SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Taking Some Time On – Underground Sounds Of 1970: 4CD Clamshell Box Set Various Artists

1970. A new decade and era had dawned. It was farewell to Peace & Love and all the Hippy Drippy trappings and hello to the emergence of ‘progressive’ & ‘heavy’ rock and the so called ‘underground scene’. Now it was the album that was the pre-eminent focus with bands putting their creative juices into creating ‘concepts’ & ‘progressive’ pieces with a new harder sound and an attitude to match. No more giving out flowers and burning joss sticks. Record Companies created subsidiary labels to cater for the new ‘experimental’ bands they fell over themselves to sign. Decca, that most established bastion set up Deram whilst EMI gave birth to the Harvest label & not to be outdone Philips joined the party with their Vertigo imprint. Now Esoteric Records have gathered together the cream of the offerings from 1970 on this new 4CD package showcasing bands many of us being of a certain age grew to love. Championing many of the artists featured on this compilation was my good friend John Peel whose Radio 1 Top Gear Show was essential listening & certainly the conduit that most connected with myself and my contemporaries. Many of the bands featured here became the darlings of the ‘University Circuit’ and i have fond memories of working with quite a few of them at Uni’s & Colleges all over the South Of England. It also changed my DJ work and i would play some ‘underground’ clubs where rather than putting on records to get people on a dancefloor, i would be putting on 20 minute album tracks to an audience sprawled on a College floor (usually with dilated pupils) getting ‘into’ the music. So who does this compilation feature to tantalise us and send us scurrying back down the time tunnel to those far off days. Disc 1 opens with everyone’s darlings of the scene ‘Barclay James Harvest’ with the title song to the compilation ‘Taking Some Time On’ before we move straight on to one of my all time favourite rock bands with Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac with the excellent ‘Green Manalishi’ & we are just getting warmed up. A band i worked with often when i did a regular gig in Canterbury feature next in Caravan with the wonderfully titled ‘If I Could Do It All Again, I’d Do It All Over You’, yes we are now definitely getting into the spirit of 1970! and now here comes Ian Gillan belting out ‘Black Night’ and i’m so back there i can smell it. We’re now cooling down a little with Newcastle’s finest Lindisfarne’s ‘Lady Eleanor’ by way of tracks from Van Der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant & Al Stewart. Who’s this with the manic smile, balanced on one leg, well of course its Mr Anderson with his Folk/Pagan/Rock masterpiece ‘The Witches Promise’ (another great personal favourite). One of the most underrated bands of all time, in my opinion, are up next with Blodwyn Pig’s ‘See My Way’, Mick Abrahams is such a great guitarist (and a hilarious radio guest) & taking us towards the close of Disc 1 is one of the aforementioned college’s favourite bands the Edgar Broughton Band with ‘Apache Dropout’, so much better than the oft compiled ‘Out Demons Out!’. OK i’m now fully in the mood as we move on to Disc2 where you can find Kevin Ayres, Traffic, Rare Bird, Wishbone Ash & Yes. The perennial ‘party piece’ that Quo used to play at all their gigs is here with ‘Gerdundula’ sitting next to one of my favourite ‘lost’ bands Locomotive with ‘Rain’. Gentle Giant have their ‘Funny Ways’ & the glorious tones of Roger Chapman & Family have ‘A Song For Me’. Only half way through the set! and on to Disc3, 2 tracks from Dave Edmunds Love Sculpture, a hit from East Of Eden with Jig-A-Jig (i had a hand in promoting) and a move into more esoteric territory with tracks from Quatermass, Cressida & Affinity, a wonderful outing from Pete Brown & Piblokto! with ‘Things May Come And Things May Go, But The Art School Dance Goes On Forever’ (was there ever a better song title?). Emerson, Lake & Palmer & Hawkwind provide the heavy hitters. Disc4 and 4 hours in now, a couple of obscurities from bands High Tide & Stray before the more familiar sound of Curved Air with ‘Situations’ and praise be another of my favourite bands from back in the day Gracious ‘& ‘Heaven’ and that my friends is what its been, 5 hours of re-visiting prog heaven and some very vivid memories. There has not been space to detail every last track but i hope i have given you a taste of what to expect when parting with your hard earned…The whole lovingly compiled set comes in a sturdy clamshell box complete with an excellent booklet as is the norm from the ever excellent Esoteric Records. My head is fed and i am now lying down in a dark room. Enjoy.

for more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk
Til next time……stay safe……Colin

Paul Huggett… Cherry Red records do dig out good stuff

Colin Bell… P.s. I forgot to mention in my review for the benefit of my old friend Mick O’Dowd this compilation also contains one of his ‘favourite’s’ Ten Years After..’Love Like A Man’…..

