Showing posts with label Opus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Opus. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Day After The Sabbath 120: Wolf of Iron Jaw [Serbia 1]

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The Day After The Sabbath 120: Wolf of Iron Jaw [Serbia 70's Rock] by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud

Since volumes 41 (general) and 101 (Poland) it's high time TDATS returned to eastern europe, so here we concentrate on heavy stuff that originated in the Serbian part of the former Yougoslavia. Unlike some might suspect, the Tito dictatorship did not interfere with the influence of incoming western pop music, or people's general enjoyment of popular music. Rock music flourished in Yugoslavia from the '50s onward and as you will hear in this comp, a lot of great talent emerged. The first Serbian '60s bands during the age of beat and rhythm & blues included Siluete, Elipse and Džentlmeni, all mentioned here as certain members were in some of the heavier bands coming up.

I must thank tdats fan Adam Burke, front man of Pushy and Fellwoods, and brilliant artist, for drawing a cover especially for this volume. It is inspired by the Psoglav, a werewolf-like demonic creature in Serbian mythology which bares iron teeth. Another thanks goes to the blog Jugo Rock Forever, one of the best sources of Yugoslavian rock.

01. S Vremena Na Vreme - Tema Za Šargiju [edit] (1975)
       from album 'S Vremena Na Vreme'
02. YU Grupa - Drveni Most (1974)
03. Grupa CD - Vjeruj U Ljubav (1973)
04. Džentlmeni - Veseli Svet (1968)
       from compilation 'Retrologija'
05. Zlatko Manojlović - Ko Te Sada Ljubi (1975)
06. Smak - Biska 16 (1974)
       single B side
07. Tako - Druga Strana Mene [edit] (1978)
       from album 'Tako'
08. Grupa SOS - Tražim (1974)
09. Korni Grupa - Neko Spava Pored Mene (1970)
10. Miodrag Bata Kostić - Tvoj Put (1975)
       from album 'Kongres Rock Majstora'
11. Pop Show Grupa - Okrutna Žena (1974)
12. Pop Mašina - Vreme Za Nas (1975)
       from album 'Na Izvoru Svetlosti'
13. Igra Staklenih Perli - Majestetski Kraj (1979)
       from album 'Igra Staklenih Perli'
14. Riblja Čorba - Hej, Ćale (1979)
       from album 'Kost U Grlu'
15. Dah - Majka Jugovića (1974)
       from album 'Veliki Cirkus'
16. Opus - Sam (1974)
17. S Vremena Na Vreme - Tema Za Šargiju [reprise] (1975)
       from album 'S Vremena Na Vreme'

Up until the early '70s, Serbia's only rock releases were on 7 inch singles and EPs. The first full-length rock album was Korni Grupa's debut LP in the comparatively late year of 1972, they were also the first Serbian band to play hard, progressive rock, which is shown in this comp with one of the oldest tracks here, a 1970 single of theirs.

The three other bands that heralded the beginning of Serbian hard rock were Yu Grupa, Pop Mašina (Pop Machine) and Smak (Endtime). From 1973 onward they started releasing excellent albums, displaying impressive technical skill, but also plenty of soul and passion. Smak stood slightly apart in their inclusion of jazz-influenced prog sounds, but they were also satisfyingly heavy. All three took clear influence from the pioneers like Cream, Led Zep and Black Sabbath, but also had their own Balkan flavour, giving them a refreshing slant that holds them up on their own merits. Indeed, of all the smaller regions I have studied so far for TDATS, with a consequently small number of bands, I can safely say that Serbia is right up there at the top regarding the consistent quality of what music there was. Discovering these bands has been an especially enjoyable experience which, by all accounts, will be repeated when I turn to neighbouring countries like Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia for later episodes. I can't wait!

Boom festival 1972
The main music festival of Yugoslavia in the '70s was Boom Pop, which ran from 1972 to 1978. It was initially held in Tivoli Hall, Ljubljana, Slovenia. During it's seven years it moved to Croatia and ended at Novi Sad in Serbia. Of the bands included in this volume, those that appeared at Boom were; Pop Mašina (in 1973), Dah (1973), YU Grupa (1973,74 & 76), S Vremena Na Vreme (1974), Smak (1975 & 77), Tako (1977 & 78) and Riblja Čorba (1978). For almost every year, a live double-LP was released featuring performances from the fest. The 1974 edition included three songs by "Pop Selekcija Boom '74", a super group that got on stage just for that year's fest. This group included Dado Topić on vocals/bass, of Korni Grupa. The final year of Boom festival was just when punk was breaking, and so had a decidedly different flavour to those before. As you can see in this magazine article (link) the long hair and bell bottoms was giving way to the safety pins and short hair of young bands like Prljavo kazalište and Paraf.

RTB logo
There were only four record labels responsible for putting out the sixteen records appearing in this comp. The winner, with seven of them, is "Produkcija Gramofonskih Ploča Radio Televizije Beograd", or RTB for short. RTB's beginnings occurred when the state-owned Radio Belgrade bought two record presses in 1951, with the original intention of archiving pre-existing recordings. In 1952 it pressed fifteen 78rpm singles of new music under the label "Jugodisk". It became Radio-Television Belgrade in 1959 with the advent of television, and went on to become the second-largest record label in Yugoslavia. After the Yugoslavian breakup in 1993 it became Radio Television of Serbia (RTS). RTB was responsible for the first hard progressive rock records from Serbia, with Korni Grupa's early singles and debut album.

Jogoton logo c.1974
The Croatian Jugoton label is the runner up here with five of our records. This was Yugoslavia's largest label. It came into existence when the Ljubljana-based Elektroton label moved to Zagreb and became "Jugoton" in 1947, after nationalisation. By the mid-'60s it was producing 30.000 records a day. Bosnia's Indexi were one of Yugoslavia's first bands to start getting fuzzy on their Jugoton singles like Šabn-Dabn-Šabn-Du-Bajo in 1969 (youtube). The first Yugoslavian heavy progressive LP on Jugtron was the debut of the Croatian band Time in 1972 (youtube). The other two labels were RTV Slovenija, the national label of Slovenia, and Diskos, an independent Serbian label started in 1962, on Which Croatia's Had was one of the earliest progressive bands (youtube).

