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Monthly Archives: January 2008


From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 31st January):


Birth

1956. Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols and Public Image Limited) born John Lydon in Finsbury Park, London.


On Tour

1970. Ex-Bee GeeRobin Gibb‘s performance at a non-stop two day pop festival is cut short after only 30 minutes when fans break through fences and mob the stage. The singer, now pursuing a solo career, is taken away in an armoured van while security guards grapple with the fans. He had been paid $ 10,000 New Zealand (approx. £ 5,000) for a 90 minute set at the Redwood Park Festival in Swanson, a suburb of Aukland. He completed the set the next night after organisers appealed to fans for calm. No chances were being taken as he appeared with two security men on stage and four guard dogs in the wings.


In Court

1992. An inquest in Guildford, Surrey hears Eric Clapton tell how his son, Conor Clapton, died last year in a fall from the 53rd floor flat in New York where he lived with his mother Lori Del Santo. A pathologist’s report likened the impact of the fall to being hit by a car travelling at 100 m.p.h. Coroner Michael Burgess records a verdict of accidental death.


In Hospital

1966. Heinz has an emergency operation for appendicitis at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. It’s thought the 23 year old singer will be out of action for three or four weeks. A Scottish tour, due to start next week, has been cancelled and all other concert dates put on hold.


On Television

1986. Half Man Half Biscuit pull out of a scheduled appearance on “The Tube” tonight to watch their football team, Fourth Division Tranmere play Scunthorpe. Producers of the Channel 4 pop show offered to fly the group back to the studio for their set or video tape the game but singer Nigel Blackwell said, “We’d love to do ‘The Tube’ but there’s no way I could miss a Tranmere home match”.


Death

1980. Les Prior (Albertos Y Lost Trios Paranoias) dies of leukemia after a long illness.


Music Paper From Today
 
 0131di70.jpg
 
1970. The front cover of Disc and Music Echo dated today.


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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 30th January):


Birth

1959. Mark Eitzel (American Music Club) born in Walnut Creek, California.


On Tour

1973. Kiss make their live debut at the Coventry Club in Queens, New York. Although they’re wearing makeup it’s more in the vein of the New York Dolls than what we’ll later come to know and love.


In Court

1998. Toni Braxton files for bankruptcy protection in a Los Angeles court. The move follows a suit she filed against her record label, LaFace Records, eight weeks ago aimed at getting out of her contract which limits her to less than 35 cents an album, far less than other platinum selling artists. The bankruptcy protection allows her to void any contract that pays her less than market rates and is the same tactic used by TLC in their dispute with LaFace in 1995. TLC won in the end, forcing LaFace to pay them a multi-million dollar advance or lose them.


In Hospital

1977. Roy Harper is hospitalised with toxoplasmosis, reportedly after giving a sheep the kiss of life.


On Television

1988. “Saturday Night Live” (U.S.A.) with musical guest Robbie Robertson.


Death

1982. Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins dies of cancer in Houston, Texas, aged 69.


Music Paper From Today
 
0130di71.jpg
 
1971. The front cover of Disc and Music Echo dated today. 
 


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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 29th January):


Birth

1944. One time Rolling Stones manager and Immediate label boss, Andrew Loog Oldham born.


On Stage

1998. Paul Simon‘s first musical, “The Capeman” premieres on Broadway in New York. It’s the story of 16 year old Salvadore Agron who stabbed two other kids in 1959 in Hell’s Kitchen, only blocks away from the theatre. About 60 protestors from Parents Of Murdered Children stage a demonstration outside the theatre urging people to boycott the show.


In Court

1986. At the end of a High Court case lasting more than six months, Elton John and Bernie Taupin are awarded £ 5 million in back royalty payments from Dick James Music. Although the court found in their favour for that aspect of the case, their allegation that their 1967 contracts were unfair and signed under “undue influence” was not upheld.