Mick O’Dowd… Colin, that’s got to make it a must have. A really terrific floor-clearer is I remember!

Alan Esdaile… Edgar Broughton Band always put on a great show and I don’t know if you know Colin but Steve Broughton lives in Hastings.

Colin Bell… Yes i do, i believe its either his wife or Edgar’s ex? who has a shop in George Street who i got into conversation with some years back. Yes always a great show.

Killing Floor & Factory – high & grammar school dance 15th July 1971

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supplied by Roger Carey

Andy Qunta….Think might be from ’71 though. Factory were “getting it together in the country”, i.e. not gigging, in July ’70, & decimal money wasn’t in till ’71. Like any of that matters!

Phil Gill…I was there- end of term gig and I also think it was ’71 and not ’70. There was an amount of pupil revelry resulting in some pictures of teachers on a corridor wall being smashed and possibly at least one expulsion. It was a great gig. I was 15 and highly impressed with both bands and the drunken anarchical japes which resulted in said expulsions.

Pete Fisher…. The heady days of HGS…..must have just done my “O” levels…..vaguely remember Killing Floor inciting a small riot, probably just a couple of fire extinguishers getting let off, and the holy photos of the staff (Henshall in particular) getting defaced…still have a ticket for April that year for the High School Dance, with Factory and Sam Tripp…

Gary Kinch…..Bless the High School Girls

Barry M Dyke…..I must have been there. My present wife was a High School girl and most of my mates were Grammer lads.

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All Niter with Edgar Broughton – Hastings Pier 26th June 1970

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Andy Qunta….I remember going to this one. Was a big Edgar Broughton fan back then. Loved their Wasa Wasa album.

Alan Esdaile …..I’m pretty sure I went to this and think I saw Edgar Broughton Band 3 times on the pier. I don’t remember Sarah Gordan’s House of Bondage but I expect I was tied to the bar when they were on.

Tony Court-holmes…remember it well, nice pun alan

Mick Knights….The question is, should they have allowed the demons in, in the first place!

Alan Esdaile…. out demons out

Henry Mann…..Never saw them but once had a round of golf with Steve Broughton and Tom Newman.

Mark Sims…..Out Demons Out. That was one of Edgar Broughton’s song as I remember.

Mick O’Dowd……Who or what was Sarah Gordon’s House of Bondage? Sounds intriguing!

Paul Sleet... was at this one. Sarah Gordon in sexy dominatrix gear!

Geoff Peckham… I was certainly there. I seem to remember Edgar Broughton turned up late (takes some doing for an all niter, doesn’t it!). He explained that when they were crossing the Thames they saw someone threatening to jump off the bridge, so he stopped and managed to persuade him not to…I’m sure that’s what he said! Thanks, Alan. So I must have seen Blonde on Blonde there then.

Andy Qunta… I kind of remember he was late, but I don’t remember the story of why! Wow! Hard to argue with an excuse like that! Much better than the usual “dog ate my homework” stuff!

Steve Maxted… good to be reminded of those great all nighters that I was DJ at, thanks Alan.

Henry Mann… Played golf with Steve Broughton about seventeen years later.

Terry Hardwick… Another band I supported at Kingston Polytechnic also Van Der Graaf Generator

Kev Potts… Steve Maxted was the best DJ. Hi Steve i am 65 now i remember when i was about 18 at the Aquarius night club Thursday Nights good old days. Beer drinking, eggs with the shell on and those bloody thunder flashes.

Steve Maxted… yes haha

Tony Court-holmes… i was there

National Blues Festival Plumpton – 6th August 1970

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supplied by Pete Fisher

John Wilde……This was a brilliant event. Well attended and the line up was excellent. I barely remember it. This poster/advert is a holy relic. Stand out acts. Caravan, Family, Colosseum, Edgar Broughton, Magna Carta, Keef Hartley and the Groundhogs

Mick Mepham…..Buggeration! Missed this too!!!!!!!!!!!! What a bill!! £2 for the weekend …… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Mick Knights….It was a good one, as were all the other festivals at Plumpton. I remember one band I saw in the blues tent, not for their music, but the name ‘ the interplanetary Tony band’ Also saw the Who there when they did Tommy, but the one stand out act for me was the Bonzo Dog Do Dah band on a hot sunny Saturday afternoon, just prefect.