With the exception of Smak, every one of the bands in this volume originated in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade (natively called Beograd), although many individual members were from other countries situated in the former Yugoslavia.

The Bands

S Vremena Na Vreme opens this set with an instrumental blending folk and fuzz. I took it from their 1975 debut LP and you'll notice I also reprised it for the outro track. They were one of the pioneers of the Serbian acoustic rock scene, and one of the pioneers in incorporating folk music elements into rock music of Yugoslavia, along with Suncokret, also from Serbia. They were good friends of another band appearing here, Pop Mašina, and they would organise free shows together and play on each other's albums. S Vremena Na Vreme had two albums and many singles in the '70s.

The fuzz gives way to YU Grupa's solid riffing, and this band had a lot of great riffs over five '70s LPs and many singles, being one of the most important, long-lasting and rewarding Serb bands to dig into. They were formed in 1970 by brothers Dragi (vocals, guitar) and Žika Jelić (bass guitar), both former members of beat band Džentlmeni. They have continued to make albums and play live into the 2010s, the last live show having been in 2012 which was unfortunately cut short when Žika Jelić had an electric shock, but he's fine and the band have announced a new album this year.

Coming up next is a very obscure act called Grupa CD, so far I have only been able to listen to a couple of sides from the eight or so singles they made between 72 and 74, one of which is a light pop affair. But all is not lost, the other one is a hammond organ-powered monster as you can hear. They appear to have had an experienced lineup, with Aleksandar Cvetković and Jovan Miščević of '60s beat band Siluete, and Slobodan Todorović of Siluete and Džentlmeni. I'd love to hear some more of the singles if anyone out there can point me in the right direction!

Džentlmeni (The Gentleman) is a name that crops up in relation to members of no less than eight of the acts on this comp so I figured they deserve a spot too, even though they are from a different age in musical terms. They were a Belgrade beat band that started in 1966. I am using the first song of theirs that was ever released, "Veseli Svet", recorded at Subotica Youth Festival in 1968 and released on a 7" together with other bands from that festival. To give you some idea how important they were, there were at least nine players that passed through Džentlmeni that played in other bands mentioned in this volume, and other great bands that I plan to use later! They include Slobodan Todorović (Grupa CD), Velibor Bogdanović (Dah, Land, YU Grupa), Zlatko Manojlović (Dah, Fleš, Gordi, Land, Zlatko & His Band), Zoran Božinović (Pop Mašina, Rok Mašina), Žika Jelić (YU Grupa), Dragan Jelić (YU Grupa), Dušan Petrović (Pop Mašina), Robert Nemeček (Pop Mašina, Rok Mašina) and Branko Marušić (Dah). Phew! And there's probably some that I missed...

For the fifth track we have another alumni of Džentlmeni, guitarist Zlatko Manojlović. He was involved in other bands including VIS Fles, and Dah, which appears on here later. The track I have used is from the first of his two '70s solo singles, and in the '80s he started making solo albums. In 1975 he guested on Opus's album, who also appear here, and in 1977 he started a prog band called Gordi. I have checked them out and found the two LPs they made in the '70s to be not so great, but by all accounts Gordi is better remembered for being one of the first Serbian heavy metal bands, which they stylistically morphed into for their final albums in 81 and 82.

Smak in front of the Ružica Church in Belgrade.
 l-r Laza Ristovski, Slobodan Stojanović "Kepa", Radomir
Mihajlović, Zoran Milanović, and Boris Aranđelović.
A third of the way through now and we come to another of the most renowned Serbian bands, Smak. They originated in the fourth largest city of Serbia, Kragujevac, so are the only band on this comp not from Belgrade. What immediately hit me about their first single, 1974's "Živim ... Biska 13", is the heaviness and progressive metal-like technicality, which is largely a product of their fantastic guitarist Radomir Mihajlović Točak. Included here is the B side, entitled Biska 16. He is one of the former Yugoslavia's most celebrated rock musicians and his varied skills have lead to Smak being described as everything from blues to jazz rock to hard rock and symphonic rock.

We move on to a purely symphonic prog band called Tako, a rarity for the Serbian region at the time. Again they were very accomplished technically, and turned up the riffs a few times, like in the first part of the epic 16 minute "Druga Strana Men" on their self-titled first album. They appeared once before in TDATS on the flute volume 78. Founding member Sava Bojić (guitar, vocals) had been in an early lineup of Pop Mašina. Bassist Dušan Ćućuz was a member of the omni-present Džentlmeni, and he was part of the original Opus.

When I first encountered Grupa SOS I was knocked out by the riffs and tone that are very reminiscent of Black Sabbath. Unfortunately they only made a few singles in their six year life-span, and acted as Srđan Marjanović's backing band. Their legacy continued when in 1978 they evolved into one of Serbia's best-loved hard rock bands, Riblja Čorba, coming up soon. They were founded in '72 by Miroslav Aleksić (bass, vocals), Dragan Štulović (guitar - later in Tunel) and Stevan Stevanović (drums). By '78 only Miroslav remained, with newer members Rajko Kojić (guitar) and drummer Vicko Milatović, all of whom then became Riblja Čorba with the inclusion of former Suncokret & Rani Mraz member Bora Đorđević (vocals, acoustic guitar and songwriter).

Korni Grupa 1972 LP,
Kornelije Kovač standing furthest-back
At the half way mark now and an important band called Korni Grupa. I have taken a track from a 1970 single, which surely must be one of the heaviest things from Serbia at that early stage. As said before, Korni Groupa very obviously progressed from their original sound and made Serbia's first ever full length progressive rock album in 1972, mixing too many styles to conveniently categorise the band. There are elements of jazz, traditional folk, psych, blues, funk, hard rock and symphonic rock on there, with top notch performances all-round. The band is named after it's founder, Serbian-born Kornelije Kovač, who got his first rock exposure in Bosnia's biggest pop group, Indexi.