On The Road

1982. Gary Numan runs out of fuel in his Cessna Centurion aircraft and makes a crash landing on the A 3051 road at Botley near Southampton. The 23 year old singer and three passengers, including his father, escaped injury. They were flying back to Eastleigh Airport after attending the MIDEM convention in Cannes, France but ran into trouble with only miles to go. Numan decided to ditch in a field but overshot and, in avoiding a cottage, ended up on the road. Cars were forced to brake to avoid an accident but no-one was hurt.


On Television

1983. Sight and Sound In Concert (U.K.) – UB. 40.


Death

1992. Blues legend Willie Dixon dies of a heart attack in Burbank, California.


Daily Babble

Late getting the blog online today. Spent most of the time trying to sift through the wreckage of a hard drive for my most up-to-date version of The Rockmine Almanac. I had been building it on my Mac Mini until the hard drive died back in July. Even now, I’m managing to rescue files from it. The good news is that I found a spreadsheet of events that I’d mislaid – with 59,000 entries on it!
 
I’m also trying to get my spreadsheet of TV listings up to date. Due to some compatibility problem, large entries in fields have been turned to strange symbols and the original data seems to be lost. Thankfully, everything is backed up to text files but I’ll still need to take every text file and add them all to a new spreadsheet. The last one had 10,498 listings (excluding Top Of The Pops). It will be intriguing to see how large it is when it’s fully compiled.
 
The other day, I managed to find a pic of John Lennon’s Austin Maxi after it had been taken to Tittenhurst Park. It was on an Austin Rover site but the owner didn’t know where the image had come from. As a result, I thought I’d drop it in to the page on my site about John and the Lawson Memorial Hospital autograph. It adds to the confusion a bit though. There are stories that the car was set on a plinth in the gardens and also that it was crushed. This is either pre both events or there’s no substance to either story.
 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 28th January):


Birth

1945. Robert Wyatt born in Bristol, England.


On Tour

1968. The Small Faces, The Who and singer Paul Jones are thrown off a plane travelling from Adelaide to Sydney. The pilot radios ahead to Melbourne where he makes an unscheduled stop to decant the pop stars who are met by police. An airline official said the groups had been drinking, abused a passenger and reduced at least one hostess to tears. The stars and their entourage – 19 in total – were delayed three hours before being allowed to continue their journey accompanied by security men. Paul Jones said the trouble had started because they had been ignored while other passengers were being served by hostesses. He went on to say that he had been called a “scruffy little man” by one and insisted he saw no signs of any damage.


In Court

1968. Unaware of her husband’s problems on the other side of the world, Roger Daltrey‘s wife Jacqueline sues for divorce. Up to this point, fans were unaware that he had been married for four years with a three year old son.


In Hospital

1984. Michael Jackson leaves the Brotman Memorial Hospital after treatment for his scalp burns. Media coverage of his accident boosts sales of “Thriller” by 700,000 in a few weeks, a remarkable feat for a 13 month old album. Aides to the mega-star announce they will make a film of the accident available to dispell any rumours surrounding it.


On Television

1956. Elvis Presley makes his national television debut on the Dorsey Brothers’ “Stage Show” presented by Jackie Gleason on CBS. CBS are inundated with phone calls and letters about the performance during which Gleason describes Elvis as “behaving like a sex maniac”.


Death

1983. Billy Fury is found unconscious at his home in London’s St. John’s Wood by his girlfriend, Lisa and his manager, Tony Reid. He is taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in West London but dies from a heart attack soon after.


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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 26th January):

Birth

1957. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen) born in Nijmegen, Holland.


On Tour

1970. After five consecutive shows at the Civic Auditorium in Honolulu, Hawaii, Tom Constanten quits The Grateful Dead. No-one tries to talk him out of it.


In Court

1973. 23 year old Stuart Alan Brasier becomes the first person in Britain to be convicted of a crime under the Dramatic And Musical Performers Act for bootlegging live performances by pop/rock groups. He’s fined £ 480 at a court in Wolverhampton and ordered to pay it before finishing a jail sentence, or face three months being added to his term. Although Brasier’s tapes had been sent as far as Australia, his lawyer said he was still to make a profit. Only £ 99.50 had been made from the sale of the illegal recordings but the equipment had cost £ 170.00.


