SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Truth – The Columbia Recordings 1969-1970 by The Flock cd

TRUTH – THE COLUMBIA RECORDINGS 1969-1970   The Flock

I’m guessing that most readers first heard The Flock on the famous CBS ‘sampler’ album ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ in 1970 (an album that’s been discussed on SMART elsewhere), its where I first picked up on them with their electrifying cover version of The Kinks ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’. Indeed the front cover of FYHWR shows Jerry Goodman of The Flock hair streaming playing like the devil on his electric violin. The Flock hailed from Chicago and had been around since 1966 (as The Exclusives) releasing several singles before recording their eponymous album in 1969 and the following years ‘Dinosaur Swamps’. Both these albums are contained on this new release plus rare and unreleased tracks new to CD. Signed to CBS this hugely musically talented band were part of the jazz/rock scene along with labelmates Chicago (or Chicago Transit Authority as they were then) and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Now both those bands went on to have illustrious careers as we all know. The mystery is why TF didn’t and by 1971 had all but broken up. They don’t know and neither do I. John Mayall saw them play in America in 1969 and told the press ‘The Flock are the best band ive heard in America’ coming from one of the founding fathers of the British music scene this was high praise indeed. Their debut album is so musically innovative its unique fusions of jazz/rock/blues and quality of musicianship is awesome just listen to ‘Introduction’ ‘Clown’ ‘I Am The Tall Tree’ and the aforementioned ‘Tired of Waiting’ and its clear these are guys at the top of their game.  I suppose because they weren’t ‘commercial’ or necessarily airplay friendly in the way of their contemporaries therein lies a large part of why they lost out on the big time. I think they are a musicians band lauded by their peers if not the record buying public. If that first album wasn’t great enough the follow up ‘Dinosaur Swamps’ was if anything even more accomplished ‘Big Bird’ should have been released and promoted as a single it certainly knocks spots off Chicago in my book, ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Crabfoot’ are just two more highlights of creativity. Jerry Goodman’s violin and Fred Glicksteins vocals and lead guitar work together so perfectly. After the break up Goodman went off to the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the others went their separate ways. About 10 years ago their was a limited release of some Flock material and I managed to get in touch with Fred Glickstein and had a very interesting chat about the whole Chicago scene, I brought up another favourite of mine The Ides Of March, only for him to say they were good friends of his and they had shared the same bill often! He sent me some photo’s which hang on my wall. Great guy, great musician. This 2CD release has been remastered from the original masters and sonically sounds amazing and is certainly a definitive package with new liner notes by Fred. Anyone who has any interest in jazz/rock and hasn’t got into The Flock you are missing a rare treat. Well done Esoteric Records for a fine and much welcome package. Enjoy.

For more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk

Til next time…….Colin

 

Terry Pack… Great piece, Colin

Peter Howard… My mate John at djtees does a fill your head with rock album cover tee. Pretty cool and it attracts only interesting strangers, who instantly recognize it .

Pete Fisher… remember listening to Fill Your Head With Rock back in 1970 with Bernard Jeffrey at his place.

Steve Reents… I had this album. Interesting fusion of jazz and rock.

Single record racks – did you have one of these?

photohttps://doyouremember.com

Pete Prescott… Me!

Graham Belchamber… Me

Lucy Pappas… Me!

Leigh Wieland-Boys… Me! But for some reason, and I never knew why, my cat tiddled on them more than once….don’t think she liked my taste in music, most odd!

Julie Findlay-jones… Me.

Pauline Hillier… Me x

Jeff Belton… I had 6 of them.

Stuart Huggett… Anyone else had one with numbered slots? Not sure they kept the singles in the best nick though!

