9 July 2012

Slack Alice - Motorcycle Dream/ Ridin' The Wind

Label: Fontana
Year of Release: 1974

The seventies was an odd period when hard rocking bands seemed to regularly poke their heads out from their drinking dens on the club circuit to release one single and possibly an album, only to promptly disappear again.  Fronted by the pouting Sandra and apparently hailing from Barnet (North London), the brilliantly named Slack Alice were one such example, apparently serving up some mean R&B covers as well as original material on the national live circuit. Whatever their abilities, this was clearly not enough for them to  break through to what we would probably have called "the big time" back then.

This single - which seems to have been their only seven inch effort - showcases a band who sound very much of their time, with elements of Shocking Blue and Suzi Quatro present and correct in the mix.  It rocks hard and is not without grit, but there's a poppiness here too which perhaps should have given the band a better chance.  Some minimal radio airplay was apparently generated, but a proper crossover into the charts never really occurred, and this record has subsequently fallen into obscurity since.  

After the failure of this record and their eponymous album (which I've never seen a physical copy of) Sandra, guitarist and songwriter Peter Finberg and the rest - whoever they were - apparently decamped to the growing pub rock scene in London to mix with the Feelgoods and Hotrods of this world, but this trend wasn't enough to resuscitate their career, and eventually they petered out.  

Apologies for the appalling digital images of the appalling injection moulded label, by the way.  My scanner is broken, I don't have enough money to buy a new one, and there's not enough light in rain-soaked London at the moment to easily take digital snapshots of label images.  Does that paint a rather bleak image for you all?  Ah, sorry.


Magnus Dering said...

fucking good song from a band since long gone but still in my mind
very good

Magnus Dering said...

very good song by a band since long gone but not forgotten, very recomended

Bill said...

I have been searching for this for years, single disappeared long time ago but i've never forgotten it as it was part of my teenage soundtrack. Couldn't remember bands name till it flashed up in my head today now I have it back Thanx

mike said...

Slack Alice, great bunch of people with Sandra Barry AKA Alice Spring on vocals, what a lovely lady with a voice like JJ but a tad more subtle. Appeared in one of the early St Trinnians movies. Pete Finberg on guitar, I did hear a few years back that he was still working on sessions; fine bluesy player and nice man. Mick Howard on bass, had a azure blue Rickenbacker and after hearing Gravelstone Cottage went straight out and imported one through Rose Morris could have bought a small house in the North for what it cost. Paul Varley on drums, rock steady, did hear he had passed away.
When the band split Sandra, Mick and Paul went on to form Darling with Hal Lindes on guitar. Still have the vinyl LP. These were great days. I have a thousand stories and miss the guys and girls from back then. Beam me up Scotty.