Korni Groupa at Eurovision
Before that point, he had already become an accomplished composer, pianist, keyboard player, producer and arranger at a startlingly young age. In 1974 Korni Grupa entered the Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Brighton, UK. They came seventh, and I think I can safely assume I won't be saying anything like that about any other bands on TDATS for a while... Kornelije moved to England in 1979 and continued with varied work in music. Whitesnake's Bernie Marsden played on his K2 LP project called "Why?" in 1980 (link).

Kongres Rock Majstora concert poster
Next up is a track from a one-off collaborative album called Kongres Rock Majstora (Congress of Rock Masters). The idea of this seems to have been to take four well-known Yugoslavian guitarists and give them one side each of a double LP. Supporting them was a host of players from their bands and many others. The four main guys were: Miodrag Bata Kostić - Serbian guitarist of Yu Grupa and Opus, Josip Boček - Croatian guitarist of Korni Grupa, Vedran Božić - Croatian guitarist of Time, and Goran Bregović. Goran was the Bosnian guitarist of Bijelo Dugme, he is now internationally famous as a composer / score writer. He entered the world of film music in 1989, and became known for his scores for Emir Kusturica's films; Time of the Gypsies, Arizona Dream and Underground. Yu Grupa's drummer Ratislav-Raša Đelmaš, and bassist Žika Jelić (also of Džentlmeni) were in the the support bands. Also bassist Bojan Hreljac and drummer Vladimir Furduj of Korni Grupa. I have used a track from Miodrag Bata Kostić's set, his four songs on side D were all top quality rockers as you can hear!

Goran Bregović - Josip Boček
With the kind help of TDATS fb group member Чика Киде, who has made some translations for us, I have found out some more facts about the record. This is what he was able to translate from some press regarding the 2009 Croatia Records reissue of Kongres Rock Majstora: "Kongres Rock Majstora” had the goal to promote the guitar masters of the era. The promotion itself included concerts and media coverage, in which the music magazine “JukeBox” was the main outlet. The reason for the appearance of those particular four players, and not other guitar masters like Radomir Mihailović-Točak from Smak, is probably because they played in bands connected to the Jugoton label. Jugoton was the largest Yugoslavian record label and owner of a widespread network of record shops, succeeded by Croatia Records in 1990.

Vedran Božić - Miodrag Bata Kostić
Goran Bregović, as the leader of Bijelo Dugme, let Željko Bebek to do the vocals, and for the song “Ima neka tajna veza” he had the support of Zagreb’s String Quartet. The album featured the instrumental song “Minijatura za moju majku”, as well as two older Bijelo Dugme songs - “I kad prodje sve pjevat ću i tad”, and “Znam za jedno tiho mjesto”. When the double LP was released, critics were not very complementary. There wasn't any significant commercial success or media coverage of the release, and shortly after the entire venture was side-lined. Vinyl collectors across the world have shown a strong interest for this album which commands 100-200 Euros today."

On to track eleven and a band that didn't record much but seem to have been around for about five years, Pop Show Grupa. The track here is a heavy, punky fuzz monster! They made two singles like this, plus the mystery single "Malaika / Sisi Tunakupenda" which appeared five years later in 1979, and seems to have a collaboration with a Belgrade-based Kenyan musician called Steven Hannington. I have not heard this third one so can only guess what it sounds like, though Discogs categorises it under "Folk, World, & Country, Funk / Soul, Pop".

The band was Miodrag Dobrić (bass), Dragan Milić (guitar) and Vladan Dokić (drums). Vladan was in Opus and later-on Rok Mašina, which was an '80s development of Pop Mašina. Both bands coming up here soon...

I consider there to be a 'big three' of heavy Serbain bands from the former half of the '70s, YU Grupa and Smak have already appeared so now it's time for the last of that trio, Pop Mašina (Pop Machine). They were formed in Belgrade in 1972 by Robert Nemeček (bass, vocals - formerly of Dogovor Iz 1804 and Džentlmeni. The other formative members on their two studio albums were Mihajlo Popović (drums) and Zoran Božinović (guitar - formerly in Džentlmeni).

Na Izvoru Svetlosti LP 1975
Their 1973 debut LP "Kiselina" (Acid), had contributions from members of S Vremena Na Vreme, Grupa SOS and acoustic band Dag. Although excelling in their heavy rock tracks like "Svemirska Prièa," the band played an equal amount of acoustic pop and folk-infused songs in a similar approach to Led Zep's album 'III'. The second and final studio album "Na Izvoru Svetlosti" (At the Spring of Light) followed suit, having a little more emphasis on the hard rock, with a great opener which is the track I have used in this comp, "Vreme za Nas". Track 2 gives you a good idea of their stage show with a live-recorded blues workout. Over-all this album is more consistent and you can hear the improved arrangements and more confident playing.

Rok Mašina, 1981
In 1976 Robert Nemeček left the band due to army obligations; up until 2011 Serbia demanded mandatory military service of 6 months for men. Other personnel changes happened and the last recording from the band was a great single in 1977. By this time they had expanded to a four-piece with two guitarists and it's a shame they did not go through with a proposed third album as the progression is evident in "Moja Pesma" (youtube). New additions were Dušan Petrović (bass - Džentlmeni), Dušan Đukić (drums - also in Dah) and Vidoje Božinović (guitar - Dah, Opus, Riblja Čorba), with Zoran Božinović remaining from before on guitar & vocals. In 1981 Robert Nemeček returned on bass and the band was reborn with a harder sound as Rok Mašina. Vladan Dokić of Pop Show Grupa entered on drums. Zoran Božinović and Vidoja Božinović remained on guitars from the previous Pop Mašina lineup.

