The Intriguing Incredibles
By Philip Elwood

Robin Williamson and Michael Heron, two gentle and bright young Scots known as the Incredible String Band, played a remarkably thoughtful and warmly entertaining concert last night at Fillmore West. Basically folk-music performers, Williamson and Heron first joined together at Glasgow's "Incredible Folk Club," thus their current name. But there is little traditional folk material left in their repertoire. Both men are composers and lyricists and write fascinating tongs which follow no pre-ncribed forms, instrumentation, or vocal styles. They are aided by two young ladies, Licorice and Rose, and the four of them play esoteric instrumental combinations drawn from such instruments as Irish harp, sitar, oud, mandolin, violins, drums, guitars, piano, organ, etc. S t r a n g e but attractive sounds, combined with curiously interesting poetry let to music is what the Incredible String Band is about. Robin and Michael both have strong voices and their singing controls the whole presentation. When lyrics are crowded-up, the ensemble accompaniment varies in meter to accommodate lines. With catchy and often profound vocal messages going through a teeter-totter pattern above the wondrous instrumental sounds, the Incredible String Band is, to me, among the most intriguing and entertaining groups on the world's popular music icene. There is a feeling of Donovan about the aura which surrounds them, and occasional reminders of the Guthrie-Dylan style in lome of the lyrics. About 2000 fans attended last night's event, and save for some noisy kids, it was a singularly quiet, respectful, gathering. Much incense, flowers, peace and joy. The'ISB is like a religion for its most devoted followers. Some observers consider the music to be the headiest of all contemporary sounds. The Fillmore West show was largely new material, varying from Indian-inspired themes through strong protest lyrics to countryish rock interpretations. They will play Saturday and Sunday afternoons as part of the Big Sur Folk Festival.