Riding Easy Records
Release date: 20/04/2019
Running time: 29 mins
Review by: Alun Jones
Back in ’68, I believe it was, though a lot of my memory remains hazy. It was a small London jazz club, in Chelsea I think, and Hendrix spontaneously got up to jam. Moon was on drums, John Paul Jones picked up the bass, and Clapton and Pagey jumped up to run through a few blues numbers. I was in the audience, somewhat refreshed, with a quality geezer who worked as a roadie for Hendrix. His name was Ian, though everyone called him “Lemmy”.
Anyway, I might have overindulged in something or other, but it was a fantastic night. I mean, musicians of that calibre sharing the same stage! Incredible. Until, that was, Jagger decided he wanted to join in on vocals. Brian Jones decided to bring his bandmate down a peg or two, and lobbed a huge quiche at old rubber lips. Bosh, hit him straight in the mush. Jagger was not happy. The next thing you know, Moon chucks his sticks at Mickey Dolenz and all hell breaks loose.
There was cake and vol-au-vents everywhere. It took me days to clean the sausage rolls out of Pagey’s pick-ups. But that was the sixties, you know? All good fun.
Brown Acid: The Eighth Trip does a great job of bringing back the vibes from that time. Compiled by Riding Easy Records, it consists of ten rare shots of proto-metal and stoner rock from the late 60s and early seventies. These tracks are so long lost, whoever raided the tombs they were in probably received an ancient curse for disturbing them.
The songs on offer aren’t really of the sheer riff heavy variety that Black Sabbath would perfect, but if you’re interested in hearing how rock’n’roll was deep fried in LSD and pushed to the limit, there are some fine nuggets here.
The first track, “School Daze” by Attack!, has a real MC5 hell-for-leather rock’n’roll feel. That greasy, take-no-prisoners Detroit approach serves them well. Up next is White Rock with “Please Don’t Run Away”, a glorious fuzzed out, scuzzy rocker. The brilliantly named Luke and the Apostles give us “Not Far Off”, featuring fabulous throaty vocals over a dynamite slab of blues rock.
There’s plenty more psychedelic, acid drenched fare that will resonate with fans of Hendrix, Cream, Mountain and even early Alice Cooper. “I Need My Music” by the Tourists is another highlight, along with Moloch’s “Cocaine Katy”. There’s a reassuring low-fi sound to the whole thing, with occasional faint vinyl crackles even, that gives the enterprise some charm.
Of the two covers on offer here, Inside Experience’s “Tales of Brave Ulysses” is fine but doesn’t challenge the original. On the other hand, the wonderfully named Grump take the King’s “Heartbreak Hotel” out on a glorious, whiskey fuelled Leo Sayer and don’t hand it back till it’s puked it’s kebab up in the back of the taxi.
The tracks compiled for Brown Acid: The Eighth Trip may not change your life, but there’s plenty to enjoy. If you’re not already a fan of rock music from this period, then think of this as a history lesson and indulge yourself. Just be careful what you indulge yourself in, eh?
Right then, gin and tonic, anyone?
- Attack! – “School Daze”
- White Rock – “Please Don’t Run Away”
- River Side – “Wayfarer”
- Luke and the Apostles – “Not Far Off”
- Tourists – “I Need My Music”
- Bartos Brothers Band – “Gambler”
- Inside Experience – “Tales of Brave Ulysses”
- Karma – “New Mexico”
- Moloch – “Cocaine Katy”
- Grump – “Heartbreak Hotel”