Igra Staklenih Perli
Coming up now is a bit of a diversion, with one of the latest-recorded tracks in the comp we encounter some space rock. In searches through the Serbian '70s this is the only example of such I have come across, but as I am coming to expect from this country it is brilliant. Igra Staklenih Perli ("The Glass Bead Game" - a futuristic existential book by Herman Hesse) made a debut album in 1979 and a second, final one in 1980. This track is taken from the first, and it's an ethereal, immersive experience you can get lost in, brilliantly layering electronics and repetitive riffs in the best traditions of Hawkwind and the krautrock masters. Over that is some beautiful guitar work with a hint of Balkan folk. Bassist Draško Nikodijević and guitarist Vojkan Rakić later formed the post-punk/neo-psych White Rabbit Band and in the late 1980s moved to the USA where they continued under the name White Rabbit Cult.

Riblja Čorba 1978
On the home straight now we come to the beginnings of Serbian heavy metal and Riblja Čorba. As mentioned before, by 1978 the members of Grupa SOS; bass player Miroslav Aleksić, Rajko Kojić (guitar), drummer Vicko Milatović and Bora Đorđević (ex-Suncokret & Rani Mraz, vocals, acoustic guitar and songwriter) became Riblja Čorba (Fish Stew). I have used a track from their 1979 debut album "Kost u Grlu", which is equal parts punk and heavy metal. The band went on to acclaim and is one of Yugoslavia!s most successful bands. They have released albums as recently as 2012's "Uzbuna".

Dah 1974, Zlatko Manojlović on right
Guitarist Zlatko Manojlović returns with a band called Dah (breath) that he co-founded in 1972. By the time of their first album in 1974, Branko Gluščević was on bass, Velibor Boka Bogdanović was on drums and Zlatko was leading on guitar. Veliki Cirkus (The Big Circus) was an ambitious excursion and another of Serbia's earliest progressive rock LPs.

Dah - Veliki Cirkus LP 1974
It incorporates '60s style psych with blues, country and hard rock in a quirky and original brew, supported by Zlatko's always-brilliant guitar work. In 1975 the band moved to Belgium, where they performed under the name Land, reportedly going in a more symph/jazz direction and making an album under that name called "Cool Breeze", although I have found very little info on that record and not heard it yet. During this time they had radio success with a single called "Šošana" and played on stage with Focus. After returning to Serbia they made one more album, called "Povratak" before Zlatko had to take a break to perform military service. The band did not last much longer and after completing his service Zlatko started a new band called Gordi which switched to heavy metal in the '80s.

Opus "Veče / Sam" single 1974
We reach the end of another TDATS with a band called Opus, that have been mentioned a couple of times already. This is a great song to end on, a single that is more punchy than their LP which came out a year later. Opus started in 1973 and the original line-up included the founder and organist Miodrag Okrugić, guitar player Miodrag Kostić and bassist Dušan Ćućuz (ex-Džentlmeni), but soon they split. They were named after Okrugić's composition "Opus No. 1" which he scored during his tenure with the band Yu Grupa.

"Opus 1" LP 1975
Okrugić re-formed Opus in 1975 with bassist Slobodan Orlić, drummer Ljubomir Jerković and singer Dušan Prelević (ex Korni grupa) and soon they recorded their debut "Opus 1", done in the symphonic rock style, with a few heavy moments like track "Dolina Bisera" (youtube). It failed to draw attention of the public and the band split again. In various incarnations guitar players in this period were Ljubo Sedlar, Zoran Dasić and Vidoja Bozinović. The final line-up from the 1977 re-formation included Okrugić, Orlić, drummer Zelimir Vasić and guitar player Milan Matić, but after fruitless attempts they finally disbanded for good. In addition to their only LP album, they recorded three singles from 1974-77.


If you have listened all the way to the end of these songs I think you'll agree that the former Yugoslavia has a natural aptitude for rock music and an amazing number of consistently good musicians and singers. The mind boggles at what more is out there to discover from other parts of the Balkans, but I'll most certainly be doing my best to find out!
Thanks for reading, Rich

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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 86: Master of My Fate (roadburn2)

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TDATS 86 is another collaboration with fellow vintage rock aficionado Walter, organiser of the annual Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. Being one of the best events in the world for seeing current bands that are keeping the memory of the good old sounds alive, plus a few of the actual good old bands themselves (The Pretty Things are playing this year), It's really cool for TDATS to be associated with the fest. Take it away Walter!

Walter (arm raised) partying with the
crowds on the Roadburn dance floor
"We at Roadburn Festival are avid followers of The Day After The Sabbath! It's great to relive the heavy 70s through Rich's collections of obscure rock, and we're glad the festival inspires him as much as his comps inspire us in our work. Last year, Rich did the first TDATS Roadburn compilations with his volumes 63 and 64, and we're truly honored that he has come up with another compilation for this year's festival. What Rich has done here is collect a bunch of tracks by contemporary bands that have played at Roadburn, using their covers of 70s songs. On top of that he's added another selection of cool Dutch 60s/70s obscurities. We're currently swamped in the organisational affairs, and 'Master of My Fate' will help us to keep on track, otherwise we'd be losing it!"  -- Walter / Roadburn.

Jan Hollestelle
The comp opens with a single from Jan Hollestelle, who cut his teeth as a bass player in Hilversum's beat combo "The Torero's" with his guitarist brother Hans Hollestelle. The brothers both played on the Dutch production of the musical Hair. They were in a few other groups together, including The Tower, which appears on here later, and fusion band Spin. Jan recorded an instrumental single called 'Creepy' in 1973 and here it is. I have cut it into two parts to use as the intro and outro for the set. From 1971 he became a highly-demanded session musician and also works on classical compositions.

