Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Blues Monday – The Bishops

Too Much Too Soon
Till The End Of The Day
Taking It Easy
Train Train
Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White
Don’t Start Me Talking
Baby You’re Wrong
I Don’t Like It
(I Want) Candy

Although amounting to little more than a footnote in the early days of English punk rock, the Count Bishops were a fine, energetic, R&B-based band capable of kicking out a fierce racket of noise that sounded like a grimier version of seminal British R&B revivalists Dr. Feelgood.

Originally fronted by journeyman 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 that featured the spooky, exhilarating “Train, Train.”

“Train Train” (Live Album Version) – The Bishops

Surprisingly, the band unceremoniously dumped Spencer and recorded their self-titled debut with fellow Englishman Dave Tice, who had a voice so gruff it sounded as though he gargled with ground glass.

The live album above, originally released as alimited edition 10″,  followed (by this time they had dropped “Count” from their name), but it was clear that the band was simply treading water.

By 1979, the thoroughly mediocre Cross Cuts was released to public apathy, guitarist Zenon de Fleur was killed in a car wreck, and lead guitarist Johnny Guitar hooked up with Dr. Feelgood. The Bishops called it a day.

To buy their music click HERE the live album is available as a download from eMusic HERE

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Blues, Old Music, R&B, Video | , | Leave a comment

2010 Top 30 New and Old #11

Laura Marling was another discovery thanks to a great performance on Later …with Jools.

Here then she is with my favourite track from her album.

To buy the music of Laura Marling click HERE

For a previous post on Laura Marling click HERE

I offer no apologies for posting this track by The Count Bishops as it is taken from one of my favourite vinyl EP’s with this track being a cover version of one of the foundation songs of rock as we know it.

“Route 66” – The Count Bishops

To buy the music of The Count Bishops click HERE

To view another post on The Count Bishops click HERE

December 20, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

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 | , | 4 Comments


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