Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Galileo 7 New single, album and French Tour 2016

Out Now - Galileo 7 single & album

The 28th of March sees the release of the new single by The Galileo 7, Cruel Bird c/w Nowhere People, the live(ish) album Live-O-Graphic closely followed by the start of a ten date French tour.

To order these please visit the Galileo 7 website

Tour Dates

31/03 - CAEN at Portobello Club
01/04 - ALBI at Jour de Fête
02/04 - PERPIGNAN at Vinochoppe
03/04 - TOULOUSE at La Dernière Chance
04/04 - ST ETIENNE at Thunderbird Lounge
05/04 - GRENOBLE at Maily's Club
06/04 - TOURS at Bar A Mine
07/04 - CLERMONT - FERRAND at Bombshell Club
08/04 - BOURGES at Murrayfield Pub
09/04 - LILLE at L'Imposture Bar

Also on the 30th March, will be a Galileo 7 radio take over on RCV FM, hosted by Eon Ballinger. 

Followed by a "homecoming" date at The Moth Club in London on April 16th with The Masonics & Mindreaders.

You can stay in touch with the Galileo 7 at the obligatory Facebook Page

Whilst I'll be tweeting on the road from my Twitter account @paulmossuk 
Come join me with the hashtag #G7tour

And we have badges.


Clouds - 1-2-3


You would like to think that if in the second half of the sixties, your band got a support slot with Jimi Hendrix, a regular spot at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street, a Billboard Magazine review that screams “This band will be a giant”, cited as a big influence by Rick Wakeman & Keith Emerson, name checked by David Bowie & Pete Townsend, oh, and signed by Brian Epstein, that your place would be reserved in the Rock & Roll hall of fame.

Scotland 1964 - The Premiers were a soul band that included Ian Ellis (vocals) and Harry Hughes (drums) that were well known on the circuit. In an effort to boost their success they added Billy Ritchie on organ, who’s busy and flamboyant musicianship quickly rubbed the other musicians up the wrong way causing their departure, thus leaving just Ian, Harry, Billy and a rather large dilemma.

London 1966 – Ian Ellis had moved to bass, the trio had moved to London and renamed themselves 1-2-3. While their new line-up and style had not worked on the Scottish Club circuit, they were quickly absorbed into the London scene and signed to Brian Epstein’s NEMS management company.

London 1967 – Following the death of Brian Epstein, Robert Stigwood takes control of NEMS and decides to send 1-2-3 on a cabaret tour of North England, fitting in around comedians, ventriloquists & jugglers.  

So on returning to London and seeing The Nice steal their thunder must have been almost as depressing as sharing a dingy Sheffield club dressing room with a comedy balloonist. Their fortune seemed on the upturn after being signed by future Chrysalis Label partner Terry Ellis who changed their name to Clouds.

Their first single, released on Island in 1969 is the very hard to come by “Make No Bones About It”, a superb pop song backed by the proto-prog “Heritage”.

Despite successful American tours and three superb albums, by 1971 Chrysalis were putting all their effort into Jethro Tull and the Clouds parted.

 1-2-3 has since been given a re-appraisal by Music magazines (for whatever that’s worth) for their precursory influence on progressive rock. The only official release is on “Up Above our Heads - Clouds 1966-71 2CD anthology” as a bonus track. Recorded live at The Marquee, 1-2-3’s version of Paul Simon’s “America” was recorded a year before it was released on Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bookends”. Paul had originally recorded a demo in London which passed to 1-2-3 by studio engineer Stu Francis, along with “Sound Of Silence” they performed this at the Marquee Club in April 1967. In the audience was Yes vocalist Jon Anderson, who would use this arrangement on their own version several years later.

It’s a shame Clouds do not have the same rock mag pass, the 2 CD anthology shows them to have a superb collection of songs, smartly captured with some great performances.
For more information on Clouds visit


Saturday, 19 March 2016

If you don't listen to what I say, you'll hear what I do

If you don't listen to what I say, you'll hear what I do

Sound limiters

After years of telling people I won't plug into sound limiters, welcome to the McGregor £15 100 watt amp. It sounds like a bag of farts but if you don't care about my equipment, I don't care about what you have to listen to. 

I have no problem playing quietly, in fact I'm happier performing at lower volume. I've even had shows where I can't hear what I'm playing over people talking, but if I get paid I'm fine with it. 

What I object to is the arbitrary cutting of power to my equipment which in the past has damaged it and left me a huge bill to cover. The last time this happened was about ten years ago, not because I was playing at any sort of volume (this was the aforementioned can't hear myself over the talking scenario) but every time someone shouted or laughed the power cut off. 

Cutting the power to an amp means the fan stops working, this stops keeping the power sink cool and can cause damage, which is what happened to me.