The Atomic Bitchwax (live 2001)
Next up is The Atomic Bitchwax. They are a well-known stoner rock band which originated as a side-project of Monster Magnet lead guitarist Ed Mundell, ex-Godspeed bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik, and drummer Keith Ackerman. Ed Mundell's place has now been taken by Finn Ryan (ex-Core). They first played on one of the early editions of Roadburn in 2001 with the founding lineup. I found a mini-review here and only 3 bands were on the bill, a number that is slightly smaller than the 60+ that have been billed over the 3 day event in recent years! This track is from that performance, during which they played 'Play The Game', which first appeared on a 1970 Atomic Rooster single.

Track 3 is from Amsterdam's Temple, which was a small project by members of other bands. They only made two singles, the most interesting track by far was the b-side, 'Triple Guitar", from the second one. Aad van de Kreeft was in Blue Planet and the George Cash band, Ron Meyjes was in Livin' Blues and The Knack, Cees Meerman was previously in Bismarc and John "Johnny" Frederiksz was also in Livin' Blues. 'Triple Guitar' is awesome, it has a really metallic feel. A third single was released under the name 'Johnny Fredericks & Temple'.

We move on to Josiah, who were an English stoner rock/hard rock band from Leicester that played at Roadburn in 2005 and 2007. They went their separate ways in 2010 and in their ten-year existence they made four albums and three EPs. Originally comprising Mathew Bethancourt (vocals, guitar) now with Cherry Choke, Sie Beasley (bass, vocals) and Keith Beacom (drums), Bill Darlington took to the drums for a single in 2003 which had a b-side cover of Grand Funk Railroad, which is the track I have included here. It was also available on a gig-handout CD called 'Rare Cuts'.  Bill is in two other bands that appear in this volume of TDATS, so he'll be mentioned again soon... Josiah also recorded another wicked cover, of Bufallo's Dead Forever. It was included on their last album, 'Procession'.

Next up is The Hague's Big Wheel, founded by producer Hans van Hemmert, and Peter Vink, who was the bass player in classic Dutch garage group Q65 (see Vol63). They released five singles between 69 and 71, and they had a great, catchy but heavy glam sound like this. I have used a b-side called 'Upside Down' which is pretty simple and short, it's a spontaneous jam with a basic verse, but it has the raw and joyful feeling of a great moment caught in time, never to repeated. They definitely had the skills to make a good album so it's a shame they did not. Hans produced and co-wrote songs for many bands, including others I have used before, like Q65, The Motions and Group 1850. The rest of Big Wheel was Cyril Havermans (vocals), Rob van der Zwan (guitar), Shell Schellekens (drums) and Peter Seilberger. Havermans and Schellekens were both in Brainbox (see Vol20) just after.

Gorilla 2010
Track 6 is from Gorilla, a UK band that made three albums last decade. They have been on recording-hiatus since other bands have been taking up the member's time, but they still play live now and again and they played Roadburn fest in 2006. They are due to get out the heavy equipment again this year for Maximum Festival 2013 in Italy. John 'Johnny Gorilla' Redfern (gtr,vox) and Sarah Jane Russel (bass,vox) have been the constant members since the 90s and at various times Richard Guppy, Malt Jones, Sammy Forway and Bill Darlington have been on drums. John has been rocking since the 80s, including Brighton heavy psych bands The Morticians and Cherokee Mist. I found some Morticians info online here:  "The Redfern Bros. began to play in the mid-80s as The Giant Sunhorse; at the beginning of 1986 they found bassist Ben Jackson and changed name to The Morticians, releasing this delicious sweet at the end of next year ["Freak Out With The Morticians"]. An explosive punk side (those who don't know one original at least, lift up their own hand) and a visionary psych-side made few lucky owners happy... the first pressing of 500 ran out very soon and so did the second one of little more than a thousand, but Ben's leaving caused dissolution. At the end of 1988 a compilation of early recordings (demos and live sets) titled "She's Like Heroin" came out on Distortion Records.

The Morticians LP (1987)
Part of the 80's wave of UK Neo Psych and Garage Punk, The Morticians made one of the best lost UK psych-punk albums of that era. It's a combination of '60s styled garage punk and West Coast/Pink Fairies like acid guitar rock. Heavy distorted fuzzed out guitar solos, swirling keyboards and a really stoned atmosphere pervade this little gem that's long gone on vinyl. Includes uniquely heavy versions of "Action Woman" & "Song Of A Baker", "Blackout Of Gretely" and a totally over the top lysergic version of the Country Joe & The Fish classic "Section 43". Dave Goodman's production is raw , drenched in reverb and somehow (only God knows) he managed to hold this monstrous creation together."

In 2006 Gorilla recorded a nice fuzzed-up cover of Motorhead's 'Limb from Limb' (from 'Overkill' LP, 1979) which is what I have used in this comp. Bill D. played briefly in Josiah (as mentioned earlier), currently he and Johnny are playing in the Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, who appear on this volume later so there's some more Gorilla/Josiah/ASCS info coming up soon...

Hilversum's The Playboys seem to have mainly been a working showband, but they did record two singles. Their song 'Snoopy' was recently used in the movie 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' and back in it's time it was used as the theme music on radio VARA's 'Sport Show' and 'Hollands Glorie' . The band was Paul Natte (keys,trumpet), Peter van den Meulenn (sax, vox), Frans de Wit (gtr, vox), Reinout Weidema (bass) and Ted de Jong (drums). I have used the b-side of their second single here, "I'm The Looser" is a great little pop song that could have been a hit world-wide. Later, Paul Natte, along with Rein van Den Broek of symphonic prog band Ekseption, made the theme tune for the Dutch coverage of the Tour de France, which was used for years. Peter van der Meulen later became a owner of The Smugglers nightclub in the town of Bussum.

The Tower - 'In Your Life' (1968)
We reach the half-way point with The Tower, who recorded two studio-only singles and have many band members listed on RYM: but I am not sure exactly who or how many of them are playing on the track I am using here: 'Slow Motion Mind'. They included Boudewijn de Groot on guitars and vox, who appears to have had a successful solo career and became a producer of some bands that I have already used before, including Kraayeveld who are coming up. Other names were gutarist Eelco Gelling who was also in Cuby + Blizards (see Vol35) and later Golden Earing, Jan Hollestelle who I mentioned previously, Jay Baar (drums), Herman Deinum (keyboards), John Schuursma (guitar), Willem Schoone (bass), Hans Jansen (Hammond organ, piano) and Kees Kraanenburg (drums). They had a keys-heavy sound that is reminiscent of Procol Harum.

