Tapestry of Delights: A London-based band who were popular on the club and college circuit. After an album for Polydor, which is now rare and sought-after because it was withdrawn soon after its release, they were signed to Charisma after they were spotted by the label's boss Tony Stratton-Smith supporting Led Zeppelin at the Lyceum in London.
Friend's Friend's Friend and The House On The Hill were both creative and worthwhile rock albums. Both, especially the former, are dominated by the outstanding sax and flute playing of Keith Gemmell and Werth's strong and rather unusual vocals. Shel Talmy was lined up to produce the Friend's Friend's Friend album but declined at the last moment because he didn't like some of the material. He was looking for a big commercial album and while tracks like Belladonna Moonshine and It Brings A Tear probably appealed to him many of the others (e.g. Raid) were more experimental and didn't. As a result the band ended up producing the album themselves. Their Indian Summer 45, which sold quite well in the States, and the House On The Hill album were produced by Gus Dudgeon. This had a cover version (I've Put A Spell On You) but otherwise, like the first two, was made up of self-penned material including the R&B Jackdaw and the gentler I Had A Dream.
The band toured America with The Faces and built up a good underground following there. The line-up was augmented for the Lunch album by Nick Judd and American sessionmen Bobby Keys and Jim Price. This was probably their magnum opus but after its release personality rifts, particularly between Keith Gemmell and the rest of the band, ripped them apart.
They also performed the score for the 'Bronco Bullfrog' movie (also released under the name 'Angel Lane') which was written by Howard Werth. It was a film shot in the East End with a team of kids from a theatre, none of whom were professional actors.
After the band split, Gemmel joined Sammy; Werth apparently went to the US in an attempt to make music with the surviving Doors members, before returning to the UK. In 1975 he recorded as Howard Werth and The Moonbeams. Trevor Williams went on to Jonathan Kelly's Outside, and then The Nashville Teens; Connor first joined Jackson Heights and then Hot Chocolate; and Judd joined first Sharks (May '73 - Jul '74), then The Andy Fraser Band, eventually becoming a session musician.
The Unchained compilation featured their Charisma material between 1970-72 and came with quite informative sleevenotes. They also had the following cuts on compilations at the time:- Banquet on Rock Party, and House On The Hill on Way Into The 70s.
(Vernon Joynson / Lloyd Peasley / Jim McMaster)
TONY CONNOR drms KEITH GEMMELL woodwind HOWARD WERTH gtr, vcls TREVOR WILLIAMS bs, keyb'ds, vcls
01 - Banquet 3:48 02 - Poet 3:05 03 - Waverley Stage Coach 2:59 04 - River Boat Queen 2:58 05 - Harlequin 2:35 06 - Heaven Was An Island 4:18 07 - Too Late I`m Gone 2:37 08 - Maidens Cry 4:47 09 - Pleasant Convalescence 2:30 10 - Leave It Unsaid 4:10 11 - Man On Box 3:06 12 - House On The Hill 4:06 13 - Paper Round 3:42 14 - The Going Song 1:42 15 - Troubles 1:24
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