Dave Nattress… Yes, definitely. Moved them around from place to place occasionally, guaranteed to spill the lot. Slipped discs I suppose. Also then plastic cassette storage racks and some hideous interlocking CD racks, possibly bought from Woolies, great dust-gatherers. They’re in the loft now – (only the racks), serious dust up there. And, as I digress, forgive me, also in the loft, loads of home recorded cassettes – mainly copies of vinyls, that I used to have in the car in cassette player days. Later cassette copies of CD’s before CD players were fitted into modest cars. First car with a built-in CD player was the mark 2 Ford Amontillado. “R889OHC” I think or something like, came from Hollingsworths, Bexhill. Next car – newer model Mondidillo had a Sony, (I think), 6 CD changer. Once it went wrong with several CD’s in it, including a couple of treasures and had to be taken out at the Ford dealership and sent off for repair and to release the CD’s which I did get back. The dealer said they could not take the thing apart and get them out. Apologies, this started as did I have a single record rack!

Pete Billings R.I.P.

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Tony White (Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on Facebook page) … Remembering Pete Billings, drummer with The Saints, Fifth Avenue and dep’d with almost every other local musician since the 1960’s. Sadly passed away on 21st December 2016.

Robert Searle… RIP Pete Billings

Laura Broadway… Sad loss, great drummer,great bloke.

Colin Norton… Had the pleasure of meeting and playing with Pete this past September. Together with Lawrie Broadway, Baz Cooper and Pete we were the Features. Here’s a pic of Pete on September 10th this year. RIP Pete.

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Terry Pack… RIP, Pete. What a lovely bloke.

Eddie Sargent… Very sad loss brilliant drummer

Chris van Rock… RIP ……

Ernest Ballard… Oh. That’s a shock. He was a local hero. Nice bloke and good drummer RIP

Barry French… So sorry to hear this news, lovely man & brilliant drummer RIP.

Tony White has posted the funeral details on The Eastbourne Bands site... Pete’s funeral will take place on Friday 6th January 2017 at 1.00pm, at Beulah Baptist Church, Buckhurst Rd, Bexhill, followed by a family burial and back to the church hall for refreshments.

Charlotte Hutchinson… Dear Pete. We thought you were wonderful . So kind to us when we first met. So good to Chris , and a fantastic drummer. God bless you ,and may you rest in peace. You are going to be greatly missed  . Chris and Charlotte Hutchinson.

Dave King… The best drummer I have ever worked with. We played together as the Dave Allan Sound in the 80s and early 90s until I emigrated to France in ’92. Played together again at a couple of Saints reunions at the Winter Garden. What a lovely man, who didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody. This world could do with a few more like Pete. R.I.P. Mate.

The Cobweb pop scene leaflet & Candy Choir

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supplied by Jozef Maxted

Robert Searle…. Ideal venue for Candy Choir,great harmonies. Saw them when they were doing a weeks stint at the Cobweb.Ron ,the keyboard player joined White Plains .Candy Choir were on Top of the Pops with Baŕry Ryan .Paul Ryan played keyboards while Ron played guitar.Eddie Wheeler played lead ,Dave played bass and Danny Beckett on drums.

Nigel Ford…  Candy Choir made several visits to Battle Dances around late 60′s-early 70′s and I remember hearing them one lunch time on Radio 1 Club on my smuggled-in Ferguson tranny at school one dinner-time about ’69? ( When dinner-time was still midday…. not in the evening!!!) Ha Ha!

Andy Qunta… Great memories!  I  see the name Candy Choir, & what I seem to remember is great vocal harmonies!

John Wilde… The Tamla Motown sunday club. It was very good.

Great version of Silence Is Golden .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H38s9HH879U

Very interesting comment from Brian Hatt….
We recorded Silence is Golden in 1966 in West Berlin at Teldec Studios on the worlds first 8track recorder.We took it back to our agent Starlight Artist in the uk and asked him to release it under our recording contract that we had . He said he would. In the same office were the Tremeloes who he all so managed. We herd nothing .The next time i herd the song it was by the Tremeloes in 1967 he had given it to them. When asked Why? he replied I have spent much money on them and they need a hit .I was so gutted i left the Candy Choir to form Orange Music to run the Studios and build Orange Amplifiers . Brian Hatt. Candy Choir.

