TM : Alex was aware of the fact that Zal made a lot of faces when he played and he encouraged him to do something exaggerated, and it went through several changes. Everything about the stage act, Part 1 - Vambo - The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - The Impossible Dream (Vinyl, everything in fact, was developing at the same time.
It came in bits and spurts. The face came out of that. It became this trademark thing. CG : With a lot of bands the personas of the group are manufactured.
They want you to look like this. They want you to do this. Everything is geared. Do you think that had had an effect? CG : Oh yes, definitely from a presentation point. TM : He told me that he watched how the American producers came in and how they guided the show and how they would always look for a focal point.
It was just a feature. You wanted maybe four parts in light relief in any show that would give the audience something to focus on. TM : We went out and worked all the time. We went out and played everywhere we could-pubs, clubs, colleges, schools, prisons. CG : Back then you had artist development, but nowadays that never happens. We were signed to a three album deal by Phonogram. They were turntable hits.
As long as you got played on the radio, people then would hear your name and then they would go and see a gig. TM : Although it seemed to come quite quickly we basically saturated our grass roots. We would go and play a place, and then we would go back and play that place again, and there would eventually be queues outside the door, because we focused so aggresively on our live following.
ZC : Things became meteoric in some places. You would go to some places, and there were Album) people there the week before and now there was TM : We went down a storm. We started selling halls out, while bands that were at number one in the charts struggled to sell half the tickets at the same venues. I remember asking the woman who was promoting it, and who was in charge of the ticket sales who else was playing there that week, and that band Pilot were playing. Sweet had also recently played there.
The place was half full, and both these bands had had number ones. TM : It was a fabulous tme. That whole experience of just believing in it and watching it grow was incredible. That was the point when I think we all felt that this was all really happening, and we really had something. SAHBhowever, seemed to be a band that noone seemed to take offence at, however outrageous or controversial they were.
ZC : It is a song I have felt quite ambivalent about over the years. I know that some of the guys in the Album) are not too sure about the politically correct aspect of it either, but the funny thing about that is the song goes down as well with women as it does the men. PB : There were serious messages sometimes underneath, but you always managed to be fun. Do you think LP well that everyone realised that something like that was firmly tongue-in-cheek? ZC : Yeah, that was one of the saving graces with the band sometimes.
Would you agree with that? CG : Yes. Everything came out at once and in all different directions. It was the first time that we felt that the arrangements were really ours.
TM : It all went hand in hand with the fact that we were all developing an identity as far as our stage persona was concerned. The gel or the flavour of the band was also becoming more bizarre and extreme.
We thought that it was too funny. CG : And like Spinal Tap. TM : We used to laugh at the whole idea and concept of guys getting up LP stage. We felt that if we could get into a song we could take the audience with us. PB : Alex and Hugh shared most of the songwriting credits. How much impact did the rest of you have in creating the songs?
CG : That would be the beginning of a very long conversation if you wanted to break it down to talk about individual songs. Things, however,usually expanded from the person who had the original idea, and the credit of the original song. PB : You headlined Reading in both and then again in Did you feel then in those years that you would perhaps go on forever? ZC : Yeah,definitely. We felt that Alex was indestructible, but the reality was he was anything but.
CG : Everything was very insular though for us as well. Unlike a lot of bands now who only do festivals, and have lots of time off, we had no time off. I thought we were quite good, but we never really interacted much with other musicians. Only when the band split did we find out we were fucking good, because other people wanted us to play with them.
It was then that we found out that other musicians really respected us. Before then it was very incesteous between us all. Even now 30 years on those shows are still remembered fondly. Why were those shows never filmed? TM : It was just a lack of vision on behalf of the management. It was all happening then. If someone had filmed those, that would have been our piece de resistance. CG : We were out with the timing.
It was in the days just before video. It t would have been great if there had been video then. Loads of people said that they saw that in America. The reaction was incredible. We were definitely pre-video. We were made for video the way we see it now, just for our live performances alone.
They were Sensational!!! Related Bands edit. I'm really enjoying this album. Mike Knoop: What I was expecting: An album of blues standards slavishly replicated by British musicians barely out of their teens.
What, no one else hears Australia's finest in the jackhammer rhythms, cheeky humour, and sly vocal delivery that can rise into a throaty yowl? But now I obviously have another band in mind. Thank you, Classic Rockfor another great discovery and sending me down the rock 'n' roll rabbit hole yet again. Chris Webb: Having taken another couple of listens to Framed this week, I was struck by how well sequenced the track listing is.
Framedthen the slow burn of Hammer Song followed by the sturdy rocker Midnight Moses - what a killer riff! Love the fact the album ends on a barnburner like St Anthony, too. I was also struck by how much Alex shares some vocal inflections with Bon Scott, never noticed that before. To me Bon Scott is a legend.
So this leads to a problem regarding this album. I'm really not sure who came first. Was it Bon emulating Alex, or the other way round? Someone will tell me. But to me they sound, look and move the same. And i just can't get that out of my head. As far as the material goes, each songs starts with loads of promise, but ultimately fails to deliver and is a bit of a let down in the end. Worth a go but I'll stick with Dirty Deeds thank you.
Brian Carr: I may have heard the name Sensational Alex Harvey Band once or twice in my life, but certainly never heard anything by them.
Totally reminded me of the great Bon Scott, so I had to research. Ah, both Scottish. Something like Alex Harvey being a big influence on Bon.
So what did I think of the album? It was ok. Honestly, I need to give it another listen in order to write about more than just my research skills. It has since accompanied me on runs and commutes. I really like it, no tech or historical insight other than I'm going to take a wild and uninformed guess that Bon Scott was a fan, tales of high jinks, low women and brushes with the law File under "I have no idea what it is but I rather like it!
If someone had told me this was an early record by Bon Scott, I might have believed them as some of the vocal phrasing and general tone is very like Scott. But every now and then Alex' Glasgow accent shines through. Interesting, but uneven and a bit ramshackle - it was worth a listen but not something I'll dig out again.
Harvey wasn't much of a singer; he was a vocaliser and entertainer, and he was brilliant in the guise of a mad Glaswegian ex-con. The band were fantastic Zal Cleminson looked ridiculous but their albums were so-so.
Live it was a different story. Saw them twice at the Reading Festival. Once was on a sunny afternoon and Alex went mental, climbing over the sound system and stage; a year or two later, Album) were headlining and just as good. The only other band who were very similar were the Heavy Metal Kids, who also put on a brilliant mid-afternoon performance at the Reading Festival and who weren't heavy metal. The history of rock, one album at a time.
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Distant Love - Various - Street Style Volume 2 (File, MP3), Overload (14) - Love To Love You Baby (Vinyl), May Each Day - Andy Williams - 48 Greatest Hits (Vinyl, LP), Music To Watch Girls By - Jaki Byard - Solo/Strings (CD), Fingerprint File, Merry Go Round - The Funky Junkies - Seaside Rock (CD, Album), Good Life - Quictamac* - Passport Only (CD, Album), Love Theme - John Williams (4) And The Boston Pops Orchestra - Music From The Star Wars Saga (CD)