Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

The Count Bishops – Route 66

In July ’75 a band called CHROME were playing around the low key pub circuit and following an advert in Melody MakerTed Carroll decided that with a name like that they had to be the first band on Chiswick Records, Britain’s first true independant label.

A week later, accompanied by diminutive partner, Roger Armstrong, he slunk into a seedy pub in Highbury and was confronted by four mean looking characters playing Chuck Berry riffs and The Count Bishops were born.

After one disastrous recording session, where the bass player couldn’t even play “Walkin’ The Dog”, they went into Pathway Studios in August ’75 and in about 7 hours laid down 13 blistering rock and roll tracks from which, in November of that year emerged the first release on Chiswick “Speedball EP” by The Count Bishops.

“Route 66” – The Count Bishops

Not long after the band drifted away from Chiswick, for a while to a small Dutch label called Dynamite for which they recorded Taking It Easy/Train Train. Chiswick picked up the rights for this, flipped it to make Train Train the A side and released it as the label’s fifth single.

“Train Train” – The Count Bishops

At this point singer Dave Tice was drafted by drummer and fellow Australian Paul Balbi to complete the five piece line up that recorded “The Count Bishops” album. Dave overdubbed his vocals on the already recorded backing tracks and the album came out in July ’77.

During the rest of ’77 and the early part of ’78 the band gigged extensively building up a strong personal following despite being fairly unfashionable in the face of the punk publicity onslaught.

In the Spring of ’78 they recorded some live material at the Roundhouse for a projected live Chiswick artists album featuring 6 different acts. Although the projected album never got off the ground The Bishops set was so good that it warranted an album of its own. ‘The Bishops Live !’ was released later that summer in 10″and 12″form with the abbreviated name and a further personal change, Pat McMullan replacing original bass player Steve Lewins.

I still have the EP and the 10″ live album in my collection but after that release my interest in the band faded, nevertheless the were a great advert for good old Rock and Roll and R ‘n’ B.

To buy the music of The Count Bishops click HERE

September 24, 2010 - Posted by | Blast from The Past, Blues, Old Music, Video | ,


  1. I, too, used to be a Bishops fan. If I can pick up where you left off, the band folded after rhythm guitarist Zenon de Fleur was killed in a road accident. Johnny Guitar (lead) resurfaced a little later in one of the Dr Feelgood reincarnations.

    Comment by Phil | September 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. Phil,

    Thanks for filling the gap.


    Comment by thehelplessdancer | September 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] To view another post on The Count Bishops click HERE […]

    Pingback by 2010 Top 30 New and Old #11 « Helpless Dancer | December 20, 2010 | Reply

  4. […] American singer Mike Spencer, the Count Bishops’ 1975 debut EP, Speedball, (see previous post HERE )released on Ted Carroll’s wonderful Chiswick Records, was a straight-ahead slice of R&B […]

    Pingback by Blues Monday – The Bishops « Helpless Dancer | June 6, 2011 | Reply

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