Dave Easton… Suspect appeared with Candy Choir many times They were A SUPERB HARMONY BA

Robert Searle… They were Dave so were Suspect

Andy Qunta… I’m sure I saw Suspect with Candy Choir, & I thought they were both brilliant!

 

SMART coffee meet No. 38 Report

Our 38th meet. Among the newbies this time were Harry Randall. Harry was talking about his bands Chain Reaction, The 6ts and The Patriots who appeared on New Faces and had a single out on Bus Stop Records called Rick Rack. Mick O’Dowd arrived with The Beatles live at the BBC cassette pack and a whole bunch of cd’s that he was happy to give away for a donation to the Conquest MRI Scanner appeal. Laurie Cooksey arrived with some more photos from the 6ts and the very first photo of Die Laughing, and interested in getting a book together of Hastings rock history. Cliff Wootton had with cd’s for his new progressive folk band ‘Where Once Giants Trod’ and Pete Prescott had with him The Simon Dee book, the Guitarist book from 87 featuring him and Ray Fenwick and Jazz UK and The Hastings Trawler, both with Liane Carroll on the covers. Wendy Weaver remembers seeing live Fred Astaire and Gene Vincent and going to The Simon Dee tv show. Iain Cobby was talking to John Petrie about Stallion at The Melody Maker rock contest and Tony Qunta was talking about how the Factory single Time Machine keeps rising in value and also amplification getting smaller and smaller.  Colin Bell mentioned that he did the first proper disco in Hastings at The Regent Hotel in 1968 for the EF students, prior to this Andre said that he played records in the same venue supporting bands like Unabridged Telephone Directory. Sarah Harvey is working on the Hastings Rock recordings of Colin’s interview with Roger Daltrey which she hopes to play on her Slammin Tunes programme some time in the near future. Kevin Burchett is working on some videos of The Lost Boys and Sergeant which will be posted on You Tube shortly. Also Kevin was pleased to announce that enough money has now been raised for a permanent statue to  Ron ‘Popeye’ Everett. Tony Davis was talking about an incident at his recent Birthday event , when The Kavemen played. Unfortunately someone stole the bass players pedal kit. Photos are all over social media and hopefully the person will be caught. Chat was also about the BBC Proms Stax Records tribute and PP Arnold’s finally releases her lost album. As we finished more people were arriving and ended up a very good afternoon. This is a small bit of what I can remember, anyone who wishes to add anything you were talking about, then please feel free to do so.

Phil Gill… Sorry not to make it this time Alan, work got in the way.

Lucy Pappas… Sounds like I missed another great afternoon xx

Mick O’Dowd…Everyone is always made welcome at the Meets.

Andy Qunta… Anyone else like to have their fire buckets checked?

Jim Breeds… I’ll avoid any joke about hoses!

Mick O’Dowd…  I think I needed a fire extinguisher after meeting her!

Pete Fairless… I saw them in September 1975 – 42 years ago, tomorrow… Yes, I recall it was rather warm!

Dennis Torrance… I was there

Martin Waghorne… Great night i remember it . just

Paul Hoggard… Great gig!

 

The Inset – around 1964 – Railway Club St Leonards. Also UJB and Andy Franks.

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Supplied by Peter Gladwish

Peter Gladwish… This was my first proper band which was started when we were all still at school. We used to rehearse at St Helens Youth Club, by St Helens Church on the ridge and in Andy Franks parents’ garage in King Edward Avenue. I would have been about 14 when we did this gig at the old Railway Club in St John’s Road, next to Warrior Square station, sadly no longer there.  Line up (L-R): David Crouch (Bass), David Gore (Vocals), Andy Franks (Rhythm guitar), John Eldridge (Drums), Peter Gladwish (Lead Guitar/Vocals), David Gladwish (Vocals).

Geoff Peckham… Well I never! I became good friends with Andy Franks in Worthing in 1982. We played together in Uncle John’s Band for almost two decades, and had other musical adventures. I believe his dad was a teacher at Hastings Grammar, or even Head? Andy was a lovely man who succumbed to cancer five years ago. Great to see a picture of him in a band during his Hastings days.

