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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sherbet - On With The Show (1973 aussie, nice glam rock with progressive shades)

Alongside Skyhooks, Sherbet was the most successful Australian pop band of the 1970s. With a run of 20 consecutive hit singles to its credit, and 17 albums that yielded ten platinum and 40 gold disc awards, Sherbet was the first domestic act to sell a million dollars worth of records in Australia.

Under the direction of astute manager Roger Davies, the band also pioneered the concept of the national rock tour by undertaking arduous, cross-country treks to play in the far-flung corners of the continent. Sherbets carefully cultivated image tended to alienate the `serious music fan, although the bands ability to deliver well-crafted pop music has never been in doubt.

The original Sherbet line-up emerged from the ashes of two Sydney dance bands, Downtown Roll Band and Clapham Junction. Englishman Clive Shakespeare formed Downtown Roll Band in 1968 with Doug Rae, Danny Taylor, Pam Slater (vocals), Francis Ma (vocals) and Adrian Cuff (organ). The band played Stax/Volt soul, James Brown and Tamla Motown covers before calling it a day in March 1969. Dennis Laughlin and Sam Sees previous band, Clapham Junction, ran its own discotheque called the Union Jack. There were a number of different Clapham Junction line-ups.

Following Laughlin and Sees departures in early 1969, the line-up of Jim Willebrandt (vocals), William Mahoney (vocals), Derek Lewis (guitar), Peter Noble (bass) and David Mills (drums) recorded a single for the Du Monde label, `Emily on Sunday/`Good Time Music (November 1970). Shakespeare formed Sherbet in April 1969. Taylor left three months later to be replaced by Alan Sandow (ex-Daisy Roots). At the end of the year, the band recorded its debut single for Festival, `Crimson Ships/`Everything.

By the time the single appeared in March 1970, Daryl Braithwaite (ex-Bright Lights, House of Bricks, Samael Lilith) had replaced Laughlin and Bruce Worrall (ex-Bright Lights, House of Bricks, Samael Lilith) had taken over from Rae on bass. Laughlin went on to join Toby Jugg. Well before Sherbet commenced its national touring schedule, the band had honed its performance skills with an unbelievable eight-month residency at Jonathons discotheque in Sydney.

Throughout the residency, the band played seven hours a night, four nights a week. After that, the members of Sherbet were ready to take on the world! The next member to leave, however, was See who departed in October 1970 to join Flying Circus. From there he joined Fraternity, Greg Quills Southern Cross, The Stockley See Mason Band, the Jimmy Barnes Band and the John Farnham Band among others.

New Zealand-born Garth Porter (Hammond organ, electric piano ex-Toby Jugg) came in as Sees replacement and the band signed to Festivals new subsidiary label Infinity. `Can You Feel It Baby?/`The Love You Save (#22 in August 1971) and a cover of Delaney and Bonnies `Free the People/`All Our Yesterdays (national #36, Sydney #5 in December) were the bands first national hit singles. In January 1972, Tony Mitchell (ex-Wheelbarrow, Harry Young and Sabbath) replaced Worrall on bass. Wheelbarrow comprised Mitchell, John Ford (guitar, vocals), Charlie Wright (piano) and Jim Mitchell (drums).

The band issued one single, `Dame Zara/`Trying So Hard (December 1969), before Mitchell joined Harry Young and Sabbath. That band comprised Harry Young (vocals), Tony Mitchell (bass), Jim Mitchell (drums, who was replaced by Mike Cassidy), Tony Leigh (guitar) and Tony Barton (flute, guitar) Charlie Wright also joined on organ in 1972. The band enjoyed success on the Sydney charts with three singles, `San Bernadino/`Sand, Sea and Sky (December 1970), `Wheat in the Field/`You Cant Destroy Love (#7, April 1971) and `Paper Girl/`Bus Drivers Son (August).

1972 proved to be a watershed year in Sherbets development. The band supported Creedence Clearwater Revival on a national tour the singles Ted Mulrys `Youre All Woman/`Back Home (#13 in August) and `Youve Got the Gun/`Do It (#29 in December) were hits the band took out first place in the Hoadleys National Battle of the Sounds final the debut album Time Change A Natural Progression (December) came out and finally Sherbet was voted Top Australian Group in the Go-Set Pop Poll.

Sherbet issued two singles during 1973, Leiber and Stollers `Hound Dog/`Can I Drive You Home? (#21 in July) and `Cassandra/ `Time Change (#5 in October). `Cassandra came from the bands second album, On with the Show (#6 in November), and was the first real indication of the Porter/Shakespeare-penned pop masterpieces that were to follow. Both records made extensive use of Porters newly acquired Mellotron, which gave Sherbet a distinctive edge and sound over other Australian pop groups of the day. The band ended the year with the Best Australian Group honour at the TV Week King of Pop Awards.

"On With The Shows" is a suprising good album and it's getting even better as time slips over the grooves, reminds me my mid seventies wanderings along with David Bowie and Procol Harum...

1. We Can Make It Right (Garth Porter, Clive Shakespeare) - 4:42
2. Summer Satisfaction (Clive Shakespeare)  - 2:49
3. Jubilee Morning (Garth Porter, Clive Shakespeare)  - 5:40
4. Cassandra (Garth Porter, Clive Shakespeare)  - 3:30
5. Roll Me Over (Clive Shakespeare)  - 2:50
6. Chicago (Graham Nash)  - 9:29
7. Jungle Jiver (Garth Porter, Clive Shakespeare)  - 4:41
8. Sweet Valentine (Clive Shakespeare) - 3:18
9. Au Revoir (Garth Porter, Clive Shakespeare) - 2:30

*Tony Mitchell - Bass, Vocals
*Alan Sandow - Drums
*Clive Shakespeare - Guitar, Vocals
*Garth Porter - Keyboards, Vocals
*Daryl Braithwaite - Vocals

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