Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tempest - 1973 [1994] "Tempest"

Tempest was a British progressive rock band active from 1973 and 1974. Its core members were Jon Hiseman on drums and Mark Clarke on bass. They released two studio albums before breaking up.

Hiseman and Clarke had played in Colosseum together and formed Tempest in the beginning of 1973. For the band's first, eponymous album (originally called Jon Hiseman's Tempest), the line up was completed by Allan Holdsworth on guitar and Paul Williams on vocals and keyboards.
Later in Tempest's brief history, they were joined by Ollie Halsall, who had begun playing guitar with progressive rock band Patto]. With two guitarists, the group played a number of shows including a June 1973 show at Golders Green Hippodrome, released as a bootleg called Live in London 1974. By the time a second album was recorded, 1974's Living in Fear, Tempest was down to a trio, consisting of Hiseman, Clarke, and Halsall; reportedly Holdsworth didn't want to play alongside a second guitarist. The band broke up soon after.
In 2007, a double CD anthology was released entitled, Under the Blossom which featured remastered editions of the two studio albums, plus two previously unreleased bonus tracks. It also included the famous 1973 BBC live recording of a concert in Golders Green, which featured both guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Ollie Halsall (in his first appearance with the band).

When Jon Hiseman split Colosseum in 1972. he resolved to take the rock aspects of his music to their logical conclusion. To this end he retained the services of Mark Clarke on bass/keyboards/vocals, who had been with him in the last Colosseum lineup; his rock intentions were signalled by the recruitment of Paul Williams on guitar/ keyboards/vocals, who had previously seen service in Juicy Lucy and Zoot Money's Big Roll Band. 
The fourth member of the new band was Allan Holdsworth on  guitar/vocals/violin. Holdsworth was a rock guitarist with jazz leanings (rather than vice versa), and in a sense this definition tells you the difference between Tempest and Colosseum. It was in this band that Allan Holdsworth came to critical attention, his only previous recorded outing being an album with the band Igginbottom's Wrench on Deram in 1969.
Tempest was an apt name for the band, as their eponymous debut album showed. With Hiseman drumming up a storm and Clarke adopting the wise approach of playing simply but strongly (a flash drummer and a busy bassist never go together), the foundation was laid for Williams and Holdsworth to wail and moan over a series of complex progressive compositions.
Formed by drummer Jon Hiseman in 1974 after the break up of COLOSSEUM, TEMPEST (no relation to the US band of the same name) are most notable for their line up rather than their albums. Hiseman brought in an at the time very young guitarist by the name of Allan Holdsworth, with Mark Clark (bass) and Paul Williams (vocals) completing the band. Clark had also been a member of COLOSSEUM. Paul Williams had played with JOHN MAYALL’S BLUESBREAKERS and JUICY LUCY.
TEMPEST released two albums with Peter “Ollie” Halsall (PATTO, SCAFFOLD) replacing Holdsworth for “Living in Fear”, and taking on keyboard duties for that album too. He replaced the departed Williams on vocals, resulting in a completely different sound for that album. Their music is more jazz rock than fusion, and Hiseman’s COLOSSEUM influences can be heard in the jazz influences in both albums. While “Living in Fear” was more direct and dynamic than the first self titled album, neither was particularly satisfactory.
Hiseman went on to form COLOSSEUM II, while Holdsworth found varying degrees of success both as a solo artists, and with bands such as GONG, SOFT MACHINE, UK and BRUFORD. The late Ollie Halsall (died 29 May 1992) recorded with BOXER and Kevin Ayers among others. Clarke worked with various bands including NATURAL GAS, URIAH HEEP, MOUNTAIN AND RAINBOW.
 Track listing:
1. Gorgon (Hiseman, Clarke, Holdsworth) - 5:41
2. Foyers Of Fun (Hiseman, Clarke, Holdsworth) - 3:38
3. Dark House (Hiseman, Clarke, Holdsworth) - 5:00
4. Brothers (Hiseman, Holdsworth) - 3:35
5. Up And On (Edwards, Holdsworth) - 4:16
6. Grey And Black (Clarke, Bottomley) - 2:26
7. Strangeher (Clarke, Hiseman) - 4:07
8. Upon Tomorrow (Clempson, Hiseman) - 6:15

*Jon Hiseman - Drums
*Mark Clarke - Bass
*Paul Williams - Vocals
*Allan Holdsworth - Guitar

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