Danava on stage
Danava are from Portland, Oregon. I have used a Slowbone (see Vol40) cover that appears on their 2011 album 'Hemisphere Of Shadows'. They have been around since the early 2000's and they played at Roadburn in 2008 and 2012. There have been three Danava albums to date, reveling in a mix of stoner rock, space rock, glam and all things good about heavy 70s metal. I have seem them twice and can confirm they are the real deal live; a full-on guitar bombast attack band. Tempered with the occasional moog-out, they're as close as you're going to get to going back in time to the days of the best stuff. Their current line-up is Gregory Meleney (voxs, guitar, synth), Zachariah Dellorto Blackwell (bass), Matt Oliver (drums) and Andrew Forgash (guitar).

Here's a few questions I fired at Gregory, founder of the band, for this comp:

Q1. Hi Greg. Can you give us a brief account of the early formation of Danava, and which member(s) lead the way at the beginning?

"The original core of the group relocated from various parts of Illinois to Portland in 2002 in hopes to begin playing together, which we did by way of a Goblin cover group for a Devil's Night party. Enter Rosy Cross the Portland addition. From there we did the usual thing and it became Danava. And as a concept, musically, I'm afraid I'm the one to blame."

Q2. Where does the name Danava come from? It's sounds familiar yet original at the same time.

"Danava for brevity's sake is a demon. A race of demons to be exact in ancient Hindu mythology. Rosy Cross named us and I'm really grateful he gave us this name because of it's absolutely fantastic nature within vs the all to quick, unfamiliar and easily overlooked quality it has. Donovan? no Danava! Haha! it immediately goes in one ear and out the other. Everyone looks to Christianity for names of an evil nature. I think it ran it's course long ago and I'm glad we got the chance to embrace something far more ancient and magical, in my opinion, than your typical archetypes of the dark side. Danavas were fascinating beings. We actually don't deserve the name but I'm proud of how it's led us about for these last ten years."

Q3. You merge a more diverse range of styles than most bands. Do you treat this as a priority when you write? Or is it just what happens to come from the band's chemistry when playing together?

"Honestly a little of both. I write the music with a sense of where I come from, under the influence of what I grew up listening to. All those great fucking bands man. The real turning point is whether or not it has our own imprint within. Our voice is firmly intact. That and the fact that we love so many different musics I suppose."

Q4. Regarding the last question, are there any band members who are particularly responsible for encouraging particular elements in your sound? If so who and how?

"Yeah, like I said before it's me. I'm the instigator and I put it all together with the help of my brothers."

Q5. I have visited Portland myself, it seems to have a strong scene with a lot of great like-minded bands. What unique influence do you think Portland has had on Danava, compared to say if you had got together in Seattle instead?

"That's a tough question. Honestly Portland absolutely didn't play any role in our sound beyond just living here. If anything, the small town nature of Portland allowed time and space to keep doing what we do. Seattle would have killed us. Not our kind of town. No offense of course."

Q6. Have any other Portland bands, old or current, had a strong influence on Danava? Could you recommend some to check out?

"Oh sure one name comes to mind and that's Fred Cole (of Zipper, see Vol44). That man deserves so much more, yet I love him right where he is. I don't have the space to tell you how I feel about that guy really. Absolutely inspiring fella that one. Beyond Fred there's Stepson, XINR....the underdogs. We carry this torch for the underdogs."

Q7 & 8. Clearly you guys appreciate the lesser-known bands, having performed two covers of great bands I have used in TDATS comps so far, namely Stray and Slowbone. Could you also tell us why you chose Stray and Slowbone and if it's just a coincidence that they are both British? Can you name 3 more similarly unknown bands that you dig and why, maybe ones you would also like to cover?

"Now that's an undertaking. We've covered lots of shit live over the years. We've done The Deviants, Broughton, T2, Aeroblus, Pink Fairies and classics like Sabbath, etc. There are, as you obviously know, way too many great songs from the underground over the years. I know, for me personally, I've always wanted to do No Witch At All or Mr Longevity by Hard Stuff, Irving by Three Man Army and Just A Game by Dirk Steffens but not sure if it'll ever happen. Ah there's just too many man.

Our shining moment was performing Bullets by Zipper with Fred singing and Greg Shadoan on bass. It's on youtube, THAT was fucking incredible for me. We chose Slowbone and Stray for the fact that it's great, underground and fits our style. Another lesser known reason would a man called Steve Harris."

Q9. What does the foreseeable future hold for Danava?

"New record and more touring as usual. Never stops but we definitely like to slow down and allow the space to get our head around the music rather than keep up with the business of it all."

Thanks Gregory!
Warehouse - Powerhouse LP (1972)
The next track is from an album which I have only just found out about, and was pleasantly surprised by, as it's a horn rock album with some quite rocking moments, a real rarity to come from Holland. It's by a mysterious band called Warehouse from Friesland, and there is very little information available. I am indebted to Marc Joseph, guitarist in band Vitamin X, for alerting me to this album and finding extra information for me. It was produced by Tim Griek who was previously the drummer in the symphonic prog band Ekseption.

The Crash
The players are listed as Harry Zijlstra (gtr, vox), Quido Hereman (vox, percussion, gtr), Jan De Jong (Bass), Jan De Lang (percussion), Klaas Bootsma (keys), Jaap Van Der Veer (sax) and Andries Zijlstra (trumpet, vox). The album sounds quite commercial but it has some good tracks like 'It's life', and 'Wild one' sounds like a baby Deep Purple with the addition of spritely brass. Most of Warehouse were in a 60s beat band called The Relays, who later formed The Crash. The Crash made a 7'' called ''Last Week / One Rainy Day'' in 1969 which sold more than a 1000 copies within 3 months of release.

