Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Previously known as The Bakerloo Blues Line, the Tamworth, Staffordshire based Bakerloo originally formed in the mid-sixties with a line up
comprising Dave 'Clem' Clempson (guitar/vocals), Terry Poole (bass) and Keith Baker (drums).
The Jazzy Power Blues style of the band led to them being compared to the likes of Cream and the individual playing skills of each member were
definitely of a comparable nature. Their manager Jim Simpson, who also looked after Black Sabbath when they were known as Earth, organised a U.K.
tour under the banner of 'Big Bear Ffolly' which saw the band, along with fellow Midlands groups Earth, Locomotive and Tea And Symphony tour up and
down the country, each act gaining experience and a considerable following in the process. Indeed, Bakerloo provided the support the night Led Zeppelin
made their Marquee Club debut on 18th October 1968.
Signing to EMI's 'progressive' label Harvest Records in the middle of 1969, they debuted with the single 'Driving Backwards'/'Once Upon A Time' (HAR 5004)
in July and followed it up with their self-titled album in December, on which they were supplemented by session trumpeter Jerry Salisbury.
The LP has now become a much sought-after collectors item with mint copies changing hands for BP65. However, shortly after its release,
Clempson accepted an offer to replace James Litherland in Colosseum and Bakerloo folded.*
Clem Clempson stayed with Colosseum for two years and three albums before taking over from Peter Frampton in Humble Pie. When he left them in 1975,
he recorded with Roger Daltrey on 'Ride A Rock Horse' and then teamed up with ex-Uriah Heep vocalist David Byron in the ill-fated Rough Diamond for
their self-titled album of 1977, and then formed the short-lived Champion. Since then, he has become one of the most in-demand session guitarists,
working with the likes of Cozy Powell, Tom Waits, Jack Bruce, Colin Blunstone, The Records and Finbar Furey, to name a few.
Keith Baker supplied the drums on Uriah Heep's 'Salisbury' album, whilst Terry Poole played on Graham Bond's 'We Put Our Magick On You' LP before
becoming a respected session man.
Following taken from www.progarchives.com/
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.
Still, Bakerloo’s one and only album (a real collector’s item in original vinyl format) is a definite underrated classic and has a lot to offer fans of the genre.
1: Big Bear Folly Dave "Clem" Clempson (3:57)
2: Bring It on Home Willie Dixon (4:18)
3: Drivin' Bachwards Johann Sebastian Bach (2:08)
4: Last Blues Dave "Clem" Clempson (7:06)
5: Gang Bang Dave "Clem" Clempson (6:17)
6: This Worried Feeling Dave "Clem" Clempson (7:05)
7: Son of Moonshine Dave "Clem" Clempson (14:54)
8: Once Upon a Time [*] Dave "Clem" Clempson (3:39)
9: This Worried Feeling [Alternate Take][#][*] Dave "Clem" Clempson (5:45)