In Hospital

1965. Freddie Garrity (Freddie And The Dreamers) and his road manager, Norman Ball, are injured when their car, driven by Ball, is in collision with another in Manchester. Both men are taken to hospital suffering from head injuries. Freddie is released the same day after treatment.


On Television

1958. The Ed Sullivan Show (U.S.A.) – Ted Lewis – “Stepping Out With A Memory”, “K-K-K-Katy”, “Tiger Rag”; Billie Myles – “The Joker”; Duke University Glee Club – “Prayer”, “Alma Mater”; Jimmie Rodgers – “Oh, Oh, I’m Falling In Love”, “Long Hot Summer”; Buddy Holly & The Crickets – “Oh Boy”.
 
Buddy Holly had been booked to perform two songs but during rehearsals Ed Sullivan said that “Oh Boy” was too raunchy to be included in the show. Buddy insisted and was cut to one number with poor lighting and a lower volume than normal. During the performance there’s obvious tension with Holly seeming angry and agitated, possibly due to being introduced as Buddy Holled!  


Death

1998. Blues drummer S.P. Leary dies in a Chicago hospital from cancer aged 67.


Now Playing

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 25th January):


Birth

1949. Punk poet John Cooper Clark born in Salford, Manchester.


On The Road

1961. Bob Dylan travels to Greystone Hospital in New York to see his idol, Woody Guthrie. In the next few days (probably the 27th) he visits Woody’s home in Howard’s Beach. Despite Guthrie’s wife, Marjorie, not being at home he blags his way in and spends some time teaching young Arlo Guthrie some harmonica.


In Court

1971. George Harrison‘s solicitor, Mr. Martin Polden, appears on his behalf at Wells Street Magistrates Court to plead guilty to a charge of “driving without reasonable consideration”. The guitarist is charged with driving his Mercedes into the legs of a policeman who had signalled him to stop in West London on September 3rd 1969. Magistrate Iain Mclean, presiding, postpones sentence until February 23rd to allow George time to find his driving licence which has been lost.


In Hospital

1971. “god” (with a lower case “g” for humility) is born at French Hospital in San Francisco. Parents Grace Slick and Paul Kantner may not have intended things that way but after a painful labour with only one valium that’s the name Grace tells the nurse anxious to fill up the new baby certificate that the hospital gives every mum post delivery. After Grace tells the nurse, the nurse calls the “San Francisco Chronicle” to expose the blasphemy. When the time comes to register the birth, the baby girl is given her intended name of China. Even with China, Grace couldn’t win. The press pointed out that Michelle Phillips had previously called her daughter, “Chynna”. Years later, in her autobiography, “Somebody To Love?”, Grace says if she’d known about Chynna, she’d probably have called China, “Xlopdy”.


In The Press

2001. The issue of “Nature” magazine published today describes the discovery of a “bizarre predatory dinosaur” found recently on Madagascar by Professor Scott Sampson of Utah University and his team of palaeontologists. The creature, which lived between 65 and 70 million years ago stood about 3 feet high and weighed about 80 lbs. It has been named Masiakasaurus knopfleri. Masiaka means vicious in Malagasy; saurus, of course, is Greek for lizard and knopfleri is in honour of Mark Knopfler whose music the team were listening to when they found the fossils. The exact dates of the discovery and subsequent naming are unknown. On hearing of the honour yesterday, Knopfler is quoted as saying, “I’m really delighted. It’s a very special honour. The fact that it’s a dinosaur is certainly apt.” and “I’m happy to report that I’m not in the least bit vicious”.


Death

1986. Albert Grossman who managed Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin dies from a heart attack during a flight to London.


Daily Babble

Finally got something on eBay for the first time in more than 6 months! The tankard I discovered hidden in the dining room a few days ago has been polished up and is online.
 
In case you didn’t see that days blog, it was presented by Island Studios in London to engineer Brian Humphries when he left to work for Pink Floyd at their Britannia Row Studios.



