After Tea


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1967)

- Ray Fenwick -- vocals, guitar 

- Martin Hage -- drums, vocals 

- Hans van Eijck -- keyboards, vocals 

- Polle Eduard -- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals 

 

  line up 2 (1967-68)

- Martin Hage -- drums, vocals 

- Hans van Eijck -- keyboards, vocals

- Polle Eduard -- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals 

NEW - Ferry Lever -- vocals, guitar (replaced  Ray Fenwick)

 

  line up 3 (1968-69)

- Martin Hage -- drums, vocals

- Polle Eduard -- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals (1967-71)

NEW - Frans Krassenburg -- vocals (replaced  Hans van Eijck)

- Ferry Lever -- vocals, guitar 

 

  line up 4 (1969)

- Polle Eduard -- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals 

NEW - Ule Grun -- keyboards  (replaced Hans van Eijck)

- Frans Krassenburg -- vocals

- Ferry Lever -- vocals, guitar 

NEW - Pierre van der Linden -- drums (replaced Martin Hage)

 

  line up 5 (1969-71)

- Polle Eduard -- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals 

NEW - Ilja Gort -- drums (replaced Pierre van der Linden

- Ule Grun -- keyboards 

- Ferry Lever -- vocals, guitar 

 

  line up 6 (1975)

- Polle Eduard -- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals

- Ferry Lever -- vocals, guitar

- Ilja Gort -- drums 

 

 

 

- Baroques (Ferry Lever)

- Boots (Ule Grun)

- Don't (Martin Hage)

- Drama (Polle Eduard - Ule Grun)

- Spencer Davis Group (Ray Fenwick)

- Focus (Pierre van der Linden)

- Polle Eduard (solo efforts)

- Ray Fenwick (solo efforts)

- Golden Earring (Frans Krassenburg)

- Ilja Gort (solo effort)

- IQ 150 (Ilja Gort)

- Just Colors (Ferry Lever)

- The Martinos

- Musicians Union Band (Ray Fenwick, Polle Eduard,

  Hans van Eijck, and Ferry Lever)

- The Rest 

- Steptrack (Polle Eduard and Uly Grun)

- The Tee Set (Hans van Eijck, Rob “Polle” Eduard,

  Ray Fenwick, and Ferry Lever)

- Trace (Pierre van der Linden)

 

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  National Disaster

Company: Decca

Catalog: XBY 846 504

Year: 1967

Country/State: Holland / UK / Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5967

Price: $100.00

 

In mid-1967 a series of festering musical and personal disagreements saw keyboardist Hans van Eijck, bass player Rob “Polle” Eduard, and UK singer/guitarist Ray Fenwick collectively kicked out of The Tee Set.  With the addition of former Don't drummer Martin Hage the quartet wasted no time getting over their professional setback.  Adopting the non-too-subtle name After Tea, within a matter of months they'd been signed to Decca and were enjoying a top-20 Dutch hit with the single 'Not Just a Flower In Your Hair' b/w 'The Time Is Night' (Decca catalog number AT 10 288).  

 

 

Based on the success of their debut 45, Decca management wasted no time rushing the group into the studio to record an album.  Produced by Bert Schouten, 1967's "National Disaster" offered up a an entertaining blend of mid-1960s freakbeat, pop, psych, and rock influences.  Largely written by van Eijck and Fenwick the song titles pretty much told you what was going on.  If tracks like the earlier single 'Not Just a Flower In Your Hair', ' In the Land of the Bubble Gum Tree' and 'The Time Is Nigh' weren't a reflection of the age of love, peace and lots of illicit substances, I don't know what was.  Sure it was hopelessly dated (probably within a matter of months of being released), but hearing a lyric like 'throw away your LSD' (off of 'The Time Is Nigh') had to make you laugh.  Equally good were the band's occasional stabs at blue-eyed soul ('National Disaster'), and more conventional rock ('Long Ago').  Hard to believe, but in spite of van  Eijck's heavily accented vocals, the combination of trippy studio effects (phasing, offbeat tempos, etc.) and some surprisingly strong material made for an album that stood up well against better know UK and US competitors.  

