The Polite Force – 1997 – Canterbury Knights

The Canterbury Knights album cover features a painting titled "Raining in my head" by artist Garry Gilchrist.

Canterbury knights is a compilation album containing previously unreleased archive recordings by the band The Polite Force which was active on the Canterbury scene between 1976 and 1978. It was released by Voiceprint Records in 1997.


Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 12 were recorded in 1976 in Joe Gubay’s house. Tracks 1, 6, 7, 10 and 11 were recorded in 1977 in Vince Clarke’s basement studio in Downs Road in Canterbury with one re-mix and overdub at John Murphy’s place in Herne Bay. The album contains very few overdubs and was recorded as “live performances” to a Teac 4-track recorder.

Engineer and producer on all tracks was Jeremy Darby. Executive producer was Rob Ayling.

The album cover features a painting by artist Garry Gilchrist titled “Raining in my head”. Printed in the sleeve and on the disc itself was a photograph of mustard and cress flower bed made and grown in the shape of a guitar, by Marc Coker. The album sleeve also contains Mark Hewins’ story Polite Force, Joe – And the UFO.

Track list

[cc_full_width_col background_color=”f1f1f1″ shadow_color=”888888″ radius=”6″]All songs by The Polite Force.

  1. Birdworld (2:02)
    • Graham Flight
  2. Childsplay (5:59)
    • Graham Flight
  3. Mr. Sax Speaks (4:18)
    • Mark Hewins
  4. Solitude (6:17)
    • Mark Hewins, Max Metto
  5. Food Of The Gods / Gruel For The Slobs (10:42)
    • Graham Flight
  6. Arabadnaz (9:48)
    • Mark Hewins
  7. Extension (3:30)
    • Mark Hewins
  8. They Shoot Indians (In Brazil) (4:23)
    • Max Metto, Mark Hewins
  9. Hey Diddle Diddle (8:59)
    • Graham Flight
  10. For Pleasure (3:14)
    • Mark Hewins
  11. Ritual/Dance #2 (3:59)
    • Mark Hewins, Graham Flight
  12. The Man From Mars (8:53)
    • Mark Hewins


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  • David Sinclair
    • Wurlitzer electric piano, tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12
  • Geoff Corner
    • Selmer Alto saxophone, tracks 6, 7
  • Graham Flight
    • Bass
  • Jon Rowe
    • Yamaha Silver Flute, tracks 1, 10, 11
  • Mark Hewins
    • Guitars
  • Max Metto
    • Tenor saxophone, tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9
  • Vince Clarke
    • Drums

On site links

External links

The Polite Force

The Polite force summer 76, from Mark Hewins.

The Polite Force was a Canterbury scene jazz fusion outfit who gigged locally in the Canterbury area between 1976 and 1978. The group took their name from Egg’s second album.


The core of the band was made up of ex-Gay Perez backing band members Mark Hewins (guitar), Graham Flight (bass) and Vince Clarke (drums) as well as Max Metto (saxophone) who had come from Cameroon to Canterbury to study maths. The band was recruited by David Sinclair to record the music for his solo album, Moon Over Man, which was recorded in 1976/77 and released on Voiceprint 15 years later in 1993 and so it was these recording sessions which led to the formation of the group. Dave also played electric piano in the band for the first year or so. Line-ups who recorded material also include university student Geoff Corner (saxophone) and Jon Rowe (flute) who had, among other things, played in the Kevin Ayers Band.

The band gigged locally in Canterbury. The first concert took place at the University and most of the band’s later performances happened in Alberrys Bar which, according to Canterbury Knights sleeve notes, was packed twice a week for two years. The band would invite others to play with them and a number of prominent Canterbury musicians guested the group during it’s lifetime, including Richard Sinclair, Richard Coughlan, Andrew Latimer, Andy Ward, Jan Schelhaas and Tony Coe.

The group recorded material with different lineups. Although these recordings were not released during the band’s lifetime, an archive recordings compilation album called Canterbury Knights was released by Voiceprint in 1997. The recording sessions behind the material on this album took place in 1976 and 1977.


  • Dave Sinclair (keyboard)
  • Graham Flight (bass)
  • Mark Hewins (guitar)
  • Vince Clarke (drums)
  • Max Metto (saxophone)
  • Geoff Corner (saxophone)
  • Jon Rowe (flute)


  • 1997 – Canterbury Knights

The Wilde Flowers – 1994 – Tales of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story

Tales of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story (aka “The Wilde Flowers”) is a compilation album with archive recordings mainly of the Canterbury band The Wilde Flowers while tracks 17 to 19 are by the band Zobe. The album was released by the label Voiceprint in 1994.

