band, so I sent him an email.

Maarten and I became pen pals for a while. We talked about Mayfly, music and life and what he had been up to all these years.

Maarten was so kind to send me an original copy of the album as a present. This LP is now the most treasured record I possess and will be with me forever. I will be forever grateful to Maarten, an amazing man.

Maarten also sent me a CD with rare Mayfly tracks that he had recently digitalised from the original tapes. Stuff that no one else other than the band members themselves had ever heard before. One particular track, Signed By The Time, became a personal favourite. An absolutely stunning track.

In the last few years there’s been at least one reissue of the album on vinyl, and one CD which also features those long lost tracks that I had the privilege to hear for the first time years ago. The whole thing is also on Spotify now.

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