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Bakerloo (previously The Bakerloo Blues Line) was an English heavy blues-rock trio, established by Staffordshire guitarist David "Clem" Clempson, Terry Poole and others in the late 1960s, at the high point of the influence of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream. Although the group was prominent only for around a year (1968-9) and released only one album it played an important part in the history of the genre, especially in view of its members' subsequent involvement with Colosseum, Humble Pie, May Blitz, Graham Bond, Vinegar Joe, Judas Priest and Uriah Heep.
The Bakerloo Blues Line was formed in February 1968 by David "Clem" Clempson and Terry Poole, who worked with several drummers, including John "Poli" Palmer and John Hinch, before settling with Keith Baker. Under the management of Jim Simpson, they began performing regularly at Henry's in Birmingham and joined Simpson's U.K. 'Big Bear Ffolly' tour with Earth (the future Black Sabbath), Locomotive and Tea And Symphony. The group appeared as the support act for Led Zeppelin's debut at London's famed Marquee Club on 18 October 1968.
After simplifying the name to "Bakerloo" the group signed to Harvest Records in mid-1969.
Their first release was a single, "Drivin' Bachwards"/"Once Upon a Time" (HAR 5004) that July. The A-side is an arrangement of the J.S. Bach tune Bourrée in E minor. This record appeared just prior to the release of a similar song, Bourrée, by Jethro Tull, on their second album Stand Up in August 1969. The single A-side also appeared on their self-titled album in December.
The album Bakerloo (Harvest SHVL 762) was further promoted by the inclusion of "This Worried Feeling," a slow blues number, on the 1970 Harvest double sampler album Picnic - A Breath of Fresh Air and by sessions for the BBC. The album was produced by Gus Dudgeon. Notable tracks included Last Blues,a heavy rocker, and the album's closer, Son of Moonshine, a driving metal blues. Other tracks contained "progressive" classical and jazz elements.
While reviews for the debut LP were favorable, the group itself was in disarray at the end of 1969. By the time the record was released, the Clempson-Poole-Baker lineup had decided to go their separate ways. Clempson initially sought to form a new blues-rock power trio, one that reportedly included drummer Cozy Powell, before electing to replace James Litherland as the guitarist in Colosseum. Poole and Baker also moved on, forming May Blitz with Jamie Black on vocals and guitar, although both departed before the band was signed to Vertigo Records.
Poole later played with several other bands, including Graham Bond and Vinegar Joe, while Baker bounced from Supertramp to Uriah Heep. Clempson would continue to achieve greater fame with Colosseum and, in 1971, as Peter Frampton's replacement in Humble Pie.
In the winter of 1969, a new "Bakerloo" (including drummer John O' Reilly, formerly a member of the Koobas, was formed to fulfill a few contractual obligations, but this group eventually signed to another label under another name.
Bakerloo originally formed around 1968 under the moniker 'Bakerloo Blues Line' in the Birmingham area. The line-up then was Dave 'Clem' Clempson on guitar and vocals, Terry Poole on bass and John Hinch on drums. Initially they stuck to a largely blues based set, yet like so many of the innovative acts of the era grew tired of the formula and began to experiment.
They attracted Black Sabbath's future manager Jim Simpson, and attracted a considerable following- enough to win them a slot on John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show 'Top Gear'. However, there was a touch of Spinal Tap syndrome with drummers as Hinch was replaced with a multitude of players until they finally settled on Keith Baker. They also decided to drop the 'Blues Line' and became the shortened Bakerloo, and were put on a package tour called 'Big Bear Ffolly' (which inspired Bakerloo's song of the same name) with other local bands Tea and Symphony, Locomotive (another highly innovative proto prog combo) and Earth, who would of course later evolve into the massively successful Black Sabbath.
They recorded their album prior to getting a record deal under the aegis of legendary, recently deceased producer Gus Dudgeon yet eventually, Simpson secured a deal with the new 'progressive, underground' imprint Harvest Records, which housed the likes of Pink Floyd, Edgar Broughton Band and aforementioned fellow Brummies, Tea and Symphony.
