Tuesday, May 5, 2009



Formed in Tonbridge, Kent, by Terry Clarke and Terry Dobson, this band were originally known as The Spurlyweeves and later as The Good Thing Brigade. In November 1967 they were spotted by former Four Pennies bassist, who was working as an A&R man for Philips at the time. He got them a recording contract just ahead of EMI, who were also interested.A recent Clarke/Dobson composition, The Collected Works Of Justin Crest, proved the inspiration (with an adjustment to the Christian name) for a new name, Jason Crest. Their debut 45, Turquoise Tandem Cycle, was quite impressive - a slowish Procol Harum-like ballad with classical undertones, a steady beat and a sort of pipe organ throughout. With a little more power it could have been a hit, but is wasn't.The follow-up, Juliano The Bull, a rather child-orientated pop song which isn't as good, met with the same fate. By now their record company was beginning to panic at their lack of commercial success and Roy Wood was brought in as a producer for their third 45, a cover of The Move's (Here We Go Round The) Lemon Tree (which had been the flip side to Flowers In The Rain a year earlier). Despite Wood's presence the single flopped.For their fourth 45 the band were ordered to record a Fritz Fryer composition, Waterloo Road, which was so uninteresting that no-one's bothered to compile it. By now Philips had all but lost interest in them. One probable spin off is that they were allowed to select another Clarke/Dobson composition for what would be their final 45, Black Mass. A slow piece of heavier psychedelia, the vocals, in particular, reflect very much the emerging late sixties heavy rock style of bands like Deep Purple. The flip side was also pretty good.Sadly, the 45 again met with indifference and the group broke up soon after its release. The band also recorded some other tracks in 1968 including:- King Of The Castle, Collected Works Of Justin Crest, Teagarden Lane, You Really Got A Hold On Me and Charge Of The Light Brigade. Of these the strongest are Teagarden Lane, another Procol Harum-type organ-led ballad with a fine ending and You Really Got A Hold On Me, which is given an interesting reinterpretation with more good organ work. The other three are pretty credible British whimsical pop-psych efforts which are well worth hearing.After the band split Terry Dobson quit the music business. The remaining members splintered into Orang Utan (whose heavy psychedelic album was only released in the States), High Broom and Samuel Proby. Within a few months, though, Clarke, Siggery and Smallcombe teamed up in Highway who soon became Holy Mackerel. From 1983 onwards Terry Clarke fronted Vendetta with ex-Mike Stuart Span guitarist Brian Bennett.
1. Turquoise Tandem Cycle 2. Teagarden Lane 3. Patricia's Dream 4. Place in the Sun 5. My House Is Burning 6. King of the Castle 7. Collected Works of Justin Crest 8. Black Mass 9. Charge of the Light Brigade 10. (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree 11. You Really Got a Hold of Me 12. Two by the Sea 13. Juliano the Bull 14. Education 15. Waterloo Road 16. Good Life
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