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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 24th January):


Birth

1947. Warren Zevon born in Chicago, Illinois.


On Tour

1982. UFO‘s tour date for tonight should have been Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens but was changed to the city’s Top Rank after the roof of Sophia Gardens collapsed under the weight of snow two weeks ago.


In Court

1979. Mick Jagger wins a possession order, for his gardener’s cottage, at the High Court in London. Mick has been trying to sell his estate at Newbury, Berkshire, for £ 200,000 but has been unable to finalise it as the gardener, Raymond White, has refused to move out. The sale will now go ahead although the singer has said he will not enforce the order for 28 days.

Meanwhile, in a Los Angeles court, a judge rules that Mick is the father of an 8 year old girl born to actress Marsha Hunt. The ruling is heard in a closed hearing attended only by lawyers acting for the parties involved. Details of the settlement for child support will not be released.


In Hospital

2002. Freddy Fender (real name Baldemar Huerta) undergoes a kidney transplant at University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. The 64 year old singer/songwriter has diabetes, which could be the cause of the kidney failure. The kidney used in the two hour procedure was donated by Fender’s 21 year old daughter Marla Huerta Garcia who had it removed earlier in the day. Fender is expected to remain in hospital for up to a week. His daughter will be released in a day or two.


On Television

Top Of The Pops (U.K.) – Presented by Jimmy Saville featuring Andy Williams – Solitaire; Golden Earring – Radar Love; Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes – The Love I Lost (Pan’s People dance to the disc); Lulu – The Man Who Sold The World; Medicine Head – Slip & Slide; Mud – Tiger Feet; Stevie Wonder – Livin’ For The City (Pan’s People dance to the disc); Suzi Quatro – Devil Gate Drive; The Stylistics – Rock ‘n’ Roll Baby (Pan’s People dance to the disc); The Sweet – Teenage Rampage. 


On The Strip

1980. A billboard is erected on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to promote Pink Floyd‘s “The Wall”. Every day workmen add another brick until the wall is complete.


Death

1986. George McCrae (“Rock Your Baby”) dies of cancer.


Daily Babble
 
After weeks of promising myself I’d update the John Lennon Lawson Memorial Autograph page on my site, I finally got it done last night. I’ve covered the event in far more detail so even if you’re not interested in buying it, check it out for the full story.  
 
 
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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 23rd January):


Birth

1950. Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) born in San Jose, California.


On Tour

1996. Madonna‘s driver and secretary are detained by Argentinian police after a fan is knocked down outside the singer’s Hyatt hotel. Madonna was not in the car. No charges are being brought against the driver as the young man who was knocked over is unhurt.


In Court

1978. Billy Peek, 37 year old lead guitarist with Rod Stewart‘s band is found not guilty of possessing cannabis at Glasgow Sheriff Court. The verdict comes more than a year after he was arrested and charged at the city’s Albany Hotel during a drug squad raid that found the stub of a reefer in his room. A road manager with the group, 22 year old Arthur Kemish, was also found not guilty of similar charges. The raid had taken place on January 4th 1977 when Rod and his band were playing the city. As he left the court, Peek complained that clearing his name had been a nightmare and cost him two trips back to Glasgow from his home in America. He said, “I could have pleaded guilty a year ago and saved myself all the trouble and expense”. Had he done so, a drugs conviction could possibly have barred him from entering the U.K.


On The Road

1963. Janis Joplin quits her course at the University Of Texas and hitch-hikes to San Francisco with Chet Helms. Within a couple of days she’s playing coffee houses and hanging out with Jorma Kaukonen, David Crosby and Nick Gravenites.


On Television

1987. Tyne Tees Television announces that it has banned Jools Holland from presenting “The Tube” for six weeks after he swore on television during a live “plug” advertising the programme on Friday, january 16th.


Death

1978. Terry Kath (Chicago) is fooling around with a gun at a friend’s house. He boasts that it isn’t loaded by pointing it at his head and pulling the trigger. Unfortunately it is loaded and Kath is dead.


