Procession


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1967)

- Craig Collinge -- drums, percussion

- Mick Rogers (aka Michael Oldroyd) -- vocals, guitar

- Trevor Griffin -- vocals, keyboards

- Brian Peacock -- vocals, bass, keyboards

- Rod Stone -- guitar

 

  line up 2  (1967-69)

- Craig Colllinge -- drums, percussion

- Mick Rogers (aka Michael Oldroyd) -- vocals, guitar

- Trevor Griffin -- vocals, keyboards

- Brian Peacock -- vocals, bass, keyboards

- Rod Stone -- guitar

 

  line up 3  (1969)

NEW - Chris Hunt -- drums, percussion (replaced Craig Collinge)

- Mick Rogers (aka Michael Oldroyd) -- vocals, guitar

- Trevor Griffin -- vocals, keyboards

- Brian Peacock -- vocals, bass, keyboards

- Rod Stone -- guitar

NEW - Ross Wilson -- vocals

 

 

 

- Aviator (Mick Rogers)

- The John Bull Breek (Trevor Griffin)

- Daddy Cool (Ross Wilson)

- Gerry and The Joy Band (Brian Peacock)

- The Groove (Rod Stone)

- The Knack (Craig Collinge)

- The Librettos (Craig Collinge, Brian Peacock and Rod Stone)

- Manfred Mann's Chapter Three (Craig Collinge and Mick Rogers)

- Manfred Mann's Earth Band (Mick Rogers)

- Mighty Kong (Ross Wilson)

- Mondo Rock (Ross Wilson)

- Party Machine (Ross Wilson)

- Pink Finks (Ross Wilson)

- The Playboys (Brian Peacock and Rod Stone)

- The Question Marks (Trevor Griffin)

- Third World War (Craig Collinge)

- Sons of the Vegetal Mother (Ross Wilson)

- Western Flyer (Brian Peacock)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Procession

Company: Smash

Catalog:  SRS 67122
Year:
 1969

Country/State: Melbourne, Australia

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: -

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2665

Price: $20.00

Wow, look at the cover - this has to be some wild, crazy, lysergic-tinged aural craziness !!!  Not.

 

Yeah, in spite of the psychedelic cover, Procession might be described as an Australian and New Zealand version of The Association.  

 

Drummer Craig Collinge, singer/bassist Brian Peacock, and guitarist Rod Stone had all been members of New Zealand's The Librettos.   Between 1964 and 1967 The Librettos recorded a series of seven singles.  With their breakup, Collinge joined The Knack, while Peacock and Stone joined The Playboys. In 1966 The Playboys relocated to the UK where they became the backing band for Australian singer Normie Rowe.  They also met keyboardist Trevor Griffin, who had previously been a member of The John Bull Breed and The Question Marks.  They were soon joined by former Adam Faith backing guitarist Mick Rogers.

 

While supporting Rowe, The Playboys were signed by Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label, releasing a 1967 single under the name The Australian Playboys.  In Australia it was credited to The Playboys.

- 'Black Sheep R.I.P.' b/w 'Sad' (immediate catalog number )

 

They subsequently returned to Australia where they split with Rowe, adding former Librettos drummer Librettos to the line-up.

 

By late 1967 they'd dropped The Playboys name in favor of Procession.  A popular club draw, they were signed by the small Festival label, which quickly released a pair of singles:

- 1967's 'Anthem' b/w 'Take Time (A Swinginjg Waltz)' (Festival catalog FK-2126)   

- 1968's 'Listen' b/w 'Minuet for Moderns'  (Festival catalog FK-212247)   

 

That was followed by a four track EP that repacked the earlier singles:

"Listen and Anthem" (Festival catalog number FX-11-484 

(side 1)

1.) Anthem    (Brian Peacock - Trevor Griffin) - 3:11

2.) Minuet for Moderns    (Brian Peacock - Trevor Griffin) -

 

(side 2)

1.) Take Time  (Trevor Griffin - Mick Rogers) - 2:43

2.) Listen    (Brian Peacock - Trevor Griffin) -

 

 

 Festival catalog number FL 933091

With their debut album doing little commercially, they followed the path left by other Australian bands, heading back for London.   Dates at London's Marquee club attracted the attention of Mercury Records, which signed them to a recording contract.  Produced by Manfred Mann member Mike Hugg, their second album replicated quite a bit of the material found on their earlier Australian release.   Released by Festival in Australia, Mercury in the UK and Smash is the States, the American release featured different cover art than found on the Australian release and a different track listing than found on the UK release.  On the UK LP, but missing from the US release were: 'Wigwam City', 'Simon Says', and 'One Day In Every Week'.  Featuring all original material and a pair of decent singers in Rogers and Peacock, this was one of those collections that took awhile to grow on you.  Musically it was all over the waterfront, including a cappella (their debut single 'Anthem'), bubblegum pop ('Essentially Susan'), Toytown psych ('Every American Citizen'), and even one headlong excursion into lysergic territory ('Mind Magician').  To be honest, the collection was rounded out by way too much MOR, Association styled pop ('You - Me' and ' Adelaide, Adelaide').  That said, it had a certain low-keyed charm.  I'd certainly rate it higher that some of The Association albums, or releases by the likes of Lt. Garcia's Magic Music Box, or Orange Colored Sky.

