25 November 2020

Swegas - What'ya Gonna Do/ There Is Nothing In It

Two stabs of "progressive brass rock" from British octet

Label: Trend
Year of Release: 1970

Swegas were one of many hugely ambitious but ultimately somewhat penniless progressive rock acts doing the rounds of the European gig circuit in the early seventies. Signed to the both the independent B&C and Trend labels, then finally BASF, the octet must have faced more significant financial challenges than most underground acts - few others had so many bodies to house or mouths to feed.

The quantity of members gave them a fuller, brassier sound than many of their peers, however, with perhaps the exception of other soul-loving hairies such as Locomotive. While their debut LP for B&C was recorded and then subsequently shelved, both sides here were on the proposed original tracklisting, and give a firm impression of their sound, though I can't help but wonder whether in a live environment they were a bit more raucous than this. Both the A-side and flip here sound slightly cautious and lacking in punch.

An album ("Follow The Light") emerged on Trend in 1971, then when that label went under they got a deal with BASF who issued their second and final LP "Beyond The Ox" later on in the same year in Germany. This is now an extraordinarily collectible release with copies frequently selling for over £150, and offers a more mature, developed sound.

At the point of recording this single, the line-up consisted of Chris Dawe on trumpet, Brian Sibey on trumpet and vocals, Nick Ronai on trombone, Alan Smith on alto sax and piano, Nick Thomas on tenor sax, John Legg on bari sax, Keith Strachan on organ and vocals, Jony Toogood on guitar, Roy Truman on bass, and the catchily named Chris Chrysostomou on drums. 

The group eventually split in September 1971 after being dropped by their label and management, playing their final gig in Bristol that month. 

If you can't play the previews below, please go straight to the source

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanx for this one. A "new" artist here = "new" hears here too. Sound very like B.S.T. (vocals like David Clayton Thomas), Chicago, & Canadian group Lighthouse. Guessing the "sound" wasn't quite as popular in UK as in North America.

Ciao! For now.