Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TDATS Vol 83 Switzerland reboot: McChurch Soundroom, Delusion LP, 1971

This is a late addition to the Swiss Volume 83, an extra band kindly suggested by TDATS fb group admin Martin Smith. You can download the fully-revised comp, and read mine and Martin's new notes by the usual links from here. If you don't want to download the whole thing again you can get just the additional mp3 here and drop it in. Here's what's new:

McChurch Soundroom was an eclectic psych free blues rock ensemble that has close relationships with krautrock, in particular with the heavy, stoned jazzy sound of Nosferatu (see Vol116), but also with folkish bands from England (Jethro Tull first era). Their original LP "Delusion" was released in 1971 on the legendary Pilz label (Popol Vuh, Wallenstein, Witthuser & Westrupp etc). This psych folk underground act is now cult. It was engineered by the famous Conny Plank (see Vol116 Conny Special) at Star Studio Hamburg.

McChurch Soundroom promo shot
McChurch Soundroom
promo shot
The name of the band seems to have been taken partly from the nickname of singer/flute player Sandy McChurch (real name Sandro Chiesa). Also on board was saxophonist/guitarist Heiner Althaus (link), who has since played in many big-band ensembles, and drummer Norbert “Nobbi” Jud , later of Monroe. The opening track of the album, 'Delusion', has lyrics credited to Marcel Schaar. He was a German singer/songwriter and it's not clear how much other involvement he had in the album. In the same year as Delusion he recorded a good solo album as 'Marcel', called 'Dreams Consumed' (link).

I asked Martin to write a piece about it, and here it is: "About twenty years ago a hippy friend of mine summoned me to his bus he was living on, raving on about some lost heavy nugget he had come across while living in Holland . As I entered his rather musty hippy home he thrust a copy of McChurch's Delusion LP into my hand saying, "Man you got to listen to this man, its going make me a fortune!". You see, my friend had the quite bonkers idea of sampling the drum solo from 'Dream of a Drummer' and turning it into a Fat Boy Slim type big beat rave tune. Nonsense of course, but I instantly fell for the mighty hammond grooves, overblown flute and heavy blues that dwelled within its grooves. Also the cover of a human skull covered in wax was the cherry on the cake. It was the first real obscure heavy nugget I came across and set me up for a life time of crate-digging. In a way, Google and the internet has taken away some of the mystery of record collecting and these once mythical LPs are now just a mouse-click away. Hopefully this little story might give you an insight into what makes all of us record collectors tick, and the reason we all keep on digging. As for my mate, he never made his fortune with his big beat Swiss prog dance tune ...he now works in a high street bakery called Greggs."

Thanks for listening, and thanks Martin!