Peter Gladwish… Thanks for your input Geoff . I lost touch with Andy after we left school. I’ve often wondered what became of him and very sad to hear your news.

Geoff Peckham… here’s Andy Franks on the left in 1982 with UJB outside the Spotted Cow in Angmering. I’m next to him, btw.

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UJB supplied by Geoff Peckham

Peter Gladwish… Amazing Geoff. Thanks again for posting this; Andy looks just the same. He really was such a nice, placid bloke and a good musician, as I recall. Such a small world.

Mick O’Dowd… Sorry Geoff he didin’t make Head at the Grammar School. Seem to remember his name as Gordon? Franks and was, if I remember correctly, an art teacher.

Peter Gladwish… Correct Mick. He was my art master.

Chris Meachen… ‘Arty’ Franks was possibly my favourite teacher at school. He let us have a record player in the tiny ‘O’ level art room & generally gave us far more freedom than most..

 

Shades Of Innocence – Hastings Pier 20th September 1969

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supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey… This day September 20th, 1969. Shades Of Innocence. No information on this band other than they played at Battle Memorial Hall on April 24th 1970 in support of ‘Wishful Thinking’ and Goudhurst Village Hall on April 12th, 1969.

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Beggars’ Gate Where Once Giants Trod cd

WHERE ONCE GIANTS TROD     Beggars’ Gate

Firstly thank you to Cliff Wootton for providing me with this album for review at last Fridays SMART meet.

Beggars’ Gate are Pete Cornford (vocals/guitar), John Farebrother (guitar/guitar vibesware/Ebow/ambient sound), Steve Harland (keyboards, synth, vocals), Cliff Wootton (bass guitars) and Jules Blake (sound engineer) and the band are based around Tunbridge Wells. I’m sure some of you will know these guys, for those of you who don’t then I urge you to make their acquaintance through this album. I have no wish to try and place the music they make into any particular genre, they have been described as prog/folk/rock, which is I suppose fair, however there are so many other elements at work here, classical, tribal, celtic, ambient are just some of the additional adjectives I would choose to use. The 10 tracks take you on a journey where all the aforementioned elements appear and samples and Gregorian chants also make well placed appearances. The liner notes written by Pete (who I assume wrote all the lyrics) start thus ‘At risk of sounding old fashioned, this recording was always going to be a concept album’. Which sounds slightly apologetic, well let me say there’s nothing wrong with a ‘concept album’ in my book whether it be from the early 70’s or the uneasy world of 2017 we all inhabit. Clearly this is a deeply personal and heartfelt expression for us to take a look at our past and where we might be heading. The crashing waves, chants and tribal drumbeats that kick off the opening title track immediately evoke a feel of ancestry and transport you to a Tolkienesque world of open wild landscapes and create a cinematic image in your head, well they did in this head, then sliding perfectly into the gentler ‘Orkney Stone’ a paen to ancient stones, with some excellent guitar (surely some Floyd influences here) and some damn fine piano. The first of two ‘instrumental’ tracks follow ‘Insolitude’ with a simple haunting piano over natural birdsounds works beautifully as a lead in to the celtic vibe of ‘Banks of Lindisfarne’. ‘Now The Road Is Calling’ has some, for me, of the best lyrics on the whole album and a fine vocal. However lyrically ‘The Walls Of Separation’ essentially a anti war protest song takes first place. ‘Protest’ songs can often come across as shallow and trite (not intentionally), this is far from the case here where the words ring chillingly true and certainly hit their mark and had me returning to this track more than once, a very fine song indeed. The magnum opus of the album I think goes to the final track ‘Sanctuary Gates’ which closes the album in epic form building as it does to a crescendo that fully delivers, and I suspect the band themselves know that.

As I spend the vast majority of my time reviewing national and international artists its a pleasure to have something ‘local’. I wish Beggars’ Gate all the luck with this release  and getting it out there to the widest possible audience to enjoy.

Til next time………..Colin

Alan Esdaile… Sounds GREAT. I’m playing it at the moment and also heard Sarah Harvey play it on her show last night.