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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
4th November 2011
Forty years ago back in 1971 Decca Records released a record by a little known band called Leaf Hound with the album 'Growers Of Mushroom'. Despite the album getting rave reviews, the album only sold by the bucket full.This may be due to the fact that Decca took their time releasing the product due to upheavals inside the company and the fact that they didn't really know how to market a rock band.
Leaf Hound were on tour in Germany supporting a pre-Schenker UFO and by the time they had returned to Blighty singer Peter French had decided to at first hook up with drummer Cozy Powell in Bertha before joining Atomic Rooster for the 'In Hearing Of...' and thus Leaf Hound was disbanded, all before the release of 'Growers Of Mushroom'. Hence the low sales with no band the promote it.
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That album got lost in the annals of time, but steadlily over time many peers have realised the greatness of the album with it's heavy riffs of Led Zeppilin meets Cream. Modern bands like Orange Goblin, Wolfmother and Tame Impala have cited Leaf Hound as a major influence and the album has since reached cult rock status amongst the stoner rock community.The album is so revered that an original copy will set you back a few grand on Ebay and is annually in the Top 10 of the most collectable records in Record Collector Magazine.
A new line up of Leaf Hound was formed in 2005 with only singer Peter French from the original line up.Although this line up that released a critically acclaimed album in 'Unleashed' a couple of years later has remained solid. For the first time ever tonight saw Leaf Hound perform that iconic album in it's entirety.
Fans had travelled from afar for this historic occasion and were in for a treat. May be it was first night nerves but the Hound decided to play the album slightly out of sync with the title track at the end but they certainly didn't disapoint. Album opener 'Freelance Fiend' kicked the evening of in fine fashion with it's cowbell kick start from drummer Jim Rowland who played a fully focused set. The infectious riff from this number is a rocker's delight and should be much more well known than what is it. Hopefully that will change soon as it will be featured in the soundtrack to the forthcoming film 'Nipples And Palm Trees'.
Two songs were performed for the first time in Leaf Hound's history namely in 'Sawdust Caeser' and 'Work My Body' where Peter French's pristine voice had a lot more clarity on this bluesy workout which made the hairs on my back stand on end, a real gem of the evening. 'Sad Road To The Sea' has a new finesse improvised intro from guitarist Luke Rayner and bassist Ed Pearson which gave the song a new freshness. The title track brought the set to a mind expanding climax.
Encores of the more recent 'Too Many Rock 'N Roll Times' and a re-working of Atomic Rooster's 'Breakthrough' featuring some fleunt work from the young hot shot Rayner was sublime.
Drown My Life In Fear
Work My Body
With A Minute To Go
Sad Road To The Sea
Growers Of Mushroom
Too Many Rock 'N Roll Times
And here's Mark's video interview with the band...