 

By the way, here are producer Hugg's liner notes: "Procession is made up of four young men.  Four very talented young men.  Craig Callinge, who plays the drums with a fire and confidence that sets the group alight was born on August 23th, just over twenty years ago.  Entered "showbiz" at the ripe age of nine - so knows where it's at.  Trevor Griffin plays piano and organ.  He also supplies the very high voice in the back vocals.  And, is reputed to play the saxophone - a talent he's kept well hidden from me so far.  Mick Rogers, apart from contributing fantastic bass and guitar, sings most of the lead vocals.  A born performer, with a great voice, he real digs getting on stage and belting his heart out. Mick's compositions incidentally, form quite a large part of Procession's repertoire.  Brian Peacock, who hails from New Zealand, plays the bass, guitar and piano and shares the vocals with Mick.  Quiet and thoughtful, Brian spends most of his time song writing.  A selection of his work, setting the mood and direction of the group, is on this album.  In Australia, where they played ad live until moving to England a few months ago, the boys won a big name for themselves and picked up a following in no time at all.  Their music arrived in this country only recently, but is already turning heads in the right direction.   The songs on this album - all Procession material - exemplify their talents from full orchestra to small group, from choir to solo voice.  Like most material worth listening to, it didn't come easy.  The boys worked hard and long putting the album together.  But the fact that they enjoyed every minute of it shows.  I enjoyed every minute of producing it. And I hope that shows too."

 

"Procession" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You - Me   (Brian Peacock) - 2:50    rating: *** stars

I don't have an problems with a well crafted, mid-'60s pop song like 'You and Me'.  On the other hand I think I'd take the band's marketing department to task for giving buyers the impression they were anything but a pop group.

2.) Gently Does It   (Brian Peacock) - 3:09    rating: *** stars

'Gently Does It' was a sweet, if rather anonymous radio-friendly ballad.

3.) Essentially Susan   (Brian Peacock) - 2:15  rating: **** stars

Showcasing a tasty bubblegum pop flavor 'Essentially Susan' was relegated to the 'B' side on a 1969 single.  Shame since it had everything needed for the top-40 charts..   

4.) Signature Tune   (Trevor Griffin) - 2:37   rating: ** stars

'Signature Tune' was a strange, slightly jazzy a cappella tune.   Just plain weird.   In spite of what producer Hugg's liner notes said about Griffin providing the backing vocal high notes, this one sure sounded like female backing singers.

5.) Adelaide, Adelaide   (Brian Peacock) - 2:40    rating: *** stars

With a pretty melody, the downbeat lyrics would lead you to believe the song was based on Australia's large loss of life in the First World War.   In spite of the haunting melody, given the unique lyric, you had to wonder why Smash bothered to release it as a promotional single in the US:

- 1969's 'Adelaide, Adelaide ' b/w 'One Day In Every Week' (Smash catalog number S-2225)

6.) Take Time  (Trevor Griffin - Mick Rogers) - 2:43  rating: ** stars

MOR-ish mix between jazz and a swing tune.   Geez, it even had a scat segment and a flute solo.  Yech.

 

(side 2) 

1.) Every American Citizen   (Brian Peacock) - 2:32  rating: **** stars

I'm guessing the lyrics were meant to be a cynical swipe at American lifestyles, but who knows.  To some extent it didn't matter since the song had a great toytown feel.  Easy to see why it was  released as a single world wide, including as a promotional 45 in the US

-'Every American Citizen' b/w 'Essentially Susan'  (Smash catalog number S-2239)

2.) Sweet Simplicity   (Brian Peacock - Trevor Griffin) - 3:11  rating: **** stars

'Sweet Simplicity' was another track that had a mild jazzy feel to it ...   Image The Free Design with a better lead singer ...  Coming at the end of the song, Rogers' lead guitar solo provided the highlights.

3.) Automobile   (Brian Peacock) - 2:21  rating: *** stars

Songs that start with sound effects are generally a disappointment.  'Automobile' was a bit too cute for the group's own good, but I'll admit the wonderful vocals had a certain goofy charm.

4.) September In July   (Brian Peacock - Trevor Griffin) - 3:18  rating: *** stars

More Australian Association-styled MOR pop.   Yeah, it had a likeable, breezy melody that was perfect for one of those afternoon talk shows.  Easy to picture them performing before an audience of housewives who thought their shaggy hair and black sweaters were the coolest things ...

5.) Mind Magician   (Brian Peacock - Trevor Griffin) - 2:52  rating: **** stars

The group dip their collective toes into psychedelia.  Not sure who was singing lead of 'Mind Magician' but he sounded a bit like David Clayton-Thomas.  Always loved Griffin's organ fills on this one.

6.) Anthem    (Brian Peacock - Trevor Griffin) - 3:11  rating: **** stars

Released as the group's 1967 Australian debut, 'Anthem' was quite adventuresome.  Recorded a cappella, it's just the four guys sans any instrumentation.  As mentioned above, the tune served as their recording debut.  The song was apparently re-recorded for the album.

- 1967's 'Anthem' b/w 'Take Time (A Swinging Waltz)' (Festival catalog FK-2126)   YouTube has a black and white promotional video for the song at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avtQ88MJb0g  

 

Shortly after the album was released drummer Collinge joined Manfred Mann Chapter Three.  he was replaced by Cat Stevens drummer Chris Hunt.   Peacock also decided to expand the band line-up with the addition of buddy/former Party Machine and Pink Finks singer Ross Wilson.  The personnel changes quickly caused internal strike and by the end of 1969 the group was history.

 

 

After playing with Manfred Mann Chapter Three, Collinge played in Third World War, Shoot, an infamous unauthorized Fleetwood Mac lineup, and stints with Maria Hines.

 

Griffin joined Ross in Sons of the Vegetal Mother, before moving the the States.

 

Peacock went on to play with Gerry and The Joy Band and Western Flyer, before getting into the management side of the business.

 

Rogers played with Manfred Mann Chapter Three, Bulldog, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Eclipse, Renee Geyer, Greenslade, and Aviator.

 

Ross formed Sons of the Vegetal Mother, followed by Daddy Cool.

 

 

 

 

 

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