Killing Floor came together in 1968 when singer Bill Thorndycraft and guitarist Mick Clarke met up in a South London blues band. After one unsatisfactory gig with the band the two decided to form a new unit together..Bill suggested the name Killing Floor.
Bill had already met drummer Bazz Smith while touring in Germany, and ads in the "Melody Maker" music paper brought responses from bass player Stuart (Mac) McDonald and pianist Lou Martin.
The band rehearsed hard in various South London pubs and rehearsal rooms, learning a repertoire of Chicago blues standards, but adding their own rock influences. Their first live performance was at London's "Middle Earth" with Captain Beefheart, and soon the band was playing at all the blues clubs of the time, including appearances at London's Marquee club with The Nice and Yes. Favourite venues included the Blues Loft in High Wycombe where they literally brought the house down..the footstomping of the crowd bringing down the ceiling in the room below!
The first album was released in 1969 on the Spark Label, a subsidiary of the Southern Music publishing group, and licensed in the USA by Sire Records. It got good reviews and airplay, and the band played sessions for John Peel, Johnny Walker, Alexis Korner and other national radio shows.
The band was very much a part of the developing "blues boom" of the '60's which created many great bands. Free's Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke jammed with the band while waiting for their own tour to begin, and Robert Plant witnessed their version of "You Need Love" sometime before Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" was recorded. The band played concerts with Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and many other names of the time.
In May 1969 the band was offered the chance of backing Texas blues legend Freddie King on his next U.K. tour. The package toured for three weeks, including concerts with Howlin' Wolf and Otis Spann. A further tour with Freddie followed a few weeks later, and a third tour was only called off after Freddie failed to receive his advance payment from the tour promoter. The band also backed up Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, the writer of some of Elvis Presley's early hits.
Towards the end of 1969 the frustrations of the music business proved too much and the band split, with various members finding new projects to follow. But after a while a four-piece Killing Floor came together again. Blues music at this time, having been the "in" thing for the last year was now moving out of fashion, and it was hard for Killing Floor to find work in the U.K. The answer was to go abroad, with frequent trips to Germany and Switzerland.
1. Woman You Need Love (Willie Dixon) - 4:47
2. Nobody By My Side (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:51
3. Come Home Baby (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:03
4. Bedtime Blues (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 7:27
5. Sunday Morning (Martin) - 1:00
6. Try To Understand (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 2:35
7. My Mind Can Ride Easy (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 2:26
8. Wet (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke, Martin, Smith) - 0:39
9. Keep On Walking (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:56
10. Forget It (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 5:30
11. Lou's Blues (Martin) - 2:37
12. People Change Your Mind (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke, Smith) - 8:20
*Bill Thorndycraft - Vocals, Harp
*Mick Clarke - Lead Guitar
*Lou Martin - Keyboards
*Bazz Smith - Drums
*Stuart McDonald - Bass
1971 Out Of Uranus (Japan remaster)
Free Text II