Howard Fielding

ARTICLE ABOUT Nazareth FROM SOUNDS, May 17, 1975

To me it is obvious that the writer of this article isn`t too fond of rock music. So it is a bit surprising, and also pleasing, to see that he remains objective in his review. This review could potentially be a catastrophe, but actually ends up really well.
Have fun and read on!

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Nazareth on a Summer`s eve

By Howard Fielding

It was with some trepidation that we set off on the overland track to Salisbury last Sunday, to see Nazareth – it was a warm Summer evening, the kind you spend sitting outside a country pub listening to the gentle sound of nature.
It didn`t feel like the night to spend crammed together in a sweaty crowd of raucous rock fans stamping and shouting their appreciation of Nazareth`s brand of heavy music. Also I`d been getting a little bored, lately, of the kind of music which relies too much on bass drums and deafening volume – it`s all right for Wintery evenings, but not for the impending delicacy of Summer.
Though Nazareth didn`t seem to fit the bill, although it was a long time no see, it might make a change and so it did, and I can say sincerely, and with considerable relief, that the evening was pleasant, entertaining and enjoyable especially in giving the lie to my misconceptions.
Nazareth are a moderately weighty band, but I`d forgotten how much variety and interest they give to their set, and how they combine in their music many of the hallmarks of an excellent band. But before them came Mike Hugg`s new band Hug, an interesting prospect for anyone who enjoyed his silky husky voice in his days with Manfred Mann and subsequently in his fine solo work, but there`s been a considerable change of style, to far more direct and forceful music, led principally by the striking guitar work of John Knightsbridge. A band with many possibilities, this, and well worth seeing. Hopefully they`ll get their sound better mixed in future, so that the top and bottom end of the drum kit doesn`t drown the middle ranges of the other musicians – when Ron Telemak did play a drum solo you hardly noticed there was any change. But it`s nice to see the man back on the road again.

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Nazareth started their set with title `Changin` Times` from the new album, a well-bought record in the Salisbury area, judging by the crowd`s response. Straight away, the reaction, one felt, was reassuring – the sound, for one thing, though pretty loud, was well balanced and you could hear and distinguish quite clearly what each person was playing. Initially, it was Manny Charlton, surprisingly enough, who took the eye – playing short solo breaks which people like to call tasteful. When that means anything, it implies that the solo part is complementary to the rest of the music – it`s one of my criteria of a good musician – and Charlton gets good marks for it. In fact, only twice in the whole set did he play anything which could mildly be described as irrelevant or indulgent – and those were very short and quite entertaining little flurries.
Then, during the second and third songs, there was time to notice the light show, one of the brightest sets for a rock band currently in use as I had forcibly explained to me – but it was good, and again, fitted round the music. The band work their visual groupings pretty well, often gathering in small clumps around Don McCafferty, and not satisfied with standing morosely still, or stomping about distractedly. It`s impressive to see a band who have rehearsed what it seems necessary to rehearse and to leave the rest to their own personalities.
Charlton`s guitar changes, Pete Agnew`s bass change, McCafferty`s changing of mikes and slipping on of white gloves for the ultra violet effects of `Jet Lag` all showed smooth polish but without losing their personal expression in the music the rest of the time. As the set moved on, and I was surprised how many songs the band got through, you could see how well put together their act is. There`s a well thought-out collection of songs, varying from the slow stuff, like Randy Newman`s `Guilty` which it takes a good band to do well – to the more familiar furious pace they play at most of the time. But lots of people like nothing better than having their ears bashed – and good luck to them – Nazareth can cater for their taste. What distinguishes this band from the mundane, though sometimes more famous, loud and nasty men is that you can sit and listen to Nazareth as well. There`ll always be a market for bodyline rock. What is important is that people should be able to distinguish good from bad and as long as Nazareth get picked out as a superior quality rock band you can be pleased that we still have some taste in this country.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.
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ARTICLE ABOUT Yes FROM SOUNDS, May 17, 1975

I didn`t get a whole lot out of this interview besides the fact that Mr. Howe is obsessed with music and his guitars, but we all knew that before. It may be interesting to the Yes fanatics out there which guitar he used on each album, but they may know this already? Anyway, here goes… Read on!