Daily Babble

Been trying to tidy the dining room for redecoration. It’s been used as a dumping ground for ages. Saw an old pewter tankard on the dining table. Thought it was one that my dog won more than 20 years ago. It wasn’t. It has the 1970′s palm-tree Island Records logo engraved into it and the wording: “To Brian Humphries. Wishing you all the luck in the future from all the gang at Island Studios Hammersmith”. As far as I can work out this was given to Humphries on leaving Island Studios to join Britannia Row.
 
At Island, Humphries was engineer for Nirvana, McDonald and Giles, Mott The Hoople, Black Sabbath‘s “Paranoid” and Traffic‘s, “John Barleycorn Must Die”, “Welcome To The Canteen”, “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” and “When The Eagle Flies”. On moving to Britannia Row, he was engineer for Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here” and “Animals”.
 
My big problem at the moment is that I can’t remember where I got it. I must have had it at least 17 years. Maybe it will come to me but in the meantime, I think it may go up on eBay very soon! 
 

Now Playing

Gnac – “Friend Sleeping” (1999)

The first instrumental album by Mark Tranmer of The Mongolfier Brothers. 10 distinct soundscapes that play with the listener. The opening title track starts as experimental and opens into a multi-layered cinematic piece perfectly at home in a black and white work of the Nouvelle Vague. It’s followed by “Hennebert Sleeve”, which sounds like a snippet of a tone poem. Carefully intervowven rhthmic cadences that are somewhat skewed by the addition of a beat-box mid way through the track. “Continental Balcony Twilight” doesn’t quite know which country its set in, Spanish guitars evoking warm evening air melting into French streets. The general feel is kept until “Nanani Togarashi” which initially seems annoyingly out of place but leaves you wanting more. It seems oddly childlike, even humourous.

“Stepping Aside”, at almost 10 minutes, may well be the most complete work on the album and the only one that can be described as truly ambient. Carefully layered clever themes, rekindling memories of other things. Its end is way too abrupt. You’re left wanting so much more. There’s a feeling that Tranmer has taken one work and, much like William Burroughs, cut it up, rearraninging it into a completely different piece. Some tracks, seemed snipped from their middle and end, others merely stop. An interesting, challenging work of great depth if you have time to explore it.  


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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 22nd January):

Birth

1931. Sam(uel) Cooke born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was one of eight children born to Rev. Charles Cook and his wife, Annie Mae.


On Tour

1982. Tonight’s Last Resort gig at Kings Lynn’s Regis Rooms is called off at the last minute due to equipment failure. This doesn’t please a busload of their skinhead fans from London who look for something else to do. They decide on a visit to the local Stanley Arms which ends with one local youth being stabbed in the stomach. Police round all the skinheads up onto their bus and arrest the lot of them although no-one is charged with any offence. Publican Michael Mularky said the skins charged into his pub wielding milk bottles but they claim they were provoked by local “soul-boys”. The stabbed youth, who isn’t named is later described as “comfortable” in hospital.


In Court

1973. A lawsuit is filed in Manhattan Supreme Court against John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Brought by Northern Songs Ltd and Maclen Music Ltd it seeks $ 1 million in damages claiming that Lennon violated a 1965 agreement in which both companies were granted exclusive rights to his compositions. The suit specifically refers to recent collaborations between John and Yoko and seeks one half ownership of the copyright of each work. It also cites Yoko and Lennon’s manager, Allen Klein, as having “unlawfully induced John to violate the February 1965 agreement”.


On The Race Track

1994. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is horrified as his racehorse, Joe Gillis, drops dead on the racetrack. It’s the third of his thoroughbreds to die on a course within the last year.


On Television

1967. The Rolling Stones appear on “Sunday Night At The London Palladium” (U.K.) to plug their latest single. After miming to “Let’s Spend The Night Together”, they refuse to join the rest of the performers on the revolving stage. This simple act is taken as an insult and the band are vilified in tomorrow’s papers.


Death

1997. Late in the evening, Billy Mackenzie (The Associates) is found dead in a shed close to the kennels where he kept his prize-winning whippet dogs at Auchterhouse, near Dundee in Scotland. He had hung himself.