 

 

"National Disaster" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Gotta Get You in My Garden Girl      (Hans van Eijck) - 2:52

Opening up with some slashing fuzz guitar from Fenwick and van Eijck's stabbing organ chords, 'Gotta Get You in My Garden Girl' was definitely a mid-1960s timepiece, but what a great slice of flower-power/psychedelia.  Anyone who thought the genre only belonged to American and English bands need only listen to this one to see the error in their ways.  One of the album highlights.   rating: **** stars

2.) A Lot to Do       (Hans van Eijck) - 2:04

'A Lot to Do' found the band adding a Donovan-styled folk-rock edge to the mix.  I'm not a huge Donovan fan and normally songs with tribal percussion and flute solos don't do much for me, but I have to admit that this number was actually quite good.   rating: *** stars

3.) Not Just a Flower in Your Hair      (Hans van Eijck) - 2:41

Kicked along by the hardest rocking cello I've ever heard, every time I hear 'Not Just a Flower in Your Hair' I imagine lines of hippies dancing in drug induced ecstasy.   The kids chorus was a nice touch, though I've always wondered what the Dutch chorus translated as.    rating: *** stars

4.) In the Land of the Bubblegum Tree  ( Hans van Eijck - Ray Fenwick) - 2:13

As much as I love sunshine pop, 'In the Land of the Bubblegum Tree' was simply way over-the-top.  Sounding like some third rate children's fairytale, slapping the lead vocal with one of those 1930s-styled effects (the poor guys sounded like he was drowning in a small swimming pool), made this one sound like a bad Monty Python sketch.  Hideous.    rating: * star

5.) I'll Push You for an Answer  ( Hans van Eijck) -  2:10

The keyboard propelled 'I'll Push You for an Answer' found the band taking a step back towards a more mainstream rock sound.  Imagine a Dutch version of The Animals at their most commercial and you'll get a feel for this one.  Okay, but nothing special.    rating: ** stars

6.) Don't Waste Your Love on Me   ( Hans van Eijck - Langenbach) -  1:27

Again showcasing van Eijck's keyboards, 'Don't Waste Your Love on Me' was a nice, mid-tempo ballad with sort of a strange sea-shanty feel to it.   rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) National Disaster   (Ray Fenwick) -  2:04

The title track was an interesting change of pace; the band opting to take a stab at blue-eyed soul.  True van Eijck's heavily accented vocals were initially a little off-putting, but 'National Disaster' had a great melody and it had one of those irresistible choruses.  Very nice.    rating: **** stars

2.) Long Ago   ( Hans van Eijck) - 4:00

A precursor to future musical directions, 'Long Ago' featured a much heavier organ and guitar-propelled sound.  Unlike much of the collection that sported a very '1967' sound and feel, this performance was the closest they came to a hard rock performance, the results being surprisingly impressive.  Shame they didn't do more of this.    rating: **** stars

3.) The Time Is Nigh   ( Hans van Eijck - Ray Fenwick) - 3:27

Complete with manic, treated vocals and children's chorus (always loved the dorky '"la, la, la, la"), this one sounded like something The Small Faces might have done in the midst of a week long acid trip..  The time capsule lyrics were hysterical ("take your LSD and throw it away, because meditation is the thing for today".    rating: *** stars

4.) Play That Record   ( Hans van Eijck) - 4:44

'Play That Record' was a conventional commercial ballad.  The basic melody was actually quite pretty, but  van Eijck seemed uncomfortable in the song's vocal range and the heavy instrumentation didn't really help this one.    rating: ** stars

5.) Been a Sad Day    (Ray Fenwick) - 2:53

'Been a Sad Day' was another change of pace with the band trying their hand at a blues-influenced number.  It didn't do much for me the first couple of times I listened to it, but ultimately van Eijck's scat vocals (it sounded like he'd simply run out of lyrics), won me over.   rating: *** stars

6.) It's Too Late   ( Hans van Eijck) - 2:29

Showcasing van Eijck's stabbing keyboards and one of his best vocals, 'It's Too Late' found the band returning to a heavier rock sound.   rating: *** stars

 

Yeah, it wasn't perfected and hasn't dated all that well, but the set has a certain nostalgic charm and anyone into summer-of-love innocence would probably enjoy this one.

