Monday, November 30, 2009

Brinsley Schwarz - Brinsley Schwarz + Despite It All (1970)
"Pub rock, the English roots rock movement of the early '70s, would never have earned a cult following if it wasn't for Brinsley Schwarz. Initially, Brinsley Schwarz was a rambling, neo-psychedelic folk-rock band that borrowed heavily from Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Grateful Dead. Following a disastrous publicity stunt to promote its debut album, the band went into seclusion outside of London and developed a laid-back, rootsy sound inspired by Eggs Over Easy, an American band that had been playing a mixture of originals and covers in English pubs. Following their conversion to pub rock, the Brinsleys ditched their pretensions of stardom and became a down to earth, self-effacing rock & roll band. Between 1971 and 1974, Brinsley Schwarz toured England innumerable times, playing pubs across the country. Along the way, they established a circuit for similar bands like Dr. Feelgood and Ducks Deluxe to follow. Though the group was nominally guitarist Brinsley Schwarz's band, bassist/lead vocalist Nick Lowe provided the bulk of the group's songs. Lowe developed a distinctive songwriting voice -- conversational, melodic, offbeat, and funny -- and the band was infused with his skewed sense of humor. Despite strong reviews and a dedicated fan base, the Brinsleys never managed to escape cult status, yet they influenced a legion of other artists, creating an underground, back-to-basics movement that laid the foundation for punk rock.

Brinsley Schwarz didn't plan to start a grassroots movement -- the bandmembers wanted to be stars. Lowe and Schwarz had already spent several years in Kippington Lodge, a Tunbridge Wells-based guitar pop group that released five singles on Parlophone during the mid-'60s to no success. By 1968, the members of Kippington Lodge were beginning to feel restless with their straight-ahead pop/rock and were eager to explore psychedelia. Keyboardist Bob Andrews joined the band later that year and drummer Billy Rankin came aboard in the fall of 1969. By that time, Kippington Lodge had completely revamped its musical style, evolving into a folk-rock band with psychedelic pretensions and appropriately changing its name to Brinsley Schwarz after the group's lead guitarist. Ironically, it was around this time that Lowe became the band's lead singer and primary songwriter.

Within a few months, Brinsley Schwarz had come to the attention of Dave Robinson, a fledging rock & roll manager who had founded the Famepushers Agency. Robinson developed a complex scheme to elevate Brinsley Schwarz to stardom. According to his plan, the Brinsleys would play an opening set for Van Morrison at the Fillmore East in New York in the spring of 1970, and he would fly all of the leading rock journalists to America to review the show. Late in 1969, Brinsley Schwarz signed a record contract with United Artists, and the band financed the publicity stunt with its advance. The group planned to leave a few days before the show in order to rehearse, but the Brinsleys were denied visas on a technicality. They were finally given visas on the morning of the show, and arrived in New York hours before the concert. Back in Britain, the journalists ran into trouble, as their plane developed a mechanical fault, delaying the flight for four hours. When the journalists arrived at the Fillmore 18 hours later, they were either drunk or hung over. When Brinsley Schwarz finally hit the stage, the band gave a competent but underwhelming performance, setting the stage for a flood of scathing reviews for both the concert and the eponymously titled debut album, which appeared weeks after the showcase.

Reeling from the Fillmore fiasco, the group rented a house outside of London and spent days and nights playing music. By the end of 1970, the Brinsleys released a second album, Despite It All, which indicated that they were evolving into a country-rock outfit; guitarist/vocalist Ian Gomm joined the band at the end of the sessions for the record. For much of 1971, Brinsley Schwarz rehearsed, developing a blend of country, folk, R&B, and rock & roll that was largely inspired by the Byrds, Van Morrison, and the Band, as well as Eggs Over Easy, which the group met at the Tally Ho pub in Kentish Town. Silver Pistol, released early in 1972, demonstrated a new versatility, but the group truly flexed its muscles in concert, particularly during regular concerts at the Tally Ho. Soon, they had built a small but loyal following, and a number of likeminded bands began playing the same circuit. Eventually, this grassroots phenomenon came to the attention of the U.K. press, which dubbed the groups' style as "pub rock" and proclaimed Brinsley Schwarz as the style's leaders." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide)

1. Hymn to Me
2. Shining Brightly
3. Rock and Roll Women
4. Lady Constant
5. What Do You Suggest?
6. Mayfly
7. Ballad of a Has Been Beauty Queen
8. Country Girl
9. Slow One
10. Funk Angel
11. Piece of Home
12. Love Song
13. Starship
14. Ebury Down
15. Old Jarrow

Billy Rankin - Drums
Nick Lowe - Bass, Vocals
Bob Andrews - Keyboards, Vocals
Brinsley Schwarz - Guitar, Vocals


