Week of October 16, 2005
Tony Connor - Drums
Keith Gemmell - Woodwind
Howard Werth - Guitar, Vocals
Trevor Williams - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Nick Judd - Keyboards
Bobby Keys - Sax
Jim Price - Horns
Audience (Polydor 583 065) 1969
(Reissued as The First Audience Album (RPM 148) 1995 - complete with detailed sleeve notes, it also contains a couple of out-takes; later reissued on CD (Luminous Records), with three bonus tracks from 1969.)
CD: Disconforme DISC 1941 CD, 2002
Friend's Friend's Friend (Charisma CAS 1012) 1970
(Reissued on CD (Virgin CASCD 1012 263 068) 1992)
The House On The Hill (Charisma CAS 1032) 1971
(Reissued on CD (Virgin CASCD 1032) 1990)
CD: Caroline Blue Plate/Charisma/Virgin, USA, CAROL 1815-2, 1991
Lunch (Charisma CAS 1054) 1972
(Reissued on CD (Virgin CASCD 1054) 1991)
You Can't Beat Them (Compilation) (Charisma CS 7) 1973
Unchained (Compilation) (Virgin CDVM 9007) 1992
alive&kickin'&screamin'&shoutin' Eclectic ECLCD1030, 2005
Belladonna Moonshine/The Big Spell (Charisma CB 126) 1971
Indian Summer/It Brings A Tear/Princess (PS) (Charisma CB 141) 1971
You're Not Smiling/Eye To Eye (Charisma CB 156) 1971
Stand By The Door/Thunder And Lightnin' (Charisma CB 185) 1972
A London-based band who were popular on the club and college circuit. After an album for Polydor, which is now rare and sought-after because it was withdrawn soon after its release, they were signed to Charisma after they were spotted by the label's boss Tony Stratton-Smith supporting Led Zeppelin at the Lyceum in London.
Friend's Friend's Friend and The House On The Hill were both creative and worthwhile rock albums. Both, especially the former, are dominated by the outstanding sax and flute playing of Keith Gemmell and Werth's strong and rather unusual vocals. Shel Talmy was lined up to produce the Friend's Friend's Friend album but declined at the last moment because he didn't like some of the material. He was looking for a big commercial album and while tracks like Belladonna Moonshine and It Brings A Tear probably appealed to him, many of the others (e.g. Raid) were more experimental and didn't. As a result the band ended up producing the album themselves. Their Indian Summer 45, which sold quite well in the States, and the House On The Hill album were produced by Gus Dudgeon. This had a cover version (I've Put A Spell On You) but otherwise, like the first two, was made up of self-penned material including the R&B Jackdaw and the gentler I Had A Dream.
The band toured America with The Faces and built up a good underground
following there. The line-up was augmented for the Lunch album by Nick
Judd and American session men Bobby Keys and Jim Price. This was probably their
magnum opus, but after its release personality rifts, particularly between Keith
Gemmell and the rest of the band, ripped them apart.
They also performed the score for the 'Bronco Bullfrog' movie (also released under the name 'Angel Lane') which was written by Howard Werth. It was a film shot in the East End with a team of kids from a theatre, none of whom were professional actors.
After the band split, Gemmel joined Sammy; Werth apparently went to the US in an attempt to make music with the surviving Doors members, before returning to the UK. In 1975, he recorded as Howard Werth and The Moonbeams. Trevor Williams went on to Jonathan Kelly's Outside, and then The Nashville Teens; Connor first joined Jackson Heights and then Hot Chocolate; and Judd joined first Sharks (May '73 - July '74), then The Andy Fraser Band, eventually becoming a session musician.
The Unchained compilation featured their Charisma material between
1970-72 and came with quite informative sleeve notes. They also had the
following cuts on compilations at the time Banquet on Rock Party
and House On The Hill on Way Into The 70s.
(Vernon Joynson / Lloyd Peasley / Jim McMaster)
Taken from The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson ISBN 1 899855 04 1
To Howard Werth's website:
Here you will find all the latest information on the reunited bands latest activities including the brand new album, alive&kickin'&screamin'&shoutin'!
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