Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1969-70)
- Steve Bailey --
- Ashman Reynolds (Bob Weston)
- Black Cat Bones (Terry Sims and Bob Weston)
- Childsplay (Ron Bending and Terry Sims)
- Chimera (Bob Weston)
- Fleetwood Mac (Bob Weston)
- The Habits (Ron Blending)
- The Kinetic (Bob Weston)
- Mythology (Terry
- Bob Weston (solo efforts)
- White Wine (Ron Bending)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: In from the Cold
Catalog: SES 97017
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor crease top left corner; small cut out hole top right (next to Sire logo); original inner sleeve
Catalog ID: 4557
I'm shallow enough to admit the unique album cover was what initially attracted my attention to this obscure LP ... there was just something odd about seeing four "hip" looking guys standing in a wheat field in front of an ancient windmill ... wonder if the recorded the album in Holland? Are there windmills in England? Turns out there are.
First off, I'll tell you numerous critics have written off the album as being ordinary and unimaginative. I'll take issue with them and tell you the set's far better than critics give it credit for. Sure, it falls short of '60s classic, but it's fairly enjoyable from start to finish. Featuring the talents of singer Steve Bailey, bassist Ron Bending, drummer Terry Sims and guitarist Bob Weston, Ashkan made their recording debut with 1969's "In from the Cold". In the UK the set was the first released by Decca's newly established progressive-oriented Neon label. In the States it saw a release on London's Sire subsidiary. Co-produced by Peter Sherter and Ian Sippin, to my ears much of the album bore an uncanny resemblance to early Gary Wright and Spooky Tooth. Propelled by Bailey's sandpaper growl and the band's penchant for screaming guitars, the comparison was reinforced on tracks such as 'Going Home', 'Take These Chains' and 'Out of Us Two'. Occasionally Bailey's growl sounded a bit like Joe Cocker ('Practically Never Happens',) while Bob Weston's 'Slightly Country' sounded like it was stolen from the early Steve Winwood and Traffic catalog. With the exception of the pedestrian blues number 'Backlash Blues' the entire album including the extended closer 'Darkness' was worth hearing. Besides, had Gary Wright and Spooky Tooth released something this good, it would have been a massive success ...
One album; no
singles ... that was it for the band's catalog.
1.) Going Home (Steve Bailey - Bob Weston) - 6:35 rating: **** stars
Free having jettisoned Paul Rodgers for Spooky Tooth's Gary Wright and
you'll get a feel for this jagged slice of blues-rock. My goodness
Bailey's growl of a voice could strip that acne right off your face.
And the one criticism I'd make is Bailey's growl was so ragged he actually
kind of dragged the song down a bit. A more tuneful singer could have
made this a major FM hit.
These Chains' was another tune where Bailey's performance bore more than a
passing resemblance to Spooky Tooth - particularly the little squeals he
added to his vocals. The song also gave drummer Terry Sims a chance to
grab the spotlight.
two blues-rocks, 'Stop (Wait and Listen)' found the band working in an
acoustic, folk-mode. An almost jarring transition, I have to admit
hearing Bailey tone it down was actually quite enjoyable.
might want to skip this one if you've ever heard the Nina Simone original
(recorded for 1967's "Nina Simone Sings the Blues").
It took their cover a while to kick into gear, but around the 3 minute mark
'Backlash Blues' found it's way out of the plodding introductory moves,
revealing an equally plodding blues song. Score - NIna Simone 1;
four scrawny English guys 0 ...
1.) Practically Never Happens (Steve Bailey - Bob Weston - Ron Bending - Terry Sims) - 5:56 rating: *** stars
of two group-penned compositions, 'Practically Never Happens' sounded like a
studio jam that never quite jelled. Kind of a Joe Cocker-meets-T
of Us Two' found the band returning to Free styled blues-rock.
Competent with Weston's guitar providing the song's highlights.
I put on a Traffic album by mistake?
a song off with weather sound effects isn't the most original concept in the
world. The good news is that about 90 seconds into 'Darkness'
the song revealed the album's prettiest performance; well until you got
about halfway through the song and the contractually required late-'60s jam
session section kicked in. Once again the sound reminded me of
Gary Wright and Spooky Tooth, but the typical bombast was kept largely in
check this time around.
Bailey seems to have completely disappeared - certainly someone out there knows his story.
Together and apart Bending and Simms played in a number of follow-on bands including Childsplay.
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