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Various Artists - Heavy Christmas (1971)
"Just in time for Xmas! Rare early '70s Brain release in official fold out CD digi-pak form, featuring bands playing Christmas related material. Don't let this put you off. This is a collection of mind blowing acid rock and progressive mayhem. Marcel's "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is absolutely stunning, filled with wah wah acid guitar and tripped out teutonic harmonies that will blow your tits off! Features Virus, Dies Irae, Joy Unlimited and more! Fantastic festive stoners.... WOW (an office favourite)!" (Freak Emporium)

"One of the odder relics of the Krautrock heyday of the early '70s, Heavy Christmas found itself reissued in 1997 as part of the overall revival of the said sound. Originally released in 1971, it featured both new and traditional Christmas songs interpreted by seven different acts, most of whom contribute two tracks each. None of the featured acts are among the upper tier of Krautrock acts -- and it would have been quite something to hear the likes of Can, Kraftwerk, and Guru Guru do Christmas songs! -- but the end results have their high points. If any bands would be points of inspiration, Amon Duul II and Faust would probably be them; most of the acts here have the nutty playfulness of the first, touched here and there by the sheer cut-up chaos of the second. Compared to both, though, groups like Libido and Virus are much more straightforward. Libido itself gets in two of the representative songs: "Evolution," starting with a weird, ragged chorus and getting in some heavy drum slams and crazed guitar wah-wah action; and the rockin' good times of "Come on Everybody," apparently the album's single. Virus has its own fine winner, "X-Mas Submarine," with a stuttering keyboard line and fantastic guitar soloing its high points. Joy Unlimited's contribution is a doozy, a lengthy number called "All Heaven and Earth Are Silent" which sounds like a mix of stoner folk, pomp-rock instrumentals, and a strung-out Up With People. In perhaps the most entertaining trip-out, Dies Irae rips through an instrumental version of "Silent Night" with a snarling electric guitar taking the totally unlikely lead, alternating between full propulsion and calmer moments. Solo act Marcel delivers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with a nicely airy vocal, while his backing musicians crank the amps and add violin to boot." (

1. Libido - Evolution
2. Marcel - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
3. Joy Unlimited - All Heaven And All Earth Are Silent
4. Virus - Mary Meets Tarzan
5. Dies Irae - Silent Night
6. Libido - Come On Everybody
7. Ardo Dombec - Heavenly Rose
8. Dies Irae - Sheperd's Song
9. Ardo Dombec - Open The Door, Open Your Mind
10.Virus- X-mas Submarine
11.Flute & Voice - Ecce Navicule
12. Libido - Come On Everybody - Special Radio Version


Part 1__Part 2


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Creepy John Thomas - Brother Bat Bone + Creepy John Thomas (1969-1970)
"A little known and underrated talent. John Thomas had two hits with The Flies in Australia before coming to London to form his own band in 1969. Both albums are consistently good, strong material and raw vocals, which suit the guitar-driven musical format. There's some good guitar work on both albums. Ride A Rainbow is certainly the most commercial track on the first album but Trippin' Like A Dog And Rockin' Like A Bitch is really the magnum opus. The second album is excellent too. The opening cut Down In The Bottom sets the tone for more guitar driven hard rock from which the title track, Brother Bat Bone, is really the highlight, but dig the melodic guitar work on This Is My Body and Standin' In The Sunshine illustrates his mellower side. This is slightly the stronger of two but both are recommended. John Thomas later played for Edgar Broughton in 1975 and now lives in Berlin, running a band called Johnny and The Drivers." (Tapestry of Delights)

1 Down In The Bottom 5:11
2 What's The Matter With The Mill 3:16
3 Brother Bat Bone 9:06
4 This Is My Body 3:28
5 Standing In The Sunshine 8:34
6 100 Lb. Noomy 2:29
7 Gut Runs Great Stone 4:03
8 (Do I Figure) In Your Life 2:46
9 You've Got To Hide 2:34
10 One Way Track Blues 2:09
11 Trippin' Like A Dog 4:19
12 Ride A Rainbow 3:05 5.65
13 Green Eyed Lady 3:35
14 Sun And Woman 3:38
15 Lay It On Me 3:21
16 Bring Back The Love 3:23
17 Moon And Eyes Song 3:43

Andy Narx - Bass, Guitar
Helmut Pohl - Drums
Creepy John Thomas - Guitar, Vocals
Dave Hutchins - Bass
Roy Octemro - Drums

