Formerly known as The Action, this Mod band from London’s Kentish Town were reputedly the best band George Martin signed to the EMI label in the mid-Sixties.
As the musical landscape changed towards the latter half of the decade though, so did The Action, adopting more of a ‘West Coast’ psychedelic approach to their music. However, their deal with EMI was terminated prior to their last planned single could be released.
They continued recording various demos under the new guise of Azoth, these only finally being released in 1985 by Castle, as a mini-album, ‘Action Speaks Louder Than Words.’
Months of hard touring resulted in them finally signing to the small independent Head label in 1969 at which time they took on the name Mighty Baby.
Their debut, eponymous album was recorded but as so often seemed to have happened, the label went bust before any formal UK release – although a deal had been signed with Chess Records in USA who did make some copies available.
Suffice to say, copies of this album are pretty rare and exchange hands for several hundred pounds.
The album itself is a mix of quiet folk infused psychedelic tracks mixed with blues rock and prog rock, the highlight being, for me, the opening track on side one: ‘Egyptian Tomb,’ with its distinctive ‘eastern’ psychedelic sound.
Mighty Baby sound a quintessentially British ‘hippie’ type band, featuring a flute and sax, but not averse to breaking out into heavy riffs and rocking, boogie interludes.
Counting ex-Savoy Brown guitarist Martin Stone and future Ace founder Alan King in their number, they could also turn their hand to some excellent blues numbers like the following, ‘I’ve Been Down So Long.’
Continuing with the hard gigging ethos that brought them to this point, Mighty Baby spent the next two years on the Festival circuit and playing numerous radio and studio sessions. (They were the closing act on the first day of the famous Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.)
1971 saw the culmination of all this hard work with the release of the band’s second, and final album, ‘A Jug Of Love.‘ By this time, several members had turned to the Muslim faith, and the album, being more tranquil and wistful than their debut seems to reflect their new outlook on life.
Despite the critical acclaim, the album failed to shift in any great number and in autumn 1971, the band were forced to call it a day.
Alan King – Guitar / Vocals
Martin Stone – Lead Guitar / Slide Guitar
Michael Evans – Bass
Ian Whiteman – Flute / Organ / Sax / Piano / Percussion / Vocals
Roger Powell – Drums
|A Jug Of Love||LP||1971||Blue Horizon|