 

 

Unfortunately, during the recording sessions Fenwick's Dutch work permit expired, forcing him to return to the UK where he joined a late-inning version of The Spencer Davis Group.  He was quickly replaced by former Baroques and Tee Set alumnus Ferry Lever.  

 

The revamped band subsequently enjoyed a second top 40 Dutch hit:

 

 

- 1968's  'We Will Be There After Tea' b/w 'Lemon Coloured Honey Tree' (Decca catalog number AT 10 299).  

 

For hardcore fans, there's also a weird promotional 45.  Released as part of a promotional campaign supporting the Dutch Desiree jewelry company, "Desiree" was a 'split' single featuring a series of four song snippets divided between After Tea and Roek's Family.  The song fragments were intersperced with spoken word narratives  espousing the virtues of Desiree engagement rings.

 

no label - catalog number 68005

 

"Desiree" Track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Crazy Rocking Daisy (Roek's Family)

2.) The Wedding Song (After Tea)

 

(side 2)

1.) Long Time Ago (Roek's Family)

2.) Desiree Song (After Tea)

 

Unfortunately personality clashes with the rest of the band also saw van Eijck bail.  He subsequently returned to The Tee Set.  Drummer Hage was next to hit the door.  He was initially replaced by Pierre van der Linden (of future Focus fame), but van der Linden's stay was equally brief.  He was quickly replaced by Ilja Gort.

 

The collection never saw an American release, but In the UK it was leased to the small London-based Ace of Clubs label which inexplicably elected to add both sides of the band's sophomore 45 ( 'After Tea' and ' Lemon Coloured Honey Tree'), along with re-titling and repackaging the set as "After Tea"

 

 

 

 


Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  After Tea

Company: Ace of Clubs

Catalog: SCL-R 1251

Year: 1968

Country/State: Holland / UK / Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 2257

Price: $120.00

 

There's a pretty detailed description of this album found above so I'll just underscore "After Tea" is the UK release of the original Dutch "National Disaster" album.   Released in early 1968 by the British Ace of Clubs label, the UK version featured different artwork and included both sides of the band's second Dutch single 'After Tea' and 'Lemon Coloured Honey Tree'.   

 

"After Tea" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) After Tea   (Hans van Eijck - Ray Fenwick) - 

'After Tea' offered up another acid-tinged slice of flower-power/psychedelia.  At least to my ears it was actually better than similar sounding tracks on the LP ('Not Just a Flower In Your Hair', ' In the Land of the Bubble Gum Tree).   rating: *** stars

2.) Gotta Get You In My Garden Girl   (Hans van Eijck) -  2:52

Opening up with some slashing fuzz guitar from Fenwick and van Eijck's stabbing organ chords, 'Gotta Get You in My Garden Girl' was definitely a mid-1960s timepiece, but what a great slice of flower-power/psychedelia.  Anyone who thought the genre only belonged to American and English bands need only listen to this one to see the error in their ways.  One of the album highlights.   rating: **** stars

3.) A Lot To Do   (Hans van Eijck) - 2:04

'A Lot to Do' found the band adding a Donovan-styled folk-rock edge to the mix.  I'm not a huge Donovan fan and normally songs with tribal percussion and flute solos don't do much for me, but I have to admit that this number was actually quite good.   rating: *** stars

4.) Not Just a Flower In Your Hair   (Hans van Eijck) - 2:41

Kicked along by the hardest rocking cello I've ever heard, every time I hear 'Not Just a Flower in Your Hair' I imagine lines of hippies dancing in drug induced ecstasy.   The kids chorus was a nice touch, though I've always wondered what the Dutch chorus translated as.    rating: *** stars

5.) In the Land of the Bubble Gum Tree   (Hans van Eijck - Ray Fenwick) - 2:13

As much as I love sunshine pop, 'In the Land of the Bubblegum Tree' was simply way over-the-top.  Sounding like some third rate children's fairytale, slapping the lead vocal with one of those 1930s-styled effects (the poor guys sounded like he was drowning in a small swimming pool), made this one sound like a bad Monty Python sketch.  Hideous.    rating: * star