Patrick Lewis……What a line up.

Conan Howard… I was there for the whole weekend, god I feel old now

 

 

Hastings 60’s & 70’s video supplied by Sarah Harvey.

We don’t usually feature anything outside of music but I’m sure these will interest a lot of people looking at this site. Also check out her other videos on the you tube channel. Well done Sarah.

Pete Fairless….There’s some great stuff, there, Sarah. Thanks!

Matt Thomas…..I think im in the park on the 70’s one doing the Hokey Cokey lol

Mick O’Dowd….Great stuff Sarah. You aint got any pics or footage of “Jim the Jolly Fish” that used to ply between Bottle Alley & The Sun Lounge in the 50’s early 60’s have you? Me and Andre are trying to find proof of it’s existence!

Peter Millington…..Thanks Sarah, Took a quick look at some and they made me realise just how much Hastings has lost through lack of maintenance and declining tourism.

Bob Hardy… would be grateful to see if there are any photos of jimmy the jolly fish

Pauline Sims… Such happy memories – thanks for posting this Alan

Tony Davis… Nice find Sarah, brought back some great memories. Does anyone remember the Guinness Clock that use to stand on the seafront near the pier. It was one of those mechanical ones that featured a toucan and other figures that moved on the hour. Anyone got a picture of it?

Sarah Harvey… Yes I do Tony… I used to go down on the beach and made a point of going to watch it every hour I was down there. It was cutting edge technology in those days. It was always positioned on the promenade adjacent to where the junction is to Robertson Street.

Alan Esdaile… Remember seeing it Sarah Harvey and it was at the promenade opposite to the junction of Robertson Street. Also I think I remember it at one stage to the left of the pier by the statue?

Sarah Harvey… Yes, I remember it there as well. I was totally fascinated with it. Hadn’t a clue it was really advertising booze….. just never featured in my thoughts…… but probably wouldn’t be allowed today for that very reason. That’s somehow so sad how we have become such a nanny-state. I seem to recall there were different versions of the clock.

Mick O’Dowd… The said clock in Hastings.

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supplied by Mick O’Dowd. Source unknown.

 

Bath Festival of Blues & Progressive Music – 1970

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source: Hallucinogenic Mausoleum

Alan Esdaile…. This is what I call a line up!

Patrick Lewis…what a line up. Legend after legend.

John Wilde… I WAS THERE! TOTALY BRILLIANT BEST EVER FESTIVAL.

Gary Kinch… Nice to see Jefferson playing twice…..well, most of them anyway.

Chris Giles… That would have been awesome

What two words are reminiscent of the 1970’s for you? by Adrian Samuel

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supplied by Adrian Samuel

Adrian Samuel…. Mine are: bad haircuts or Chopper bikes?

Philip Meston… Great music!, Bruce Lee?

Neil William Michael McGuigan… light and bitter

Mick O’Dowd… Glam Rock!

John Wilde… Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, Roxy Music, Ziggy Stardust, Loon pants, Bedsit home, Far out, Too much, King Crimson, smiley face

Yvonne Cleland… Glam rock, big lapels, platform shoes, baggy trousers, The Anchor, The Nelson, Pump-House, The Lido, The Fiesta, La Boheme, Hastings Pier, High School, Hastings College, Castle Bexhill, 1976 heat, Cool man, Jethro Tull

Chris Meachen…. Bad clothes, great beer, music & fun…

Caz Simpson… This will sound like a line from Harry Potter but ‘He who cannot be named’ and my lickle boy born November 1970. x x

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Einar Vilberg

When I worked in the country of Iceland in the 70’s, I was really impressed with the musical talent and got to see lots of bands. I met Einar Vilberg in the club I was working in and was blown away by his track ‘Nowhere’. So much so that I took some albums back to the UK and worked round my contacts in the record companies to try and  set up a UK release.  Had a lot of interest especially from ‘CBS’ but they had too many singer songwriters on their label at that stage. I was soon off again to my next overseas gig, so was unable to push this further. Anyway here’s the track, enjoy..

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by Julius Agnarsson

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Bláir englar. Spiluðu blues 1991.

Einar’s still going strong and making good music. Here’s another track from 1977 – Maybe Its Your Faith?

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