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Down on the farm

Howard Fielding talks to Steve Howe

Now that the only people who can afford country estates are pop stars, I thought I`d do an interview with a musician for one of those earthy farming magazines – `Artificial Inseminator`s Weekly` was the one I had in mind. But Steve Howe was the wrong man to pick – all he can talk about is guitars – so here we are in SOUNDS again.
The scene was all right, in the heart of Somerset pastureland, and the farm we were on was for sale. Steve did stroll round the fields, conversed briefly with the odd calf, but clearly preferred the feel of the slenderer necks of his Gibsons. Mind you, it was my own fault. Having just seen the second Yes concert at Bristol the night before, it seemed a good idea to start off with a reference to the battery of guitars used at the concert.
It only took half a query, and Steve had flashed out an antique guitar catalogue of the 1920s, and was enthusing about his collecting mania – harp mandolins and all.

STRUGGLE

After a struggle I got him round to the present tour, and showed puzzlement that the material selected dated back as far as `The Yes Album`, and that he still played `Mood For A Day` and `The Clap` as his virtuoso sections. That`s apparently because the band have featured the new stuff in America on recent tours, and felt they`d like a change. Since they hadn`t played in England for so long also, the set chosen had public reaction in mind.
It`s more popular and more before the kill, “It`s all to do with composition.” My mind is still a mess of frets, fingerboards, C-sharps and B-flats, pick-ups and plugs and the thickness of notes and thinness of bodies – but it`s really quite simple.
Every time a new set of music was to be written for an album, Steve sat down with the guitar of the moment, and the music evolved from the idiosyncratic features and capacities of that particular instrument. So `The Yes Album` is mostly Gibson 175; `Fragile` is Gibsons Switchmaster; `Topographic` is Les Paul Junior (single pick-up, please note), `Close To The Edge`is Gibson Stereo; and `Relayer` is Fender Telecaster. Specific extra items merit other special guitars, but the bulk of any album concentrates on one guitar only.
Granted the intimacy thus created between songs and guitar, it seems almost rewarding to play familiar songs, and anyway, he pointed out, Yes don`t just play their material routinely – there are lots of subtle changes and variations.
Ho-hum, I thought, he`d have to say something like that. So the next line of attack was to be more penetrating. If the band now play what suits the audience, could it be that they had lost their way in terms of leading their followers, and were going round in circles? Perhaps a little hint, too, that the latest material wasn`t as good as the old – was a little too close to a Yes stereotype?
I could see straightaway he`d answered that before, as he gently implied that such comments reflected a lack of discrimination in the ears of the critics. In fact he said that the next Yes album would be more `Yes-like` still, if possible. It`s to be another double which will be so much a step towards the band`s ultimate ideal that it will displace the old material. It`s to be an `expedition` – a pioneering exploit going far beyond the previous parameters of their music, and far outstripping the present production, presentation, and stage techniques.
So I thought just one more chance before I yield to this nice, modest but too clever young man. What about all those guitars on stage? Could the audience really differentiate between them? All 10 of them?

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EXTROVERT

Couldn`t it be just a little extrovert?
“Ah, well,” he said, pausing blasphemous to have suggested that he could play the piece on anything other than the original instrument. I had to agree. Quite right, Steve, fair enough, use as many as you like.
I was capitulating, when he melted by boots with the remark that he thought it was all getting a bit silly, really, and he was going to cut down in future and develop a consistent single guitar approach, using things like phase switches and other unmentionables to vary the tone and texture. He`s even practising a `thin body style` – more funky, see.

HUMILITY

He just kept going on after that, and was still mouthing about acoustic resonance when I left discreetly, feeling a little slack-jawed myself. Still, it came in useful, this humility, when I came out of the third Yes concert and stepped into a queue of Bay City Rollers sleeping bags waiting overnight for tickets.
Less stern stuff, I thought, pen in hand. “Do you hope to grow up one day?” “Who are the best group in the world?” “Aren`t you cold?” With incredible economy of mind and body, she flashed back the answer to all questions in a single word, “Yes”. It`s sad that one so young should be so wise.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT YES FROM SOUNDS, May 17, 1975

Well, here we go again with another Yes article, this time a short interview with Steve Howe. I hope y`all like it!

