Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 123

CHECK THIS ACTION
Dave Greenslade on
keyboards, and Chris
Farlowe on vocals -
members who had
played (or went on to
play) with Humble
Pie, Alexis Korner's
Blues Incorporated,
Jack Bruce, and others,
in addition to recording
solo albums.
Originally a double
LP, it's now a doubleCD set with the album,
Disc One, clocking
in at 74 minutes and
a potpourri of live
tracks comprising Disc
Two. Kicking off with
Jack Bruce and Pete
Brown's "Rope Ladder
To The Moon," the
nine-minute excursion
gives everyone solo
space, with Clempson
equally impressive on
rhythm, lead, and a bit
of wah-wah. There's
definitely some Clapton
influence, but what's
impressive about him and all the band members is that they have their own immediately
recognizable styles, particularly Hiseman and
Heckstall-Smith.
Both discs include takes on "Stormy
Monday Blues," which Farlowe first recorded
as Little Joe Cook in '65 with Albert Lee on
guitar. Clempson shines with impressive
sustain when the band doubles the tempo
for the outro.
The best news is that after reunions and hiatuses, Colosseum is still a going concern, with
Hiseman, Farlowe, Clempson, Greenslade,
and Clarke. When Heckstall-Smith died in
2004, Hiseman's wife, renowned saxophonist
Barbara Thompson, stepped in.
Steamhammer started life in the late '60s
as a blues-based rock band. After two albums
with various personnel changes, a leaner,
quartet version cut 1970's Mountains, with
singer Kieran White writing six tunes and
Martin Pugh supplying lead guitar. Though
it was slated to be a live album, because of
technical difficulties, only the group composition "Hold That Train" and Lionel Hampton's
"Riding On The L&N" (which some may
remember from the EP that teamed Paul
Butterfield with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers)
Clem Clempson

THE SWINGING.... '70S?
By Dan Forte

T

he term "Swinging '60s" conjures images of mini skirts, Twiggy, pop art,
Carnaby Street, and, of course, the
British Invasion. The era was synonymous
with the Beatles, but the flood of British bands
included the Animals, Stones, Hollies, Kinks,
Yardbirds, Zombies, Herman's Hermits, and
more.
By the end of the decade, the Beatles' Apple
boutique closed as quickly as it had opened;
the Small Faces broke up and morphed into
the Faces; and after Cream broke up, its successor, Blind Faith, formed and broke up less
than a year afterward.
In England and elsewhere, the '70s were
never as sexy or swinging, but some great
English bands emerged or hit their stride.
Drummer Jon Hiseman replaced Ginger
Baker in the Graham Bond Organisation and
did a stint with John Mayall, appearing on the
bluesman's experimental Bare Wires. His band
Colosseum was as much jazz, or jazz-rock
fusion, as anything else, but in those eclectic
days it was embraced by the rock audience.
The impressive personnel for 1971's Colosseum Live was Hiseman on drums, Dick
Heckstall-Smith on saxes, Dave "Clem"
Clempson on guitar, Mark Clarke on bass,

December 2016

123

were salvaged from the concert tapes. Very
fortunate, as both show Pugh to be an inventive, underrated blues guitarist, and "L&N"
features an extended bass solo by Steve Davy
and White's harmonica work.
Pugh provided acoustic backup and slide
guitar on "Levinia," in 5/4 time - obviously a
far cry from the group's blues roots. Likewise,
"Henry Lane" featured the guest five-string
banjo of Keith Nelson.
After still more personnel changes, with
White leaving, a trio version of the band cut
Speech, led by Pugh and featuring Renaissance
bassist Louis Cennamo. Its producer, former
Yardbirds lead singer Keith Relf, then moved
to L.A. and formed Armageddon, with Pugh
and Cennamo. After that short-lived "supergroup," Pugh all but disappeared, doing only
the occasional session date.
The Move was a popular and influential
band - in the U.K. They rarely toured the
States and never hit American charts. But
after Jeff Lynne replaced founding member
Carl Wayne in '69, it wasn't long before Lynne
and Move guitarist/singer Roy Wood formed
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO).
Esoteric Records has released expanded
versions of Something Else, consisting of
half Wood originals and half covers, and
their third studio album, 1970's Looking On.
Although they scored seven Top 10 singles
in Britain by that time, and their self-titled
'68 debut reached #15, Looking On and its
predecessor, Shazam, failed to dent U.K.'s
album chart.
Something Else revs up with "It'll Be Me," a
nod to Cliff Richard's Jerry Lee Lewis cover.
It's a bit of a stretch from their version of Love's
"Stephanie Knows Who" to a rocking take on
Eddie Cochran's "Something Else," featuring
vicious Wood vocals and guitar work. His
wah-wah flights on "So You Want To Be A
Rock 'N' Roll Star" are mind-blowing.
But Something Else was a rock and roll
anomally for a band that straddled pop,
psychedelia, early progressive rock, and,
eventually, pre-ELO bombast. Looking On's
title track features Wood's sitar and backwards
lead, as well as oboe. "Turkish Tram Conductor Blues" is, as its title suggests, more a parody
than an attempt at authentic blues.
"What?" showcases Lynne's Beatles infatuation, while "Brontosaurus" is plodding metal.
Back in the day, there were great eclectic
bands, but it's not surprising this didn't find
an audience.

VINTAGE GUITAR

© 2016 Dan Forte; all rights reserved.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 2
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 4
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 6
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 9
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Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - IBC
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