I Looked Up reviews
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'The Incredible String Band in an endless stream of inspiration. ...'
(Rolling Stone, May 1970)

Single released April 1970

at Glenrow (source: Fillmore programme)

German U review
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In 1970, London’s Round House hosted ‘U’, described as a ‘surreal pantomime’ and the show was taken to the US to tour. The cost of the show could not be met by the ticket income and the scheduled appearances at New York’s Fillmore East were cut short after a few days. The band continued to tour the US, but without the accompanying dance performers.

Advert in ZigZag magazine (click on picture to enlarge)

Boston Tea Party

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Described at the time (in Melody Maker) by Robin Williamson as a "surreal parable in song and dance," it was neither a pageant, a play, dance, theater, nor pantomime, though there were elements of all of those. The four core Incredible String musicians of the time -- Williamson, Mike Heron, Rose Simpson, and Licorice McKechnie -- were augmented by Stone Monkey, who themselves were a hard-to-define performance group.
"They'd been part of a group called Exploding Galaxy, originated by David Medalla," explains Williamson. "It was a street happening kind of thing -- kinetic art is how they used to talk about it." (Richie Unterberger , 2000)

U didn't last long as a stage production, since, as Williamson notes, "After we'd done the Fillmore East, we ran out of money. The String Band took the remains of the show, just with the four of us, to the West Coast and did a few more dates on the West and elsewhere, but without all the dancers." (Richie Unterberger , 2000)

Promotion advert, May 1970
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From a concert souvenir 1970
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Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, 9-5-1970

"The Incredible String Band - Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending"
Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending vividly encapsulates the intensity of The Incredible String Band in the late 60's. Live sequences show the band at the height of their power, casting a spell on the audience with their unique blend of theatrical and musical metaphysics. A sense of magical mystery pervades the film, from 
the opening ritual naming of instruments through to the final hallucinatory death and rebirth ritual in the fantasy fable The Pirate 

and the Crystal Ball. We are treated to The Incredible String Band at work and at play, talking about themselves and their music. Originally destined for the BBC's Omnibus arts programme, Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending was never broadcast, but it enjoyed an independent cinema release in Britain and the USA. The film vividly captures their unique qualities, the aura of spirituality that pervaded their music, their early experiments in communal living, their cross disciplinary approach to performance and above all, their astonishing stylistic diversity. Their influence on the rock music of the psychedelic 60's was profound, and their recordings, for Elektra and  Island,
were best sellers. A 1968 recording, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, was a Top 5 hit, and all subsequent Incredible String Band albums also charted. They filled concert halls on both sides of the Atlantic, headlined festivals, appeared at Woodstock and in Bill Graham's Fillmores East and West and made many converts. The Rolling Stones tried to sign The Incredible String Band to their label, and artists from Judy Collins to Van Morrison convered their songs, which were also praised by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pete Townsend, Tim Buckley, Pet Shop Boys and many more. Now, with each frame cleaned and enhanced, The Incredible String Band - Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending is released on DVD. A stunning document of the late 60's zeitgeist.
(source: amazon)

Illustration in Beat Instrumental, June 1970

Newspaper ad for London Palladium, 26 July 1970

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The 10th National Jazz and Blues Festival
Plumpton Racecourse - August 9, 1970

10th National Jazz & Blues Festival, Plumpton - August 1970

Fotos: Bert Verhoeff 


2.10.70 -
De Doelen, Rotterdam

3.10.70 -
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

4.10.70 -
Stadsshouwburg, Enschede
Review Amsterdam
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Empire Theatre, Edinburgh
4. - 5. , 11. - 12. Sept. 1970

Plymouth, 18.9.1970


"The whole album was recorded in 48 hours. We just went day and night for two days and two nights, in shifts, and finished. I can't remember what the reasons were, but we had to be done in a hurry. In a way, it seemed to fit." (R. Williamson)

The wide-ranging breadth (and length) of U was a direct consequence of the equally ambitious stage show in which the songs were featured.

The Tech, 1-12-1970 (click to enlarge)
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broadcasted October 1970

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Freeborn Hall, University of California,
Buffalo, 8.12.1970
Fillmore East 29.11.1970

(Buffalo 1970, Photo: Howie Kay)
Fillmore Programme November 1970