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Down on the farm

Howard Fielding talks to Steve Howe

Now that the only people who can afford country estates are pop stars, I thought I`d do an interview with a musician for one of those earthy farming magazines – `Artificial Inseminator`s Weekly` was the one I had in mind. But Steve Howe was the wrong man to pick – all he can talk about is guitars – so here we are in SOUNDS again.
The scene was all right, in the heart of Somerset pastureland, and the farm we were on was for sale. Steve did stroll round the fields, conversed briefly with the odd calf, but clearly preferred the feel of the slenderer necks of his Gibsons. Mind you, it was my own fault. Having just seen the second Yes concert at Bristol the night before, it seemed a good idea to start off with a reference to the battery of guitars used at the concert.
It only took half a query, and Steve had flashed out an antique guitar catalogue of the 1920s, and was enthusing about his collecting mania – harp mandolins and all.

Struggle

After a struggle I got him round to the present tour, and showed puzzlement that the material selected dated back as far as `The Yes Album`, and that he still played `Mood For A Day` and `The Clap` as his virtuoso sections. That`s apparently because the band have featured the new stuff in America on recent tours, and felt they`d like a change. Since they hadn`t played in England for so long also, the set chosen had public reaction in mind.
It`s more popular and more before the kill, “It`s all to do with composition.” My mind is still a mess of frets, fingerboards, C-sharps and B-flats, pick-ups and plugs and the thickness of notes and thinness of bodies – but it`s really quite simple.
Every time a new set of music was to be written for an album, Steve sat down with the guitar of the moment, and the music evolved from the idiosyncratic features and capacities of that particular instrument. So `The Yes Album` is mostly Gibson 175; `Fragile` is Gibsons Switchmaster; `Topographic` is Les Paul Junior (single pick-up, please note), `Close To The Edge` is Gibson Stereo; and `Relayer` is Fender Telecaster. Spefic extra items merit other special guitars, but the bulk of any album concentrates on one guitar only.

IMG_1113

Granted the intimacy thus created between songs and guitar, it seems almost rewarding to play familiar songs, and anyway, he pointed out, Yes don`t just play their material routinely – there are lots of subtle changes and variations.
Ho-hum, I thought, he`d have to say something like that. So the next line of attack was to be more penetrating. If the band now play what suits the audience, could it be that they had lost their way in terms of leading their followers, and were going round in circles? Perhaps a little hint, too, that the latest material wasn`t as good as the old – was a little too close to a Yes stereotype?
I could see straightaway he`d answered that before, as he gently implied that such comments reflected a lack of discrimination in the ears of the critics. In fact he said that the next Yes album would be more `Yes-like` still, if possible. It`s to be another double which will be so much a step towards the band`s ultimate ideal that it will displace the old material. It`s to be an `expedition` – a pioneering exploit going far beyond the previous parameters of their music, and far outstripping the present production, presentation, and stage techniques.
So I thought just one more chance before I yield to this nice, modest but too clever young man. What about all those guitars on stage? Could the audience really differentiate between them? All 10 of them?

Extrovert

Couldn`t it be just a little extrovert?
“Ah, well,” he said, pausing blasphemous to have suggested that he could play the piece on anything other than the original instrument. I had to agree. Quite right, Steve, fair enough, use as many as you like.
I was capitulating, when he melted by boots with the remark that he thought it was all getting a bit silly, really, and he was going to cut down in future and develop a consistent single guitar approach, using things like phase switches and other unmentionables to vary the tone and texture. He`s even practising a `thin body style` – more funky, see.

Humility

He just kept going on after that, and was still mouthing about acoustic resonance when I left discreetly, feeling a little slack-jawed myself. Still, it came in useful, this humility, when I came out of the third Yes concert and stepped into a queue of Bay City Rollers sleeping bags waiting overnight for tickets.
Less stern stuff, I thought; pen in hand. “Do you hope to grow up one day?” “Who are the best group in the world?” “Aren`t you cold?” With incredible economy of mind and body, she flashed back the answer to all questions in a single word, “Yes”. It`s sad that one so young should be so wise.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Roxy Music, Steve Hillage, Bobby Bland, Maria Muldaur, Barry White, Allen Toussaint, Nils Lofgren, Bay City Rollers, Neil Young, Dave Greenslade, Status Quo, BTO, Link Wray, Ladies in rock, Hedgehog Pie, Van Der Graaf Generator.

This edition is sold.