6.) I'll Push You for An Answer   (Hans van Eijck) - 2:10

The keyboard propelled 'I'll Push You for an Answer' found the band taking a step back towards a more mainstream rock sound.  Imagine a Dutch version of The Animals at their most commercial and you'll get a feel for this one.  Okay, but nothing special.    rating: ** stars

7.) Don't Waste Your Love On Me   (Hans van Eijck - Langenbach) - 1:27

Again showcasing van Eijck's keyboards, 'Don't Waste Your Love on Me' was a nice, mid-tempo ballad with sort of a strange sea-shanty feel to it.   rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) National Disaster   (Ray Fenwick) - 2:04

The title track was an interesting change of pace; the band opting to take a stab at blue-eyed soul.  True van Eijck's heavily accented vocals were initially a little off-putting, but 'National Disaster' had a great melody and it had one of those irresistible choruses.  Very nice.    rating: **** stars

2.) Long Ago   (Hans van Eijck) - 4:00

A precursor to future musical directions, 'Long Ago' featured a much heavier organ and guitar-propelled sound.  Unlike much of the collection that sported a very '1967' sound and feel, this performance was the closest they came to a hard rock performance, the results being surprisingly impressive.  Shame they didn't do more of this.    rating: **** stars

3.) The Time Is Nigh   (Hans van Eijck - Ray Fenwick) - 3:27

Complete with manic, treated vocals and children's chorus (always loved the dorky '"la, la, la, la"), this one sounded like something The Small Faces might have done in the midst of a week long acid trip..  The time capsule lyrics were hysterical ("take your LSD and throw it away, because meditation is the thing for today".    rating: *** stars

4.) Play That Record   (Hans van Eijck) - 4:44

'Play That Record' was a conventional commercial ballad.  The basic melody was actually quite pretty, but  van Eijck seemed uncomfortable in the song's vocal range and the heavy instrumentation didn't really help this one.    rating: ** stars

5.) Been a Sad Day   (Ray Fenwick) - 2:53

'Been a Sad Day' was another change of pace with the band trying their hand at a blues-influenced number.  It didn't do much for me the first couple of times I listened to it, but ultimately van Eijck's scat vocals (it sounded like he'd simply run out of lyrics), won me over.   rating: *** stars

6.) It's Too Late   (Hans van Eijck) - 2:29

Showcasing van Eijck's stabbing keyboards and one of his best vocals, 'It's Too Late' found the band returning to a heavier rock sound.   rating: *** stars

7.) Lemon Coloured Honey Tree   (Hans van Eijck - Ray Fenwick) - 

In spite of the title, kicked along by van Eijck's keyboards and Martin Hage's overlooked drumming 'Lemon Coloured Honey Tree' was a great slice of blue-eyed soul.  Ray Fenwick also used the song to showcase some tasty fuzz guitar.  The performance would have gotten an even higher rating were it not for the weird scat segment that showed up at the end of the song.   rating: **** stars  

 

 

Following a non-LP single, personality issues again cropping up and in late 1968 van Eijck quit, returning to The Tee Set.  

 

- 1968's 'Snowflakes In Amsterdam' b/w 'The Cotton Blossom Palace Showboat'  (Decca catalog number AT 10 325)

 

Left as the defacto band leaders Eduard and Lever recruited new talent in the form of former Boots keyboardist Uly Grun and drummer Ilja Gort.  Ironically the revamped band's first release was actually a country flavored van Eijck leftover:

 

- ' Peruquine Thomas' b/w 'Lily of the Valley' (Decca catalog number AT 10 342)

 

That was followed by a string of more rock oriented releases:

 

- 1968's 'Love in Jeopardy' b/w 'Sound of a Backstreet' (Decca AT 10-358)

- 1969's 'A Little Bit Today A Little Bit Tomorrow' b/w 'Blue Rider' (Decca AT 10-386)

 

 


Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  After Tea

Company: Decca

Catalog: 862 534 DQY

Year: 1969

Country/State: Holland / UK / Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Dutch pressing

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD $120.00

 

So here's where the After Tea discography starts to get really strange.  In 1969 Decca Holland released a compilation album entitled "After Tea".  Making this even stranger, the album sported the same cover art as found on the 1968 British-issued "After Tea" album (which was itself a slightly revamped version of the band's original Dutch "National Disaster" album).  Musically the set was kind of interesting for collecting a mixture of album tracks and some of the band's earlier non-LP DUtch singles like 'Snowflakes On Amsterdam', 'Love In Jeopardy', and 'A Little Bit Today A Little Bit Tomorrow'. 

 

"After Tea" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) A Perfect Way To Spend a Day

2.) Sound of a Backstreet

3.) We Will be There After Tea

4.) Sweet Elaine

5.) Not Just a Flower In Your Hair

6.) Peruquine Thomas

 

(side 2)
1.) Snowflakes On Amsterdam

2.) Sunny Side of Marble Block

3.) Water and White Marble

4.) Lily of the Valley

5.) Love In Jeopardy

5.) A Little Bit Today A Little Bit Tomorrow

 

 

 

 


Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Joint House Blues

Company: Negram

Catalog: NELP 076

Year: 1970

Country/State: Holland / Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Dutch pressing

Available: --

Catalog ID: --

Price: --

 

Throughout 1969 the band underwent a stream of  personnel shifts while also  leaving longtime label Decca for a new contract with the Dutch Eagle label.  Over the next year they released a string of non-LP singles:

 

 

- 1969's 'Sunshine Eyes' b/w 'Joint House Blues' (Eagle catalog number Eagle 1)

- 1970's 'Please Come My Love' b/w 'Think' (Negram catalog number Eagles 8)

 

 

This lineup also released a ridiculous rare and expensive third studio album - 1970's "Joint House Blues".  Good luck finding a copy for under $300.  Unlike the first two LPs, the third set found the band adapting to changing public tastes; in this case turning their attention to a more contemporary blues-rock attack.     The album was also tapped for a single in the form of:

 

- 1970's 'Sun' b/w 'Someday' (Negram catalog number NG-193)

- 1970's 'Joint House Blues' b/w 'I'm Here (and Nowhere Else)' (Negram catalog number NG-199)

 

"Joint House Blues" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Joint House Blues

2.) You've Got To Move Me

3.) I'm Here

4.) Someday

5.) Let's Come All Together

 

(side 2)

1.) Trial

2.) Punishment

3.) The End

 

 

 

The album was also released  in Germany by Decca (Decca catalog number SLK 16683-P).

 

The band continued to release singles through the end of 1871.  Following After Tea's collapse Eduard and Grun formed the band Drama with guitar player Frank van der Kloot and drummer Shel Schellekens.

 

 

- 1971's 'Lovesong To Mother Nature' b/w 'Fame' (Negram catalog number NG-216)

- 1971's 'I'm Here (and Nowhere Else' b/w 'Let's All Come Together'  (Negram catalog number NG-227)

 

 

I've never bothered to locate a copy, but there's also a posthumous German album - 1972's "Bubble Gum - Beatparty mit The After Tea".  Released by Decca's discount Musik für alle imprint, the set apparently repackaged the debut "National Disaster" set with throwaway cover art.

 

Decca/Musik für alle catalog number ND 175

 

In 1975 Eduard, Gort, and Lever reconvened, recording a one-shot single under the After Tea moniker:

 

       

 

- 1975's 'Mexico' b/w 'Well, So Long' (VIP catalog number VP 7490)

 

And that was the true finale for the group.

 

- Eduard recorded a Dutch solo album; played with various bands including The Rest, and then turned his attention to songwriting.

- Gort turned his attention to production work and jingles, making a fortune off the jingle he wrote for Nescafe.  With the royalties he then bought a vineyard in France, where he grows and sells wine under the La Tuliipe label (nice nod to his Dutch heritage).

- Lever became a sessions player and a music teacher.

- van Eijck became a producer and enjoyed some successes as a television and film soundtrack composer.

 

 

 

 

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