Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-70)

- Steve Bailey -- vocals
- Ron Bending (aka Ron Bentley) -- bass, backing vocals 
- Terry Sims -- drums, percussion
- Bob Weston (RIP 2012) -- guitar, mandolin, vocals




- 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 Sims)
- Savoy Brown (Bob Weston)
- Howard Werth and the Moonbeams (Bob Weston) 

- Bob Weston (solo efforts)

- White Wine (Ron Bending)





Genre: blues-rock 

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  In from the Cold

Company: Sire/London

Catalog: SES 97017

Year: 1969

Country/State: UK 

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor crease top left corner; small cut out hole top right (next to Sire logo); original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4557

Price: $100.00

Cost: $50.00


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.

"In from the Cold" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Going Home   (Steve Bailey - Bob Weston) - 6:35   rating: **** stars

Imagine 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.
2.) Take These Chains   (Bob Weston) - 4:27
   rating: *** stars

'Take 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.
3.) Stop (Wait and Listen)   (Steve Bailey - Bob Weston) - 5:51
   rating: **** stars

After 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.
4.) Backlash Blues   (Nina Simone - Langston Hughes) - 7:42
   rating: ** stars

You 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 ...

(side 2)

1.) Practically Never Happens   (Steve Bailey - Bob Weston - Ron Bending - Terry Sims) - 5:56   rating: *** stars

One of two group-penned compositions, 'Practically Never Happens' sounded like a studio jam that never quite jelled.  Kind of a Joe Cocker-meets-T
2.) Out of Us Two   (Steve Bailey - Bob Weston - Ron Bending - Terry Sims) - 
5:43   rating: *** stars

'Out of Us Two' found the band returning to Free styled blues-rock.  Competent with Weston's guitar providing the song's highlights.
3.) Slightly Country   (Bob Weston) - 2:56
   rating: *** stars

Did I put on a Traffic album by mistake?
4.) Darkness   (Steve Bailey - Bob Weston) - 12:08
   rating: **** stars

Starting 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.

Weston became somewhat of a musical journeyman, recording a couple of solo projects, a couple of decent mid-'70s albums as a member of Savoy Brown, followed by a brief stint in Fleetwood Mac where he was fired after the rest of the band discovered he was having an affair with Mick Fleetwood's wife.  In the late-'70s he did a tour of duty with Howard Werth and the Moonbeams.   Only 64 years old, apparently suffering from cirrhosis, in January, 2012 was found dead in his London home.   It hasn't been updated in a while, but there's a nice Weston site at: