Friday, October 7, 2022

As You Like It - Ages Come And Ages Go (1973-75 uk, a beautiful pastoral vibe amid elegant Canterbury flavour prog rock genius, 2021 hard sleeve)

As You Like It was formed in the latter part of 1972. Paul Vincent Myerson (bass), Paul King (drums) and John Ellis (keyboardist extraordinaire) had been playing together in Norman Mitchener's covers band The Beachcombers (former members included a certain Mr. Keith Moon...!) but had broken away to pursue original material. After a couple of relatively short-term guitarists (the first being session player Laurence Juber, a friend of John's from music college who went on to join Paul McCartney's Wings), the lineup was consolidated when Martin Paine was invited to join in the Spring of 1973.

Martin's own original-material band, Bruin (members over time included Harold "H" Vickers, formerly of Dr. K's Blues Band on bass and saxophonist Richard Blanshard, who later played in Kim Wilde's band for a number of years) had been active on the London area clubs and colleges circuit, supporting, amongst others, jazz-rock band If, prog rock outfit Skin Alley and Supertramp. On November 12 1972, Bruin were again supporting Supertramp at the Sirius club in Southgate, N. London (that was the night Roger Hodgson asked to try Martin's Marshall amp, but was unimpressed - "too clean" - so sent his roadie out to the van mid-set to drag in a very battered Vox AC30!) to find an additional combo on the schedule, which included Paul VM, Paul K and John, who were possibly playing some kind of showcase (no one can quite remember..!).

Paul VM and Martin already knew each other slightly as both worked at that time at Polydor records, so when AYLI were looking for a replacement guitarist Paul approached Martin, to discover that Bruin had recently broken up, and thus the stage was set! As was often the case at that time, a local businessman & property developer (whose nephew was a close friend of Paul K) wanted to dip a toe into the "glamorous world of music" and allocated a "shed" on his farm (the chickens had been evicted..) in which the band could rehearse, and a "manager" (of sorts), Tay Devlin, who we believe also managed Cross e Ross (Keith Cross, formerly of prog rock outfit T2, and Peter Ross).

Following several months of writing and rehearsing, AYLI went into the R. G. Jones studio in Wimbledon to record several demos. The band essentially ended up mixing these themselves as the Producer lined up, Dave Hitchcock, who had previously worked with Genesis, Camel and Caravan amongst others, left the premises early after some kind of disagreement with Tay.

Not to be put off, the band continued writing and rehearsing and during 1974, Gerry Dane, who is believed to have previously been involved with the UK office of Buddah Records (whose roster included Melanie, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, The Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight and Curtis Mayfield) came on board as producer/manager.

At New Year 1975, Gerry took the band into Chalk Farm Studios, N. London, where they laid down a further set of demos. The band was "excluded" from the mix and were not entirely happy with the final versions. Despite some interest by record labels (RCA in particular considered signing the band), nothing came of these recordings and the band decided to call it a day, at least as a writing/recording outfit. They did, however, continue playing together for some while as a covers band and continued to collaborate on subsequent demo recordings of songs written by Paul VM and Martin.
CD Liner Notes
1. No More Sunshine Till May - 5:19
2. One By One - 3:56
3. Wait For You - 3:10
4. Ages Come, Ages Go - 4:20
5. Turn Around - 4:43
6. September Song - 3:57
7. Together - 2:43
8. Bed of Tears - 3:32

As You Like It
*Paul Vincent Myerson - Bass, Vocals 
*Paul King - Drums, Vocals 
*Martin Paine - Electric, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals 
*John Ellis - Hammond C3 Organ, Mellotron, Clavinet, Electric Piano, Vocals 

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