Warehouse developed from The Crash in 1969, partly as a reaction to Dizzy Man's Band (from Volendam) which was a band to also feature a brassy soul-rock vibe. Warehouse made one album, from which I have used the track 'Wild One'. The record company (Imperial) wanted them to go commercial/professional but they refused and didn't get a contract. Around 1972 John Eskes joined who was previously in Art461/Canyon. In 1974 some members had to commit to their family lives and Warehouse split, but 3 of them (Jan de Lang, Quido Hereman, John Eskes) started Zig Zag Trio, later called Zig Zag Band. John Eskes is still active and the leader of Big Band Leeuwarden 73.

       Louis             Johnny          Bill
The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell played at Roadburn last year (2012). They are a favourite live act of mine to watch here in London and I wrote an intro for them already on another site so I will use that here as it describes them as well as I think I am able to; "All right, Tinkerbell. You're nicked!”. Welcome back to a time when Jack Regan had the scum on the run, and gaggles of disgruntled half-naked clothing assistants had Benny Hill on the run. Luckily for us running isn’t so easy in flares and platform shoes, and sideburns cause even more drag, so this debauched admiral of the fleet will not be escaping the crowds hungry for groovin’ power-trio rock perfection.

Don't Hear It...Fear It LP (2012)
Hastings’ own Admiral Sir Cloudlesley Shovell (try saying that after 9 pints of Double Diamond) have been belting out their honest, no-nonsense swagger-filled rock ‘n‘ roll for a few years now and the world is taking notice. They played a storming set at Roadburn last year, which this devout scribe was more than happy to suffer ‘Sleep’ deprivation to experience, and their debut album “Don't Hear it... Fear it!!” is just out on Rise Above Records. ASCS are Louis Comfort -Wiggett, Bill Darlington and Johnny Gorilla. Many of you will know Bill and Johnny’s other band Gorilla, who have been pumping out their Blue Cheerful vibes since the late nineties.

If 70’s proto-metal is your thing; Sir Lord Baltimore, Budgie and Buffalo get you all hot under your giant pointy collar, and you can handle a big psychedelic dose of garage punk into the bargain, then make sure you dig the Shovell!"

For the comp I have used a brilliant Buffalo cover which is the final track on Cloudesley Shovell's recent debut album "Don't Hear It...Fear It" (Rise Above Records). I have taken this opportunity to ask Bill Darlington a few exclusive questions, as he has drummed for all three of the UK bands I have used in this volume, it seemed a good idea:

Q1. Hi Bill. Could you tell us how, why and where you got into being a rock musician?

"I started playing the drums when I was 18 and from the off I was in a psych band called 'Vibraphone' with Louis (now in Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell) funnily enough! I like all styles of music but rock was where I wanted to be. I always wanted to be a drummer so I would get inspiration from the rock greats such as...Bonham, Moon, [Mitch] Mitchell."

Q2. Why did you choose drums? Have you played other instruments?

"Drums are my main instrument although, I do play a bit of guitar and bass. Like I said, I always wanted to be a drummer from an early age. I can remember at school I was pissed off that the music teacher chose a popular kid in my class to play the drums in a school play instead of me. I left home at 17 and lived with my then girlfriend in London. I've always been a tapper and she used to get so fucked off with it she threatened to get me a drum kit which she did for my 18th birthday. My neighbors hated me!"

Q3. What bands were you learning from back then?

"When I picked up the sicks for the first time I was trying to play along with The Who and Sabbath. I would have to say that Bill Ward's drumming was a massive help to me as it was easier to play along with than Moonie, as Bill is more direct and not all over the place. Two very different drummers but equally as cool!"

Q4. What UK bands were you watching live early on that influenced you?

"I have two older brothers that are musicians. My oldest brother Jay plays keyboards and my other brother Spud plays the bass. From about the age of 13 I used to go watch them rehearse or play live in London. They both played in a 60s garage band called Tilt-a-Whirl. That band was another influence on me to play the drums. When I started to play I was older and living in London and seeing a lot of bands that were actually very shit so it was hard to be influenced by anything live. 

One band that had a big impact on my drumming was The Morticians (both John and Louis from The Shovell). They were super heavy and loud!! John's brother Simon played a double kit and he produced a huge sound that reminded me an engine with the throttle jammed on!"

Q5. For each one, could you tell us a little about how you came to play with these three bands:

a) Josiah
"I played with Josiah first out of all three bands but only for a short while as they were based in Leicester and I am all the way down in Hastings and that's a long walk! I guess it came about as they needed a drummer at short-notice so they contacted me. I did a bunch of gigs with them and recorded a single."

b) Gorilla

"I ended up in Gorilla as they were having trouble with drummers at the time (exploding incidents, alien abduction, bizarre gardening accidents, pre opp, post opp etc...) and I had been friends with both John and Sarah for a while. It just seemed like the done thing as we all had the same musical interests and I loved Gorilla's sound. Heavy, loud and dirty!"

c) Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovell

"ASCS came about by Louis, John and myself having a few beers one night and talking about putting a band together for something to do other than drinking beer and talking about putting a band together so that's what we did!! We started off playing a few covers like The James Gang - Walk Away and Mountain - Mississippi Queen. It sounded good and right so we decided to write our own and here we are."

Q6. What do you see as some of the notable musical differences between those three?

Bill & Tony McPhee
 of Groundhogs
"Josiah and Gorilla were tarred with the term "Stoner Rock" but I think that's a shit way of explaining this type of music as it's a bit lose. The term should probably be "Sabbath Rock" as that's what people are really referring to me thinks?!!

Josiah and Gorilla were similar in their direction but were quite different in sound as Josiah reminded me of Sabbath but Gorilla reminded me of Sabbath with the higher octane feel of The Who or The MC5. Gorilla are more Sabbath Rock - on speed!! I used to think that playing in Gorilla was like running a marathon and having to carry your drum kit home after!! Fuckin' knackering.

