British rock:  Are we facing disaster?

Inflation has taken its toll of rock and the record industry is predicting a gloomy future.  There’s an artistic slump too:  few new bands are surfacing.  What’s going to happen?  MM asked the people in the know – stars and businessmen – for their views.


THE OBVIOUS trends at least in America, are towards bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Little Feat, and the Mason-Dixon line seems to be the divide between the hot music of the south and the glitter stuff in New York.

There are a lot of good boogie bands in the south, like Wet Willie,
Z Z Top, but they are still unknown in certain areas.  In Texas they’ll play to 100,000 people.  There’s a lot of good new jazz-rock like Coryell, and pure jazz seems to be getting on its feet again.

There’s no recession at all in America, not like there is in Europe, and I notice a lot of groups reforming, like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and people accepting the bands that want to get together again.

In Britain I thought the pub rock scene was going to spread out of the pubs, but it’s stayed put as opposed to becoming a breeding ground for new talent.

Nothing really interesting has happened although on the sixties club scene you could name five bands or more that would be big.  A band has to spend two years in the clubs to create an identity, instead of having a record company creating an instant image, and setting them up with a million pounds worth of equipment.

A good thing has been the development of recording studios throughout the country, so it’s not absolutely necessary to live and work in London.

It’s the same in America, where you don’t have to be in LA or New York.  Big cities can be stifling.

I think the Glam-Rock thing is even more old hat than Gene Vincent now, and when you see show bands wearing makeup, then you know it’s pretty old hat!

I feel optimistic about the business because there is an element of sanity creeping back, and the more worthwhile bands may get some attention.

The radio and TV situation is pretty dire, because only the same 30 hits get played over and over, and it’s a bore.

I don’t really know what the music trends will be for ’75.  Maybe rock and roll will come back again!

Maybe there will be an AUTHENTIC rock and roll revival.  There is definitely a serious interest in old British bands.

There is a feeling of nostalgia for the Shadows and the Merseybeat groups.  It stems from the feeling that the world is growing and changing so fast, people get hung up on yesterday which is not a bad thing.

We may see a lot of Shane Fentones’ coming back.  What I’d like to see is a cooking club scene again, and I hope there will be a revival of the blues!

From Melody Maker – September 21, 1974
Thanks to Brenda O'Brien for sharing  & preparing this article
Thanks to  Sistina Zeidler for the photo artwork on the left
background is faded photo from the article I
reformatted by roryfan
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added 6/24/07