Sunday, February 23, 2020

Tempest - In Concert (1973-74 uk, solid heavy prog rock, 2013 release)

Tempest will. From a four piece, to a five piece, the band name aptly describes their music, and has always been the basis of their style. With Hiseman, the Thunderous God of Percussion, the musical elements ebb and flow like a storm, or a rock translation of Wagner. Thus, the overall feel is one of adventure, turbulence and down the line funk.

Naturally by trimming the group format they operate with more advantages, and conversely more limitations.

Halsall, the ex-Patto axe-man, has the scope to improvise licks continually, with Clarke using an equal amount of imagination. So the front two provide an enormous dose of entertaining playing.

And although Hiseman plays with true excellence throughout the set, at times he does have to restrict himself to strict rhythms and tempos.

But his solo, towards the end of the concert, was one of the highlights.

Visually too the band are impressive, with some good lighting effects, and Clarke bent over his instrument, his hair bursting from his skull, as if somebody had put a hatchet right down the middle. And of course Hiseman demonstrates the ancient art of stick juggling.
by Tony Stewart, from NME October 13, 1973

At the moment Tempest are creating more of a commotion in Europe than in England, to quote Jon Hiseman they are somewhat forgotten here. In an attempt to correct this these patriotic lads are currently undertaking a few dates in their Mother land before hot footing it back to the Continent. On Saturday they played at the Belfry near Sutton Coldfield deep in the heart of the green and pleasant land of Warwickshire and showed that they deserved to be thought of more often, more highly by more people.

The start of their set concerned my original opinion of Tempest that although their individual and collective musical ability was not in doubt they seemed to be falling between two stalls. They were neither an out and out instrumental group nor was their music following the more simplistic pattern of vocally orientated numbers.

However this doubt was soon removed as later numbers varied in pace and the vocals served as a focus rather than a limitation for some intricate instrumentalisation. Particularly successful was "Living In Fear", a blues gone wild that showed the dual talents of Ollie Halsall on guitar and moog, and contained some very effective bass runs by Mark Clarke; "Dream Train" with some slow harmonics; and "Stranger" which emphasised what a superb technician Jon Hiseman is.

The crowd warmed to the group and the night was rounded off with a rousing version of "Paperback Writer". 
by Phil Holt, from Sounds, May 4, 1974
1. Foyers Of Fun (Jon Hiseman, Mark Clarke, Allan Holdsworth) - 6:51
2. Gorgon (Jon Hiseman, Mark Clarke, Allan Holdsworth) - 8:16
3. Up And On (John Edwards, Allan Holdsworth) - 7:19
4. Grey And Black (Mark Clarke, Susie Bottomley) - 3:32
5. Brothers (Jon Hiseman, Allan Holdsworth) - 14:43
6. Round About Golders Green (Jon Hiseman, Mark Clarke) - 7:07
7. Strangeher (Jon Hiseman, Mark Clarke) - 5:39
8. Yeah Yeah Yeah (Ollie Halsall, Jon Hiseman) - 3:09
9. Living In Fear (Ollie Halsall) - 7:58
10.Dance To My Tune (Mark Clarke, Susie Bottomley) - 10:12
11.Paperback Writer (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 5:10
Tracks 1-7 Recorded Live At The Golders Green Hippodrome, London On 2 June 1973
Tracks 8-11 Recorded Live In London In April 1974

*Jon Hiseman - Drums
*Mark Clarke - Bass, Vocals
*Ollie Halsall - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Paul Williams - Vocals (Tracks 1-7)
*Allan Holdsworth - Guitar (Tracks 1-7)

1974  Tempest - Tempest (2011 remater) 
Related Acts
1968  Zoot Money - Transition
1969  Igginbottom - Igginbottom's Wrench
1970  Juicy Lucy - Lay Back And Enjoy It
1969 Colosseum - Valentyne Suite (2004 deluxe expanded edition) 
1969  Colosseum - Those Who Are About To Die Salute You (2004 remaster and expanded)
1970  Colosseum - Daughter Of Time (remaster with bonus track)
1971  Colosseum - Colosseum Live (2016 double disc set remaster)

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