The group Aardvark remains one of those numerous bands who released a single album in the early seventies and subsequently sunk without a trace. However the band still retain a certain amount of interest amongst progressive rock enthusiasts because of their particular heavy styled progressive rock that was completely keyboard based with the band making do without the use of any guitar.
The band itself was a studio band with most compositions entrusted to the hand of Dave Skillin and were based in the Midlands. Strangely enough, though the band dispensed with any guitars, they had trouble with the recruitment of a keyboardists and one could say that they were mainly a studio band with very little live dates to their name.
Because of their very brief history, very little can be said about the band and it is their album that speaks volumes for what they were all about. However, there are a couple of interesting anecdotes related to this band and for those musos who try to connect musicians and bands through the ages, Aardvark had a number of musicians who would later go on to make names for themselves with various other outfits.
The album was released in 1970 on the Deram Nova label in both mono and stereo versions as (S)DN 17 with a value on today's market of 50.00 British sterling. Though titled Aardvark, it is also known as Put It In Your Pipe And Smoke It. In all probability the title was withdrawn because of its obvious drug references, with the title track reduced to just Put It In You Pipe.
Steve Milliner previously played keyboards with Black Cat Bones, a London based blues-rock based band who only released one album during their brief tenure together. The band is rather more well-known because both Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke played in the band before leaving to form legendary band, Free.
Dave Skillin would eventually join prog-band Home, another Forgotten Sons candidate whilst I could not find anything related to Frank Clark. Stan Aldous is also known for the work he had done previously with garage band Odyssey.
Throughout the brief Aardvark history, the band also went through a number of keyboardists. Amongst these one finds Paddy Coulter, Dave Watts, who would later play with Jackson Heights and Affinity and the late Peter John Wood. Wood would go on to play with Quiver, The Sutherland Brothers, Al Stewart and Natural Gas.
The band Aardvark are also involved in one of the myths of British psychedelia. The group Tintern Abbey only released one single throughout their recording span, Beeside/Vacuum Cleaner, for Deram (DM 164) in 1967. Considered as one of the most collectable items from this particular musical period, it has long been rumoured that the band had recorded a second single, How Do I Feel Today which was never released yet which was supposedly circulated amongst collectors.
In fact the single was never recorded and the name of the single was actually an unissued Aardvark single that was meant to be released on independent label as Rubble 12. However the tapes were lost by Deram and the band used the name of the Aardvark title, created a fictitious cover and thus deceived countless numbers of psychedelic fans all over the world!
by Nigel Camilleri