Red Green and You Blue inhabits a neighbouring postcode, with the Ayers croon in the forefront, then it’s back into Soft Machine territory for Shooting at the Moon (a reworking of the Softs Jet Propelled Photograph). The sunny balladry kicks off Butterfly Dance, which turns up-tempo and heads off into avant garde territory around the fifty-second mark, while Puis Je? as previously notes in May I? rendered in French.

As far as bonus tracks go in The Harvest Years 1969-1974 incarnation of Shooting go there’s a trio of titles labelled Alan Black Session, apparently recorded for Radio One (Gemini ChildLady Rachel and Shooting At the Moon) and another from 9 June 1970, recorded for John Peel’s Top Gear (Derby DayInterview and We Did It Again / Murder in the Air).

Looked at as a whole Shooting is a solid record, though the listener’s enjoyment is going to depend pretty directly on his or her inclinations when it comes to progressive, arty rock. Take the experimental elements out and what’s left comes across as a collection of sunny ditties that bop along rather happily (Clarence in Wonderland being the best example), carefree but not exactly lightweight, add them back in and you’re looking at the sort of avant-garde fusion the average listener might well be happy to go without.

Overall, I think, one to approach with caution though there’s definitely something of interest  to be found.

© Ian Hughes 2012