Release info

  • CD Blueprint / Voiceprint BP 123CD (1994)

Track list

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  1. Impotence (2:10)
    • Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper
  2. Those Words They Say (2:40)
    • Brian Hopper
  3. Memories (1:35)
    • Hugh Hopper
  4. Don’t Try To Change Me (2:26)
    • Hugh Hopper, Graham Flight, Robert Wyatt
  5. Parchman Farm (2:18)
    • Booker White
  6. Almost Grown (2:50)
    • Chuck Berry
  7. She’s Gone (2:13)
    • Kevin Ayers
  8. Slow Walkin’ Talk (2:26)
    • Brian Hopper
  9. He’s Bad For You (2:49)
    • Robert Wyatt
  10. It’s What I Feel (A Certain Kind) (2:19)
    • Hugh Hopper
  11. Memories (Instrumental ) (2:08)
    • Hugh Hopper
  12. Never Leave Me (2:36)
    • Hugh Hopper
  13. Time After Time (2:45)
    • Hugh Hopper
  14. Just Where I Want (2:10)
    • Hugh Hopper
  15. No Game When You Lose (2:53)
    • Hugh Hopper
  16. Impotence (1:16)
    • Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt
  17. Why Do You Care (3:13)
    • Brian Hopper, Zobe
  18. The Pieman Cometh (3:15)
    • Brian Hopper, Zobe
  19. Summer Spirit (3:28)
    • Brian Hopper, Zobe
  20. She Loves To Hurt (3:12)
    • Hugh Hopper
  21. The Big Show (4:12)
    • Brian Hopper
  22. Memories (3:03)
    • Hugh Hopper


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The Wilde Flowers

  • Brian Hopper
    • Guitar, backing vocals (2-19, 21)
  • Graham Flight
    • Vocals (1 & 9)
  • Hugh Hopper
    • Bass (1-16, 20-22)
  • Kevin Ayers
    • Vocals (5-7)
  • Pye Hastings
    • Guitar (1 & 20)
  • Richard Coughlan
    • Drums (2, 3, 12-16)
  • Richard Sinclair
    • Guitar (4, 5, 7-11)
  • Robert Wyatt
    • Drums, voice (1-16, 20-22)


[cc_half_col_right background_color=”f1f1f1″ radius=”6″ shadow_color=”888888″]


  • Dave Lawrence
    • Voice, bass
  • Bob Gilleson
    • Drums
  • John Lawrence
    • Guitar, backing vocals


On-site reviews

  • None!

External links

The Wilde Flowers

The Wilde Flowers were an english band and an early training ground for many Canterbury scene musicians. The group was formed in 1964 by Robert Wyatt and friends and had several lineup changes during it’s lifetime. An early lineup had Robert Wyatt on drums, Brian Hopper on guitar and saxophone, Hugh Hopper on bass, Richard Sinclair on guitar and Kevin Ayers on vocals. Many other prominent Canterbury musicians to visited the lineup, such as Richard Coughlan on drums, Pye Hastings on guitar, Richard’s cousin David Sinclair on keyboards and Graham Flight on vocals.

In 1966, Kevin Ayers and Daevid Allen recruited Robert Wyatt to their new band project, Soft Machine, as drummer and singer. The Wilde Flowers broke up and Richard Coughland, Richard and Dave Sinclair and Pye Hastings eventually formed the band Caravan.

The Wilde Flowers never released an album during their lifetime, but an album called Tales of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story with archive recordings was released in 1994 by Voiceprint Records.


  • Brian Hopper (Guitar, Saxophone)
  • Dave Sinclair (Keyboards)
  • Graham Flight (Vocals)
  • Hugh Hopper (Bass)
  • Kevin Ayers (Vocals)
  • Pye Hastings (Guitar)
  • Richard Coughlan (Drums)
  • Richard Sinclair (Guitar, vocals)
  • Robert Wyatt (Drums, vocals)


  • 1994 – Tales of Canterbury: The Wilde Flowers Story [CD Blueprint / Voiceprint BP 123CD (1994)]

External links

The Polite Force needs pictures

The framework of the site is pretty much up and running. The forums are reasonably integrated, there’s a webchat up and a rough category structure has been imagined and put to work. What this place needs now is to be filled with content. Writing is free, but getting pictures legally can be a problem. Simply copying pictures from the net is, more often than not, illegal and so we humbly ask Canterbury passionate picture owners out there to help build our site by granting us the use of your pictures.

We are particularly interested in pictures of the following :

  • Band pitctures from the Canterbury scene or extended Canterbury scene (define the “scene” however you like!)
  • Pictures of Canterbury scene musicians (Pip Pyle, Pye Hastings, Richard Sinclair, Robert Wyatt etc.)
  • Album covers and the like (Singles, EPs, Box Sets)

If you are able to help out, please send an email to!

New Canterbury Scene Community Website

Fellow Canterbuddies!

The Polite Force is both the name of a Canterbury scene band and Egg’s second album which that band took their name from. Now, we’re continuing that fine tradition of name “borrowing” (stealing is such an ugly word) and applying it to this site which will, hopefully, be the home of the definite community on the net for those interested in the musicians, their bands and the music from the Canterbury scene. Although something looking like a site is up and running, we still have some way to go before we reach our goal of creating something like the ultimate online Canterbury community experience . We will need people to help populate the community, fill our pages with content and possibly also to help further develop it from a technical point of view. If you are interested in any aspects of this, don’t hesitate to sign up and make contact.

>> Check out our site!