Saturday, 12 February 2011

From the Top Drawer V - Ozric Tentacles

Time for some Ozric Tentacles, methinks.
Much has been written about the amazing story of this band, from their beginnings at the Stonehenge Festival to their present day worldwide appreciation, how they've sold over a million albums on independent labels and carved out a niche as one of the most classic spacerock/fusion bands of all time. And how the ever-shifting line-up has given musicians who've passed through the ranks a chance to hone their jamming skills to go on to play with other acts such as Jamiroquai, Eat Static and Hole(!). I was lucky enough to have caught them at Stonehenge and saw many of their early gigs.

This is the original soundboard recording of a gig they played at The Star pub in Croydon, Surrey on the 23rd of November 1985. I know it's the original tape, because I took along an TDK SA90 cassette on the off chance that I could get the mix engineer to pop it in his deck to do a recording for me. Happily he agreed and this is the result. The whole thing is only about 53 minutes long as the Ozrics were the support that night to a local band (called 'The Moonbats' if memory serves me right) and it was the other band's arranged gig, hired PA etc. (You can hear Ed apologizing for not being able to go on longer as 'the other band have got to play').

I must have lent the tape out to a couple of people as somehow it has made its way into the trader community and is even listed here -
I have some corrections to make to the details on that page. Neither Gavin nor Roly were playing (Gavin had already left to form The Ullulators and Roly was absent) and the congas you can hear were played by Paul Hankin who's not credited, along with Ben (don't know his full name) who was filling in for Roly but playing a fretless bass. Apart from this the line-up is correct (and Joie does want a hairy tomato - maybe his only vocal during an Ozrics set!?). There is an extra track on my tape (a shortened version of the Erpriff) which appears after the tape flip (joined) so it is longer than the listed set.

I don't have any picturers of the Croydon gig (didn't have a camera at the time) so here's a couple from Club Dog at Wood Green in September 1986. You can see how having an open guest musician policy sometimes leads to a bit of a crowded stage! Notice how people are actually sitting down in front of the stage - gigs were then sometimes that much of a laid-back experience.

The Croydon set is ripped @320 kbps and the download link is HERE


  1. thanks for all the stuff. i saw the ozrics at kingston green fayre on a warm day at the side of the thames way back when. you would'nt have a recording of it would you? i used to jam with a guy called jake who used to do the record fairs around london. i used to own a lot of these tapes but they have been lost over the years. cheers, windwizard

  2. Hey windwizard, I don't have any Ozrics @Kingston, I'm afraid. I've never come across that particular gig, but that's not to say it's not out there somewhere.
    There's quite a lot of Ozric stuff floating around on the Soulseek P2P network if you wanted to try there.

    1. i have around 100 ozric shows, from stonehenge 84 up to last years uk tour. wonderful band, windwizard

  3. Amazing thankyou!! ♥