Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chick Shannon And The Last Exit Band - Tears On The Console (1975 uk, marvelous folk psych rock, 2005 reissue)

In 1975 Mike closed down Holyground (temporarily as it turned out) to start a new studio venture in Doncaster. In the last few midsummer weeks he suggested to Steve Channing that some of his songs, plus some Mike and Steve would write later on, should be recorded. Mike asked the members of 'Lazy Days' to join in giving (as he thought before the recording sessions) a line up of Steve on vocal / acoustic guitar; Dave Wilson on electric guitar; Alan Robinson on bass; and John Shepard on drums. 

None of the band had met Steve on the first day of recording, and to Mike's surprise Lazy Days turned up with a Hammond organ player, Mick Spurr, who also added an early Moog synth to the line-up. The results, even on the first day, were magic - a lively set of songs driven by Steve's vocals and skills on guitar, and backed by a tight and fluid group. The songs, often blued based, were lovely. 

The atmosphere was electric, and pushed along by the knowledge that Holyground was ending. Steve and Lazy Days had been regulars since the 70's - Steve appearing first on Jumble Lane and Lazy Days had recorded there on several occasions and in different line-ups. 
1. The Stealers (Channing) - 3:00
2. Cornflower Blues (Levon) - 5:41
3. Tears On The Console (Levon, Channing) - 3:48
4. Peach Of A Love (Channing) - 4:17
5. Brand New Day (Channing) - 2:17
6. Living In The City (Channing) - 6:06
7. No. 5 Along From Reds (Levon, Channing) - 2:27
8. Get Down To It (Channing) - 3:37
9. Call The Shots (Channing) - 2:49
10.Play Like A Band (Levon, Channing) - 5:00
11.No Point At All (Channing) - 3:27
12.Dust Blues (Levon, Channing) - 3:09
13.The Bully (Channing) - 2:51
14.Like Decent Folks Do (Channing) - 4:21
15.White Knight (Channing) - 3:30
16.Heart Of The Storm (Channing) - 4:48
17.Echoes Of Holyground (Levon, Traditional) - 0:42
Tracks 11-12 from the Tears sessions(out takes)
Tracks 13-15 from other early sessions
Tracks 16-17 recorded 2004

The Last Exit Band
*David Wilson (John "Basic" Priestley) - Lead Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals
*Steve Channing (Chick Shannon) - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Mandolin
*Liam Robinson (Tom Viking) - Bass, 12 string Guitar, Vocals, Melodeons
*Alan Robinson (Zeppo Van Heere) - Organ, Synthesizer, Vocals
*John Shgepard (Clayton W. Weste) - Drums
*Andy Wells - Wurlitzr Piano
*Chris Coombs - Brass

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If - If 2 (1970 uk, spectacular jazz rock fusion prog rock, repertoire digipack edition)

The second If album came out within the same year as the first, and continues in the same distinctive jazz-rock vein the band worked on its debut.

The playing is excellent, with the sax and flute work of Dave Quincy and Dick Morrissey carrying the group's sound to a level unmatched by other, better known contemporaries like Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. J. W. Hodkinson's unique vocals continue to sail through the music, while Terry Smith employs a deeper, grittier guitar tone than he used on the first LP.

The material here is not as interesting as on the earlier release, but the soloists have plenty of space to stretch out and strut their stuff over John Mealing's organ/electric piano bed of chord changes.

Jim Richardson lays down some inventive basslines and drummer Dennis Elliott keeps the band on track through various rhythmic twists and turns 
by Jim Newsom
1. Your City Is Falling (Dave Quincy) - 5:05
2. Sunday Sad (Dick Morrissey) - 8:23
3. Tarmac T. Pirate And The Lonesome Nymphomaniac (John Mealing, Preston) - 4:34
4. I Couldn't Write And Tell You (Dave Quincy) - 8:20
5. Shadows And Echoes (Margaret Busby, Lionel Grigson) - 4:27
6. Song For Elsa, Three Days Before Her 25th Birthday (J. W. Hodkinson) - 5:40

*Dennis Elliott - Drums
*J.W. Hodkinson - Vocals, Percussion
*John Mealing - Organ, Electric Piano, Backing Vocals
*Dick Morrissey - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute
*Dave Quincy - Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flute
*Jim Richardson - Bass
*Terry Smith - Guitar

1970  If - If (Repertoire remaster)
Related Acts
1968  Terry Smith - Fall Out
1974  Zzebra - Zzebra

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