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The Canterbury Scene: The Sound Of The Underground

It’s a musical style distinguished by gentle English whimsy and knotty time signatures, punning wordplay and mind-boggling solos.

But is the Canterbury Scene of Caravan, Soft Machine and Hatfield And The North about more than a shared birthplace? And is ‘Canterbury’ really a state of mind?

Funny thing, geography. You might think it’s all neatly mapped out these days, but go in search of ‘Canterbury’ and you might be surprised where you end up. Punching up the Sat Nav will get you from A to B without much bother, but ask a music fan to define where Canterbury begins and ends and there’s a strong chance you’ll end up getting confused or lost. Or both. The borders of the Canterbury Scene can be frustratingly porous and subject to the vagaries of taste and opinion.


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