Beyond The Grave

1998. Michael Hutchence‘s father, Kell, and brother, Rhett, scatter one-third of the singer’s ashes from a boat in Sydney Harbour. The remaining two thirds have been split equally between Michael’s mother Patricia Glassop and lover Paula Yates after a bitter dispute over who should have his remains.


Daily Babble

Hopefully, today will be a bit more sedate than yesterday. I had a TV interview in the afternoon for Scottish Television’s “North Tonight” about my sale of the John Lennon Lawson Memorial Hospital autograph. It had gathered some press coverage on Sunday with “The Mail On Sunday” carrying the story linked to Yoko refusing to give the rights for Lennon’s music to be used in a film about John in Scotland and their car crash. at least one other paper covered it then and others picked up on it yesterday.
 
Got a great phone call this morning from a woman whose mother-in-law was a waitress in a tearoom in Tongue. She served the Lennons and got a postcard of the village signed by both John and Yoko. It was as they were driving away from that tearoom towards Durness that John crashed the car. Another small piece in the jigsaw!


Now Playing

Magna Carta – “Lord Of The Ages” (1973)
 
One of my favourite albums of the early 70s. A progressive folk-rock classic. There was a wonderful time back then when you could go into a record shop and often pick your album just based on the cover. You knew a Roger Dean album cover was going to be wrapped around something interesting. This was no exception.
 
The first two tracks are the epitome of perfect English folk-rock and give no hint that you’re about to be hit with a 10 minute prog rock masterpiece in the title track. Then without warning we’re back to beautifully crafted folk-rock with no recognition of the fact they’ve just had a total prog freak-out! Lightweight, even humourous at times the rest of the album is a let-down despite being delightfully listenable. As background when writing the blog, it’s ideal. Gentle, carefully crafted almost easy-listening but with huge depth. If I was still 16, track 3 would be on a permanent loop!


© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 21st January):
Birth

1948. Singer/songwriter Mac Davis (writer of “In The Ghetto”) born in Lubbock, Texas.


On Tour

1965. The Animals are forced to cancel a show at the Apollo Theatre in New York’s Harlem when the U.S. Immigration Department refuses to let them play as part of a clamp-down on British bands.


In Court

1971. In the Appeal Court in London the three year sentence passed on Leapy Lea (real name Lee Graham) last October for wounding Anthony Stack, relief manager of the Red Lion Inn, Sunningdale is upheld. The three appeal judges described the sentence as “not a day too long”.. Also in court was Biana Dors’ husband, actor Alan Lake whose sentence of eighteen months for his part in the assault was also upheld.


In Hospital

1985. During a liver transplant operation on singer Matt Monro, doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge run into problems and have to abandon the transplant. Monro (54) was having the operation to remove a cancerous growth that had been found in his liver. Unfortunately, during the surgery, they found the cancer had spread. They will now try to treat the cancer with drugs.


On Television

1995. Rickie Lee Jones pulls out of Irish television’s “The Late Show” when the programme’s producers ban her from singing “The Alter Boy”, claiming it will cause deep religious offence.


Death

1984. Jackie Wilson dies aged 49 at a hospital in Mount Holley, New Jersey. The singer had been in a coma since he collapsed with a heart attack onstage at the Latin Casino in Camden, New Jersey on 25th September 1975.



Now Playing

Waking The Witch – “Yorkshire Boy”/”Spring Song” (2007)
 
In a bit of a hurry today and was told about this band last night. These two tracks are on their web site. Four girls, all playing acoustic guitars and singing. Both tracks differ widely. “Yorkshire Boy” harks back to 70′s folk-rock reminiscent of Lindisfarne and The Southerland Brothers & Quiver. In a packed pub, this could be a real stomper. “Spring Song” is haunting, ethereal and quietly bewitching, almost carrying with it the smell of warming fresh grass. Sadly it’s over all to quickly. Just like spring. Definitely a band to watch out for. Check out their web site for tour dates and a chance to hear them for yourself - www.wakingthewitch.co.uk   

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