In The Land of Free, we still keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Audience - Lunch (1972 uk, sublime electric folk, progressive rock)

Audience rose from the ashes of a semi-professional soul band named Lloyd Alexander Real Estate, which had included all the Audience members with the exception of Connor, who had unsuccessfully auditioned for the earlier band when John Richardson left to form The Rubettes. However, when Werth, Williams, and Gemmell decided to form their new band, it was Connor who came to mind as the right man to complete the line-up.

Audience recorded three albums with Charisma, the members producing and designing the first Friends Friends Friend themselves before bringing in legendary producer Gus Dudgeon and top record sleeve designers Hipgnosis to get the best from their follow-up albums House on the Hill and Lunch.

Their first two albums were not issued in the U.S. Elektra signed them (around the time Elektra signed Lindisfarne, another Charisma group), and their final two albums were issued in the U.S.

Dudgeon's first 45rpm production for the band, "Indian Summer", took the band into the lower reaches of the U.S. charts, but by this time they were exhausted and fractious, having worked virtually non-stop for three years. A U.S. tour with Rod Stewart and The Faces, although successful, brought things to a head, resulting in Gemmell leaving the band.

The unfinished Lunch album was completed with the help of The Rolling Stones and Mad Dogs and Englishmen brass section, Jim Price and Bobby Keys, following which they went straight back on the road with new members Pat Charles Neuberg, from Joyce Bond Revue, on alto and soprano sax and ex-B B Blunder Nick Judd on electric piano.

The new line-up never really worked well together, and Williams, the band's main lyricist, resigned eight months later. When Nick Judd received an offer to join Juicy Lucy, the band folded. Judd later went on to join Alan Bown, The Andy Fraser Band, Brian Eno, Frankie Miller and Sharks, most recently emerging in a Madness spin-off band.

Soon after Howard Werth released his first solo album, still with Charisma and produced by Dudgeon. Called King Brilliant, his band, containing members of Hookfoot and with Mike Moran on keyboards, was dubbed Howard Werth and The Moonbeams, and came close to having a major hit with Lucinda. However, it wasn't to be, and when he was headhunted by The Doors (Audience stable-mates on the U.S. Elektra record label) to replace Jim Morrison, Werth left for the USA.

In any event, The Doors did not reform, and Werth found himself engaged in numerous short term projects with Doors' keyboard man Ray Manzarek and musicians from Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band before returning to the UK in the early 1980s. Although appearing live only occasionally, Werth subsequently recorded two more solo albums, 6 of 1 and Half a Dozen of the Other on Demon Records and The Evolution Myth Explodes for his own Luminous Music label.

1. Stand by the Door (Werth) - 3:56
2. Seven Sore Bruises - 2:36
3. Hula Girl (Gemmell, Werth) - 2:39
4. Ain't the Man You Need - 3:20
5. In Accord (Connor, Gemmell, Williams) - 4:54
6. Barracuda Dan - 2:20
7. Thunder and Lightning (Werth) - 3:37
8. Party Games - 3:19
9. Trombone Gulch - 2:42
10. Buy Me an Island (Werth) - 5:10
All songs by H. Werth and T. Williams unless otherwise written.

*Howard Werth - Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Connor - Drums, Marimba, Vibraphone
*Gus Dudgeon - Percussion
*Keith Gemmell - Clarinet, Flute, Wind
*Nick Judd - Piano, Keyboards
*Bobby Keys - Saxophone
*Jim Price - Trombone, Trumpet, Horn
*Trevor Williams - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals

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