The Manband Forum

General Category => Other Bands - General Discussion => Topic started by: Mike M on May 31, 2008, 03:28:51 PM

Title: A band called O
Post by: Mike M on May 31, 2008, 03:28:51 PM
I remember seeing these a few times in Swansea in the mid 70's, but don't recall anything about their roots / evolution or even what sort of stuff they played.  Anyone remember?
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Colin S on May 31, 2008, 05:24:36 PM
A Band Called O shared the same management as Man, sharing a similar line-up of two guitars and keyboards and excellent vocal harmonies, and toured with them sometimes - weren't they on the Maximum Darkness tour? They played a variety of Funk Rock Lite, to my ears, although I haven't heard their later albums. The first, "O", is okay with some nice poppy tunes in some fair to clunky arrangements. The second LP, "Oasis" is pure joy from beginning to end, great licks, riffs and textures. They also toured in a triple package with Sassafras and the wonderful Randy Pie. For their third LP "The Knife", they moved from Epic to UA and changed their name to the O Band for filing reasons. I haven't heard that album or their fourth and I think last, whse name I forget. I think they were originally from the Channel Islands and moved to Leicester. Pete Filleul (keys) went on to make a career as a session musician and composer, Pix Pickford (gtr) had a fairly unsuccessful solo career, Craig Anders played exquisite slide guitar and had much in common with our Mr Jones Snr His brother Mark played bass, and Derek Ballard was on the kit.
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: rocknet on June 07, 2008, 01:54:18 AM
A Band Called O evolved from the roots of The Parlour Band in the early seventies.  I remember hearing them on John Peel's Top Gear radio show a few times and thought they would be worth checking out.  One of the best decisions I ever made!  I still regularly listen to the band's 4 albums - A Band Called O (1974), Oasis (1975), Within Reach (1976) and The Knife (1977).  Each of the albums is very good but my personal favourite is Within Reach that includes the classic Smile Is Diamond track (this is essential listening!).  Whilst the studio albums clearly demonstrate the musical talent within the band, the live setting was where they really shined.  I was lucky enough to see the band 4 times - one of the gigs was in May 1975 supporting Man on the Maximum Darkness tour (with legendary John Cipollina as guest guitarist) and later that same year I caught them on the Hot On The Tracks tour with Sassafras and Randy Pie.  Sadly the type of music the band was playing became totally unfashionable around 1977 with the arrival of punk rock.  Most concert venues were only interested in putting on punk bands and the lack of opportunities for gigs, and resultant financial pressures, forced the band to quit in 1977.  A sad end for a much underrated band that with a bit of good fortune could have been massive.  I think Pix Pickford's solo career was limited to the Long Drop single.  However, I recently came across his name again in a band called Racket (http://www.absoluteaxarquia.com/banner/racket.html (http://www.absoluteaxarquia.com/banner/racket.html)) who are based in Spain.  I think it is time for a holiday to check out this band and relive some of the halcyon days of rock music!
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Colin S on June 12, 2008, 06:21:43 PM
I stand corrected about the order of the albums, rocknet, thanks! I still hae my copy of Long Drop - was that all Pix did? It was disappointing after the O Band material. But I had read about his Spanish band somewhere - perhaps on the Manboard, fount of all knowledge.
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Pete Clarkson on June 13, 2008, 03:04:00 PM
Hi Oric - this is the link to Pix's Spanish band...  http://racketinspain.com/
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Allan Heron on June 13, 2008, 03:17:48 PM
I've got both The Knife and Within Reach on CD.

The first two albums haven't seen the light of day yet on CD but given that they were on CBS/Epic and much of Arcadia's reissues emanate from their perhaps their is hope!
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Colin S on June 13, 2008, 05:52:48 PM
Thanks, Pete!

Allan, I've got Oasis on CD from an old cassette copy of an old LP, if you're desperate!
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Allan Heron on June 13, 2008, 06:09:41 PM
Allan, I've got Oasis on CD from an old cassette copy of an old LP, if you're desperate!

I've got them on vinyl - it's just such an imposition having to get up after 15-20 minutes to turn them over though  ::)
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Jules on June 15, 2008, 12:19:50 AM
Of course let's not forget that Mark Anders now runs Bug Music, who've been publishing most of Man's more recent material.

I've been promising for a few years to do a couple of web pages to commemorate the O Band, which I really must get down to doing soon.

The two CDs of their latter albums are well worth getting, and the bonus live version of 'Fine White Wine' is a great taster (ahem) for how they sounded when stretching out a little.
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: rocknet on August 14, 2012, 10:54:04 PM
Thought some of you might be interested to know about a new live album from A Band Called 'O'.  'On The Road 1975-77' was released on 11 June 2012 and features tracks recorded at two Nottingham University gigs in 1975 and 1977.  More information is available at http://mlplive.com/mlplive_007.htm (http://mlplive.com/mlplive_007.htm).
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Jules on August 15, 2012, 01:21:27 AM
Recommended. They were pretty much at their best on the shows covered. A crying shame the first two albums still aren't available on CD yet, unless anyone knows different.
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Michael Heatley on August 15, 2012, 09:32:55 AM
Funnily enough I have a copy of this 'new' album going in my latest CD sale list!  ;D
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Pete T on August 15, 2012, 11:19:02 AM
....
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Martin Daughton on August 15, 2012, 08:51:16 PM
I'm amazed no-one's suggested taking a peek at Jules' excellent summaries of the LPs in the "Friends and Family" section of the music part of the amazing Manband Archive...  8)
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Rob W on August 15, 2012, 09:07:15 PM
....

Hiya Pete   :)
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Nick Nation on August 15, 2012, 09:27:53 PM
....

Thank goodness I know my Morse Code. This stems from spending entire school holidays on my Dad's ship. Err, tug really. Still, nevertheless. Anyway, Pete is saying 'H'. For those of you who don't know, text speech (c u 2moz etc) has been officially deemed uncool and in its place the youth of today are using Morse Code. And I've just been told that using Morse Code has now gone out of fashion and they're using semaphores. Why Pete is saying 'H' I don't know. Help Yourself? Henry Cow? Cow & Chicken?
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Mike M on August 15, 2012, 11:19:59 PM
....

Thank goodness I know my Morse Code. This stems from spending entire school holidays on my Dad's ship. Err, tug really.
Let's be clear on this, were you on the ship or the tug?
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Jules on August 16, 2012, 12:43:01 AM
Let's be clear on this, were you on the ship or the tug?

I think we'd need some video evidence wouldn't we? Of Nick on the ship that is.

Could do without video of Nick on the tug.
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Rob W on August 16, 2012, 01:01:38 AM


I think we'd need some video evidence wouldn't we? Of Nick on the ship that is.

HMS Dinafore?
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: Nick Nation on August 16, 2012, 08:26:01 AM
Let's be clear on this, were you on the ship or the tug?

Ok Ok. Let's be precise. It was a tug working out of Sheerness when I was about 10 or so then a ship working out of Yarmouth in my early teens. For practical reasons, the video evidence was a lot later.

HMS Dinafore?

I'd nearly forgotten about that.....'featuring The Pilates of Penzance' to give it it's full title.
Title: Re: A band called O
Post by: John Bannon on August 28, 2012, 07:10:41 PM
For those with a few bob to spare....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/THE-PARLOUR-BAND-IS-A-FRIEND-UK-ORIGINAL-DERAM-LP-NEAR-MINT-psych-PROG-/130753365635?pt=Mu