Rare recordings from '60s English troubadour

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Keith Christmas – Timeless & Strange

In the autumn of 1969, two unknown English singer-songwriters released debut albums a month apart. One was by Nick Drake. The other was by Keith Christmas. Both were greeted with almost total indifference, although Christmas was considered the more likely to succeed and won tour support slots with The Who and King Crimson. Timeless & Strange compiles material from his first three albums and its release is welcome, for the original records now trade at around 50 quid apiece. With the benefit of hindsight, he has more in common with the less enduring Al Stewart than with Drake. He’d also clearly been listening to Tim Buckley in his baroque phase. His best songs possess an undeniable period charm, but that’s not the same as being timeless.