[Notes by Brian Young]
Way back then, inspired by a vibrant Scottish gig scene, we shared stages with Hamish Stuart of the Poets(later AWB & Paul McCartney), Ian Clews, Ronnie Leahy & Fraser Watson of the Pathfinders(Apple’s White Trash), Marmalade, Jimmie Doris & Frankie Millar of the Stoics, Dougie Thomson of The Beings(later Supertramp), Jim Mullen and John Martyn. Our wee band, The Power of Music went to Germany and like the Beatles played residencies every night improving our musical technique and creative style. Our eyes were opened in the beautiful town Bad Kreuznach then onto the big psychedelic trips of the Frankfurt clubs. Back home, our manager, Ronnie Simpson had us successfully audition for ex-Stones & Marianne Faithfull manager Tony Calder. His company Realization 7 were looking to produce acts for Regal Zonophone. Recording began at Regent Sound where the Stones had recorded classics ‘Little Red Rooster’ & ’Not Fade Away’ on their first LP, the Beatles with ‘Fixing a Hole’ for Sgt. Pepper and the Kinks. We moved onto Sound Techniques where The Pink Floyd’s ‘Arnold Layne’ & ‘See Emily Play’ were recorded. As did The Who, The Yardbirds. Great studio DNA around. <Sister, Brother, Lover> came out on EMI as SLRZ 1020 in1971 and sold 10,000+ copies. We went on to do tour supports with Fleetwood Mac, Free, Deep Purple, Yes and Hawkwind but alas the times were a-changin’, and we split. I joined Tam when he moved to London to join “Million People”, Dave also moved to London, Colin and Shug began “Shug Barr’s All Stars” back in Glasgow. Looking back 40 years later, we all realise we had shared that very very special, unique space in time and place. This reissue is dedicated to drummer Alex Stenhouse who didn’t make that German trip...
-Brian Young 2015
[INTERVIEW with Brian Young]
1. We saw a reference on Flamingo West's catalogue to a soundtrack with Northwind featuring Fraser Speirs. Can this be right or is it separate tracks? Old Northwind tracks? Previously unreleased material?
B.Y. - A few years ago I wrote some music for a feature film called “Love the One You’re with”, Fraser helped me considerably put it together, and Shug Barr added some guitar on a couple of tracks. Recalling the name Northwind sounded a good idea. We now have a 60’s blues rock band called Northwind inc. Fraser Speirs - harp, Ted McKenna (SAHB) on kit, Dave Anderson - keys, and writer Brian Hogg on vox.. It’s all too much(and great fun).
2. Who replaced you in the band?
B.Y. - Northwind mk.1 is the one on your website. Northwind mk.2 had KIM BEACON on vocals as well as myself - this lasted around 6 months, Northwind mk.3 had TOMMY EWING on vocals as well as myself - this lasted one short German tour of around 2 months. I left and the remainder of Northwind became “Shug Barr and the Allstars”- at that point I started “Ca Va” with Kim Beacon on L. Vox + drums, Brian Michie on bass and Alan Sweeney on gtr. This lasted less than a year when Kim was asked to join STRING DRIVEN THING as lead singer with CHARISMA records - I went to London to join Tom Brannan’s band A MILLION PEOPLE with Alan Sweeney lasting around 6 months - I then started Ca Va Studios.
3. How did you land the record contract with Zonophone?
B.Y. - Our agents were Music & Cabaret (Ronnie Simpson). The ex-Stones manager Tony Calder was looking for bands for his production company Realization 7- both Tear Gas and Northwind signed at the same time - we were then offered Regal Zonophone(no advance) like Tear Gas.
4. Any early musical history of band members you'd care to mention?
B.Y. - Both Colin Sommerville and myself had been to school together and started the band THE POWER OF MUSIC which became Northwind when Tom(back from London) and Shug(from Glasgow's Crusade) joined. Ron Leckie joined on drums and took us to Germany for 6 months when he was replaced by Dave Scott from Edinburgh who we found in a hippie commune in Frankfurt - he was there with SPIGGY TOPES(I think).
5. Are you all from the west of Scotland?
B.Y. - Yes but Dave was from Edinburgh
6. The 'what happened next' as far as yourself and to an extent Hugh Barr and to an even a lesser extent Tam Brannon we know. What happened to the other 2 guys?
B.Y. - After the Allstars split Shug moved to Skye playing with Jim Wilkie and Iain Cochrane. Tam moved back to London. Colin is still in Glasgow, and Dave moved to London then Europe to work in pro- audio. Unfortunately Kim Beacon died in 2005, but as far as I’m aware the rest of us are all still on the planet-ish.
7. Where was the picture on the LP front cover taken?
B.Y. - We used to go to a groovy little cottage(see back of cover) in Ardentinny. I’ve since discovered that McCartney was just round the bay at the time.
8. Why the Les Paul gold tops?
B.Y. - I got the first Gold top re-issue McCormacks had in 1969(£350), and Shug got his in Frankfurt 1970. It gave us that double harmony sound well before Wishbone Ash even thought of it.
9. Were there any covers in Northwind's sets?
B.Y. - The one’s you mentioned, but in particular ‘40,000 headmen’ by Traffic, ‘The Weight’ by the Band. But ‘Set the controls for the heart of the sun’ by Pink Floyd could go on for around 20 minutes in Frankfurt’s 65 Club with drum solos with tape delay featured heavily with up to 1,000 audience going daft on acid!!
released February 24, 2015
*Track 1~9 were originally released as SLRZ 1020 in 1971
*Track 10~12 taken from the acetate recorded at APPLE Corp., in 1970
*Track 13 & 14 taken from the 1/4” EMI tape recorded in 1973
Reissue Producer: Lee Bong-soo
Reissue Artwork: Baek Ji-hoon(Beatball Design Lab.)
Re-mastered by Brian Young & Geoff Allan at Ca Va Sound, Glasgow 2014
Thanks to; Brian Young, Joe Foster, Kim Young-jun, Lee Seung