A Band Called O (The O Band)
Band members Related acts
- Craig Anders -- lead guitar (1974-77)
- Mark Anders -- bass (1974-77)
- Dick Ballard -- drums percussion (1974-77)
- Jeff Bannister -- vocals, keyboards replaced Pete Filleul)
- Pete Filleul -- keyboards, vocals (1974-76)
- Jonathan 'Pix' Pickford -- vocals, lead guitar (1974-77)
- Bronco (Jeff Bannister)
- Climax Blues Band (Pete Filleul)
- East of Eden (Pete Filleul)
- Dave Kelly Band (Pete Filleul)
- The O Band
- The Parlour Band (Craig Anders, Mark Ander, and
- Pix Pickford (solo efforts)
- Racket (Pix Pickford)
Rating: 2 stars **
Catalog: EPC 8-596
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
Comments: UK pressing; still in shrink wrap; includes lyric insert
GEMM catalog ID: 5373
As The Parlour Band brothers Craig and Mark Anders (guitar and bass respectively) and singer/lead guitarist Jonathan 'Pix' Pickford recorded an interesting slightly progressive-feeling LP - 1972's "The Parlour Band Is a Friend."
Following the band's breakup the Anders brothers and Pickford continued their musical collaboration with A Band Called O.
Signed by Epic, 1975's "Oasis" was the band's sophomore album. Musically it found the group (now expanded to include drummer Duck Ballard and keyboardist Pete Filleul) teamed with producer Nicky Graham. Clearly interested in courting a larger audience, material like the funky 'Amovin'', 'Foolin' Round' and 'Fine White Wine' found the band working in a more commercial mid-1970s AOR genre. With all five members and producer Graham contributing to the writing chores, the set wasn't bad. Powered by some nice lead vocals from Pickford, the collection was tuneful and occasionally fun (check out 'Bird of Paradise'). Most of this stuff would have easily slotted into top-40 radio along side other mid-1970s AOR acts like Pablo Cruise, Head East, Journey, etc. Doubt that comment then listen to 'That's Up', or 'Some People'. Unfortunately the album seldom rose above that pedestrian level. Professional, but largely forgettable this was a pretty good example of music as product, rather than art. Not bad product, but product nevertheless. So was there anything that actually stood out? Powered by some jumpy synthesizers the group composition 'Take Your Time' showcased a mild progressive feel. Similarly. complete with a pretty melody and weird reggae mid-section 'Sleeping' offered up a nod to their progressive roots and was probably the most atypical of the ten songs. Just interesting enough to make me wonder about their other releases ...
Band Called O" track listing:
1.) Amovin' (Craig Anders - Jonathan Pickford - Pete Filleul) - 3:39
2.) Foolin' Round (Craig Anders - Jonathan Pickford) - 4:34
3.) Sleeping (Jonathan Pickford) - 5:22
4.) Moroccan Roll (instrumental) (Craig Anders - Mark Anders - Dick Ballard - Jonathan Pickford - Pete Filleul - Nicky Graham) - 2:28
5.) Fine White Wine (Jonathan Pickford) - 3:50
2.) Bird of Paradise (Jonathan Pickford) - 2:08
3.) Ice (Craig Anders) - 2:08
4.) That's Up (Craig Anders - Jonathan Pickford) - 3:10
5.) Some People (Craig Anders - Jonathan Pickford) - 5:53
The band recorded three other studio sets that I haven't gotten around to hearing: 1974's "A Band Called O", 1976's "Within Reach" and 1977's "The Knife" (the latter credited to 'The O Band'). There's also a three track 12" 1977 EP: 'Look To the Left, Look To the Right'' b/w 'A Smile Is Diamond' and 'Fine White Wine' (United Artists catalog number UP 36297).
Pickford apparently fell in love with Spain when he went there on vacation. He now lives in the country where he started the band Racket with a bunch of other English expatriates including keyboardist Blue Weaver.
Filleul seems to have become a journeymen sessions player working and recording with a string of bands including The Climax Blues Band, East of Eden, and the Dave Kelly Band.
Back to Bad Cat homepage/search