Saturday, 15 October 2016

Shape of the Rain - Riley, Riley and Waggett (UK Underground 1971)



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Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

SHAPE OF THE RAIN - Riley, Riley, Wood & Waggett (In demand 1971 UK 10-track LP on the short-lived RCA subsidiary Neon, where the more eclectic progressive albums ended up, each Neon release now highly sought after. This one-off is a fine example of West Coast influenced psych and British whimsy merging together to create a unique blend and gorgeous sound of the era.



IN the late Sixties a band from the Sheffield area called Shape Of The Rain were making a name for themselves, playing venues such as Sheffield University students’ union, Shades and Esquire clubs and open air concerts at Weston Park. They were reaching wider audiences by performing at The Marquee in London and The Cavern in Liverpool and by supporting the likes of Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Free, Fleetwood Mac, Love and Joe Cocker.

And they were one of the few local bands to go on to secure a major record deal. “Riley Riley Wood and Waggett” was released in 1971, named after Keith Riley, his brother Len, Brian Wood and Ian ‘Tagg’ Waggett. Influenced by American West Coast music and the British psych/progressive scene, Sound of The Rain’s debut album didn’t quite take the world by storm but it did become something of a collectors’ item, which continues to sell on the internet.


Back Cover

Almost 40 years later the band is not only recording again but reworking that first collection of songs, taking the opportunity to update them with modern equipment. “This is the album recorded from the Sixties by people in their 60s,” says Brian, who still plays bass and sings with Dave Berry’s Cruisers. Drummer Ian says: “The LP that came out in 1971 is still selling in different parts of the world and all the band members have kept in contact with each other and are still playing. We decided to get together and see if we could come up with some good music. 


The tracks sound fantastic.” The group is using the S21 Live studio in Eckington where Brian works on a project designed to help take young people off the streets – people who are now gaining the experience of watching the group go through their paces again. “We are reliving it and it’s a great atmosphere,” says Brian. “We are trying to do the album as we perceived it initially. It didn’t quite work out as we would have liked because of time schedules and involving people who didn’t see it as we saw it.” The band, mainly based originally in Eckington and Chesterfield, is the same as in 1971 with the exception of Len Riley, who has been replaced by Pete Dolan on guitar. 

Working on the sound and production are Andrew Sully and Dave Riley. They have been encouraged by eBay sales of the original album, with fans in America, Japan and Holland prepared to pay up to £600. The updated version will include some new material and will probably be released around February. Live performances may follow. Sound Of The Rain started in the Sixties as The Gear and then The Reaction. “If we couldn’t get gigs because they didn’t like us, we’d just change the name,” says guitarist and singer Keith. “If they liked us we’d stick with the same name…” Brian adds: “We had a fanastic time touring with Pink Floyd, Cream and Jethro Tull. It was really exciting. We did all the clubs. And there is still the buzz now.”

Keith Riley - guitar, vocals
Len Riley - bass
Tag Waggett - drums, percussion
Brian Wood - guitar, vocals

Eric Hine - electric piano, production
Tony Hall - production

01. Woman — 3:57
02. Patterns — 3:21
03. Castles — 1:57
04. Wasting My Time — 3:09
05. Rockfield Roll — 0:48
06. Yes — 5:47
07. Dusty Road — 3:49
08. Willowing Trees — 3:48
09. I’ll Be There — 3:39
10. Broken Man — 5:57 including:
a). Every One A Gem
b). After Collapsing At Kingsley’s

1. Shape of The Rain
or
2. Shape of The Rain
or
3. Shape of The Rain

1 comment:

snakeboy said...

Very nice indeed. Thanks so much for posting.