So please, keep the sound / noise indicators, ask the band to keep below it or even better give them a contract that means they won't get paid if thier music exceeds the levels, rather than destroying thier equipment. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Keith Emerson - maximum punk until the end

Keith Emerson – Maximum Punk until the end.


I’ve never understood the divine worship of the Sex Pistols mythological defeat of the dusty old guard, supposedly symbolised (with an equal amount of vitriolic hate) by Emerson Lake & Palmer. To me, using whips and daggers to play a Hammond organ was far more punk than nearly swearing on TV.

Yet again it’s time to bid bon voyage to another musical great; Keith Emerson was a rare musician whose ability was only bested by his high octane performance. His assault on his Hammond and the playing of a spinning piano to huge stadium audiences can be found on You Tube, however it’s time to close our eyes and listen to my favourite Keith Emerson album. 

Before ELP had even thought of its first Opus, Keith found fame with The Nice, formed out of PP Arnold’s backing band. Their debut “The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack” was released in the heady year of 1967, the LP is often mentioned in passing as the first proto-prog record, it is in my view one of the finest psychedelic albums of all time. Like many of its contemporary releases, Emerlist Davjack swerves from the lighter pop of the title track to the heavy rock of “Bonnie K” with alarming ease. Whilst the psychedelic box is ticked on tracks “Dawn” & “Flower King Of Flies”, while  “War & Peace” is a full on rock jazz freakout with classical undertones, overtones and wombling free tones. Side 1 concludes with a Hammond offensive on Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo à la Turk”, side 2 concludes proceedings with the Floyd meets Pretty Things epic “The Cry Of Eugene” which cuts out at around four and a half minutes, almost just before it reaches what you think will be the ultimate crescendo finish. This is more than just a historical curiosity; it’s a truly great under the radar album. 

My copy is a mono version which I believe is a dedicated mix rather than a fold down, having just listened to a stereo version for the first time. It has the splendid pink label which puts to rest a sometimes quoted “pub fact” that the Immediate grey labels were mono & the pink were stereo. 

Keith would move on to grander musical ventures in 1970 with ELP who were at the shaper end of progressive-rock throughout the upcoming decades, giving performances that made other Prog bands of the era look like a bunch of woodwork teachers playing to a pub filled with real ale enthusiasts. The albums “Pictures At An Exhibition” & “Brain Salad Surgery” will always have a soft spot in my record collection but my heart will always be with Emerlist Davjack, a genuine black eye kaleidoscope in all its raw punk beauty. 

Keith Emerson & The Nice are neatly summed up on an Immediate sampler of the album by the great late John Peel thusly:-

1967 was a strange year for pop music with groups experimenting with new sounds and bouncing on and off bandwagons with dizzying speed and agility. They were calling themselves ridiculous names and regretting it shortly. The Nice came together in a void and will be here when the others are in pantomime in Wolverhampton.

Or making butter commercials…


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Sir George Martin - All Quiet On The Mersey Front

Of all the well known producers that have graced recording studios over the last 100 years, none can compare to the exhaustive résumé of Sir George Martin, who sadly passed away yesterday aged 90.

George will always be synonymous with The Fab Four, but even before George Harrison insulted his tie, Martin had successfully turned round the fortunes of the Parlophone arm of EMI. Taking over  as A&R Manager of what was regarded as a label for EMI's insignificant acts in 1955, Martin had released a discography of hugely successful comedy acts from Peter Sellers, The Goons to the groundbreaking satirical "That Was The Week That Was". It was this pedigree of comedy and tape effects that would cement his relationship with The Beatles, who were themselves huge Goons fans.

The Rubber Soul to White album "golden years" contains many of the tape effects that many believe where at the vanguard of a new sound. In fact, Les Paul had used different recording speeds back in the 1950 on his album "The New Sound". The first Beatles track to use a tape different speed was also the first Beatle song that George Martin performed on.

Misery was recorded on the infamous day long session of February the 11th, on which the bulk of their debut album was recorded. On February 20th, with the Beatles out touring with Helen Shapiro, George Martin added some piano embellishment first heard after the line "I Remember all the little things we done..."  The standard speed for the twin track EMI BTR tape machines was 15 ips (inches per second). To facilitate playing the tricky piano run, the track was bounced onto another machine that ran at 30 ips, the overdub was then performed an octave lower at half the speed (15 ips), which when played back at the original speed gives the piano sound a unique timbre. Martin would again use this approach for the baroque piano solo in Rubber Soul's "In My Life".

His creative input into The Beatles is immeasurable, it was his idea for the crashing chord at the start of "A Hard Day's Night" which he also played piano on and starting "Can't Buy Me Love" with the chorus.

Together with a long and winding list of artists and industry awards that would need eight arms to hold them, George's work as an arranger and composer, leaves behind a staggering legacy of achievement.