ASCS to me are like no other band I've been in. We are more into the likes of Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust, Bang etc than just Sabbath or MC5. It has a mixture of everything I have done in the past with the other two bands, but tighter. It has the thick riffs of Sabbath and the messy rawk n roll of The Stooges, MC5 with a huge dollop of the craziness of Sir Lord Baltimore. I guess I learnt a lot with the other two bands, but with ASCS I can put it all (and then some!) into practice."

Q7. The Shovell have made one excellent album so far, and had a lot of great support slots with the likes  of The Groundhogs, Orange Goblin and Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats. What's the plan for ASCS from here?

"Yeah, it's been a great couple of years with The Shovell! We've had a single and LP out that has had a lot of thumbs up from people across the globe, made us proud! We've also had the pleasure of some ace shows supporting some top bands. We never set out to do all of this wonderful shit but I'm mighty glad we have!

We're currently rehearsing new material for our 2nd LP which we hope to have out in the Autumn. It's sounding meaty as hell and I can't wait to get it down while it's still fresh. We have a few shows in Spain coming up next month and some locally. Also, we're playing at The Desert Fest (I'm going as Spotted Dick and Custard!!) Checkout our Facebook for more gig info."

Thanks Bill!
Kraayeveld were a spin-off from a long-running band called The Bintangs who sounded a little like The Netherlands' answer to The Rolling Stones. After initial success with some singles, founding members Frank Kraaijeveld (bass, vocals) and Arti Kraaijeveld (guitar, vocals) left Bintangs to form their own band Kraayeveld, and the track I have used here is a live studio recording of them jamming a Bintangs track 'Hound is on the Run'. I think this version is far superior to the Bintangs one, it's rawer and heavier, which is also how the main difference between Bintags and Kraayeveld in general is usually described. Later, Kraayeveld changed it's name back to The Bintangs, to confuse matters, and now-days the only original member left in The Bintangs is Frank Kraaijeveld. Apologies for the not so great sound quality. I had to use the youtube audio, I have asked the contributer for the file but no luck as yet... but thanks to him anyway, and thanks to Walter himself for showing me this wicked track.

Smok Smoczkiewicz -  Bill Steer - Ludwig Witt
Firebird (final album lineup)
Track 13 is another cover, this time from the UK's Firebird. The band was masterminded by Bill Steer in 1999, who's career started out whilst a teenager in the 80s, in the extremely influential metal bands Napalm Death and Carcass. He remained the only constant member of Firebird, which has had a rotating lineup of musicians from similarly-minded bands like Cathedral, The Quill, Spiritual Beggars and Blind Dog. Carcass still plays and is recording new material right now, but Bill's time in recent years has been equally taken up in classic/retro bands like Firebird, Gentleman's Pistols and a recently re-formed Angel Witch. Firebird split in 2011 but during their 10 years plus they played Roadburn thrice, in 2003, 2009 and 2010. For this comp I have chosen a storming cover of a Humble Pie classic, Four Day Creep, which was on Firebird's fifth album, 'Grand Union' (2009). The term 'Four day creep' derives from the phrase 'fore day creep, which was a line in the blues standard 'Outside Woman Blues' originally recorded by Blind Joe Reynolds in 1929. 'fore day meaning at night (before day), and the creep being an untrustworthy lover up to no good, creeping around at night. 'Outside Woman Blues' was covered by Cream on their second album Disraeli Gears.

For the final track, which gives this comp it's title, I have used something I heard on a fantastic compilation of rare Dutch psych 45s called 'Fantasio Daze', which I totally recommend. Opus made this cover of The American Breed (link) in 1969. It was released on Vinyl in 2000 and has since had a CD edition too. I have adapted the liner notes from the LP/CD and found a little more info via RYM: "Opus, not to be confused with the Nijmegan group of the same name, spent the years '66 to '69 on the verge of breaking through nationally, along with another Maastricht band called The Sharons with which they shared members Pierre Beckers, Jo Robeers and Frans Theunisz. Much of the Opus appeal was due to the composing and singing talent of [Englishman] Tom Winters and successful singles included 'Gotta Get High' and 'Baby, Come On'. Other members included Chrit Mandigers (keys), Rob Schaade (bass) and Frans Theunisz (drums). Following the departure of Winter, the band unfortunately did not succeed any longer. Members of both The Sharons and Opus re-appeared soon after as 'Windmill' and released a few singles on the Limburg-based Killroy label. In the late 70s Tom Winters made some solo singles, and another band appeared with Pierre Beckers and Erwin Musper of Windmill, called Partner".

'Master of My Fate' is a great song, with a lot of Beatles-ish pop sensibility and it has great guitar lines I think would sound awesome in a heavier cover, if anybody is up for it...

Thanks for listening, Rich.


01. Jan Hollestelle - Creepy [Intro] (1973)
02. The Atomic Bitchwax - Play The Game [live Atomic Rooster cover] (2001)
       live at roadburn festival 2001
03. Temple - Triple Guitar (1971)
04. Josiah - Got This Thing On The Move [Grand Funk Railroad cover] (2005)
       single, and fan album 'rare cuts'
05. Big Wheel - Upside Down (1970)
06. Gorilla - Limb From Limb [Motörhead cover] (2006)
       compilation 'wild sound from the past dimension'
07. The Playboys - I'm The Looser (1970)
08. The Tower - Slow Motion Mind (1968)
09. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover] (2011)
       album 'hemisphere of shadows'
10. Warehouse - Wild one (1972)
       album 'powerhouse'
11. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Bean Stew [Buffalo cover] (2012)
       album 'don't hear it...fear it'
12. Kraaijeveld - Hound is on the Run (1971)
       studio jam
13. Firebird - Four Day Creep [Humble Pie cover] (2009)
       album 'grand union'
14. Opus - Master of My Fate (1969)
15. Jan Hollestelle - Creepy [outro] (1973)
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