NOT MY RIP! Thanks to original uploader

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Monday, November 09, 2009

V.A. - A Visit To The Spaceship Factory-20 Gems From The Early Years Of Prog
"A Visit to the Spaceship Factory presents 20 ear-watering morsels that will thrill and entertain in equal measure. Wander the dimly lit corners of the Spaceship Factory, an establishment designed to produce vehicles that could take you from the geometric wallpaper of your room to the far side of your electric dreams. It wasn't in production for very long, but while it was operating, not only did it manufacture million-selling models such as Yes, Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull, but it brought you the brash rock of Treetops, the polished guitar wizardry of Israeli progsters Jericho, the fuzzed-up dirt of Jesse Hector's proto-punk outfit Helter Skelter, and countless other designs now being re-appraised or still waiting to be recognized. The conveyor belts may be still, the furnaces may be cold, but the ships still fly to the stars. Psychic Circle's intrepid vinyl hound, Jamie Romer, has scoured the land in his quest to excavate more undiscovered psycho-prog stunners. This new selection bears testament to his endeavors. Other artists include: Mousetrap, Deadwood, Fuzzyduck, Incredible Hog, Mouse, Beggars Opera, Kingdom Come, Little Bighorn, Strange Fox, Onyx, Spontaneous Combustion, UFO, Sheephouse, Pussy, Axe, Sunchariot and Kansashook. This is a collection of late '60s psych-prog, featuring never-before compiled, remastered tracks."

"A batch of lost psych prog tunes from the early 70s -- with spiraling guitars, chugging rhythms and otherworldly jams from the UK scene -- and great little compilation on Nick Saloman's Psychic Circle label! The tunes were cut in the years between the psych heyday and the complicated prog sounds of the later 70s -- many with the catchy, freewheeling groove of the former and the metallic crunch and lumbering qualities of the latter -- all in all, a really great batch of spacey rockers that you have likely never heard before! 20 tracks in all: "Why Not Tonight" by Treetops, "Greenfields" by Mousetrap, "That Don't Help Me None" by Deadwood, "So Come On" by Jericho, "Tadpole" by Incredible Hog, "Spirit Of Joy" by Kingdom Come, "Sarabande" by Beggars Opera, "Bring It On Home" by Strange Fox, "So You Wanna Know" by Sunchariot, "Nervous Shakin'" by Kansas Hook and more! (dustygroove)

1. Why Not Tonight - Treetops
2. Greenfields - Mousetrap
3. That Don't Help Me None - Deadwood
4. Just Look Around You - Fuzzy Duck
5. So Come On - Jericho
6. Tadpole - Incredible Hog
7. It's Happening to Me and You - Mouse
8. I Need You - Helter Skelter
9. Sarabande - Beggars Opera
10. Spirit of Joy - Kingdom Come
11. Just a Game - Little Big Horn
12. Bring It on Home - Strange Fox
13. Air - Onyx
14. Spaceship - Spontaneous Combustion
15. Evil - UFO
16. Ladder - Sheephouse
17. Ska Child - Pussy
18. People Come, People Go - Axe
19. Do You Wanna Know - Sunchariot
20. Nervous Shakin' - Kansas Hook


Part 1__Part 2__Part 3

See ya later

Monday, November 02, 2009

Junco partners - Junco Partners (1970)
Junco Partners formed in 1964, took over from the Animals at the famous "Club A'GoGo" and "Downbeat Club" in Newcastle and Sunderland's "Blue Note". The band enjoyed fanatical local success almost immediately and turned "pro" to go to Hamburg's famous "Star Club" of "The Beatles" notoriety, but were turned back at the border as being too young to get visas. They then spent six years playing the national club and college circuit alongside "The Who", "Rod Stewart", "Jethro Tull", "John Mayall Band", "Jimi Hendrix" and many others. They personally backed Blues giants "Howlin Wolf" and "Freddie King" on international tours. The band made single and album releases, but split in 1971. Individual members went on to play with "Robert Palmer", "Elkie Brooks", "Mick Ronson", "Mick Abrahams", "Bell & Arc" and "Lindisfarne". (

This is a sweet little album of early 70's British rock, R & B based with some slight proggy touches. This reissue used a terrible cover (I don't know what a slingshot has to do with anything), and had only some brief production notes. No booklet, no liner notes, no photos. Disappointing because this band is still around and I'm sure the members would have loved for the label to have done a better job. I mean I had to search the net to get the player's names! Well anyway the music speaks for itself - very nice material, well produced, with great keyboards throughout and a singer whose voice perfectly suits the music. Not the greatest album ever but certainly not deserving of being so obscure all these years.

1. Minotaur
2. Fly Me High
3. Change In Louise
4. Black Widow
5. Help Me
6. Natural Thoughts
7. Am I Blue
8. Reprieve
9. In The Morning
10. Death By Fire

Charlie Harcourt - Guitar
Bob Sargeant - Keyboards, Vocals
Dave Sproat - Bass
John Woods - Drums


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