Though the album received very enthusiastic reviews and the band had a sizeable cult following, it sold little. This was a shame, because it remains a genuinely 'progressive' album with blues, jazz, classical and heavy rock meeting head-on, yet seamlessly.
However, internal ructions ripped the band apart anyway and despite some line-up reshuffles, with noted rock drummer Cozy Powell joining the band. That line-up lasted a small amount of time before Jon Hiseman, who had been impressed with Clempson's guitar prowess, invited him to join the legendary jazz rock combo Colosseum. Keith Baker joined Uriah Heep for their classic 'Salisbury' album and Terry Poole turned up on blues/jazz rock innovator Graham Bond's albums of the era.
Clempson, after Colosseum split, went on to work with heavy rockers Humble Pie who were a massive success, and Rough Diamond with ex-Uriah Heep singer David Byron, who were not. Clempson continued to work with a variety of artists. However, the other members seemingly fell off the radar after the 1970s.
Clem Clempson (born David Clempson, 5 September 1949, Tamworth, Staffordshire, England) is an English rock guitarist who has played as a member in a number of bands including Colosseum and Humble Pie.
Clempson began his career in the late 1960s with the power trio, Bakerloo (originally The Bakerloo Blues Line), playing blues-rock. In 1969, he joined Colosseum, until they disbanded in 1971, but re-joined to form a reunion version of the band in 1994, and has continued to perform with them since that time. After Colosseum's split he went on to join Humble Pie in 1971, replacing Peter Frampton. When the band split in 1975 he and Greg Ridley joined drummer Cozy Powell to form Strange Brew. During this period, Clempson auditioned for Deep Purple but lost to Tommy Bolin. Although he played in Marriott’s All Stars he opted not to join the reformed Humble Pie in 1980.
Clempson has appeared as a guest musician with Jack Bruce, Billy Cobham and Dave Sancious, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Bob Dylan, Chris de Burgh and Jon Anderson.
One of the first acts signed to the fledgling Harvest label in 1969, Bakerloo were very much a product of their time, a hard-hitting progressive blues band whose predilections ranged from a straightforward assimilation of Willie Dixon to some positively dazzling flashes of instrumental prowess. Guitarist Dave Clempson's "Big Bear Folly," the opening cut on the band's first and only album, is a dazzling Ten Years After-style showcase, while a jazzy variation on a theme of Bach, the aptly titled "Driving Bachwards," proves that the band wasn't averse to messing with the classics, either. The quartet's virtuosity occasionally overwhelms the songs themselves, although there is no shortage of gripping atmosphere.
Bassist Terry Poole unleashes an almost sepulchral vocal across the stygian "Last Blues," a seven-minute marathon that swiftly develops into a full-fledged heavy rocker, punctuated by mood shifts that amount to separate movements -- it's a magnificent piece, rendered with both musical precision and some of producer Gus Dudgeon's most inspired washes and effects.
Impressive, too, is "Son of Moonshine," a distorted metal effort that clocks in at double that length and combines Clempson's intensive guitar soloing with a desperately driving blues rhythm. Period comparisons with Cream and early Led Zeppelin really weren't that far off the mark. Bakerloo were not long for this earth -- Clempson quit to join Colosseum shortly after the album's release; Poole reappeared alongside Graham Bond; drummer Keith Baker departed for Uriah Heep; and Bakerloo itself disappeared off the shelves fairly quickly. [Wikipedia + AMG + Proarchives]
♦ Dave 'Clem' Clempson / guitars, piano, harpsichord, harmonica, vocals
♦ Terry Poole / bass guitar
♦ Keith Baker / drums
Album: Bakerloo - Bakerloo Foldout LP Harvest Records SHVL762 (1969)
01. Big Bear Ffolly (3:55)
02. Bring It On Home (4:16)
03. Drivin' Bachwards (2:06)
04. Last Blues (7:04)
05. Gang Bang (6:15)
06. This Worried Feeling (7:03)
07. Son Of Moonshine (14:52)
08. Once Upon A Time (3:37)
09. This Worried Feeling (alternative take) (5:45)
10. Georgia (4.04)
11. Train (2.53)
12. Son of Moonshine Part 1 (8.46)
|Bakerloo Band 1969|