Thursday, 10 May 2018

Steamhammer ‎ “Steamhammer" (also known as Reflection) 1969 +"MK II” 1969 + “Mountains” 1970 + "Speech" 1972 + “Live In Germany 1969-70” (bootleg) UK Prog Blues Rock


Steamhammer ‎ “Steamhammer" (also known as Reflection) 1969 +"MK II” 1969 + “Mountains” 1970 +  "Speech" 1972 + “Live In Germany 1969-70” (bootleg)  UK Prog Blues Rock 
Steamhammer 1969 debut full dailymotion
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ivyum

full all albums on vk
Steamhammer’s discography 1969-1972 full on vk
full all discography on spotify
https://open.spotify.com/artist/78sxSGdMQas5prtm6LZXyj



Steamhammer was an English blues rock band from Worthing, England, whose origins were with the blues. The band was founded in 1968 by Martin Quittenton (guitar) and Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica). The first stable line-up consisted of Quittenton, White, Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass), and Michael Rushton (drums). 
The first version of Steamhammer acted as backing band for Freddie King on two of his tours of England between 1968–1969. Like many of their peers, the band experimented with instrumental passages, introspective lyrics, and ultrasonic guitar effects, along with folk, jazz and classical influences. After playing in English pubs in the late 1960s, Steamhammer’s self-titled album Steamhammer (aka Reflection) debuted on Columbia Records in 1968, featuring their single, “Junior’s Wailing,” and including covers of “You’ll Never Know” by B. B. King and “Twenty Four Hours” by Eddie Boyd as well as original songs by White, Quittenton, and Pugh. Session musicians Harold McNair (flute) and Pete Sears (piano) also played on the album. While the album was not commercially successful, the band’s sound became popular live, especially in West Germany. In the summer of 1969, Quittenton and Rushton left the band, and Steve Jolliffe (saxophone, flute) and Mick Bradley (drums) joined the band. 

The second version of the band recorded the album Mk II, released in 1969. It consisted entirely of original songs, and the musical style had more jazz and progressive rock influences. Jolliffe left the band in 1970. The remaining band members recorded the album Mountains, which was released in 1970. This album included a cover of “Riding on the L & N” by Lionel Hampton and seven original songs. 

In 1971, Davy left the band, and Louis Cennamo (bass) (formerly of the original line-up of Renaissance) was recruited as his replacement. After a European tour in the summer of 1971, White left the band, and the remaining trio of Pugh, Bradley and Cennamo began recording a new album. This line-up, along with guest vocalist Garth Watt-Roy (of Fuzzy Duck), recorded the album “Speech” – which was released in 1972. It consisted of three long, mostly instrumental songs, in a heavier progressive-rock vein than the basic blues and jazz/folk influences of their previous albums. The genesis of Armageddon began with this final Steamhammer album, with production assistance by ex-Yardbird and Renaissance frontman, Keith Relf (who also contributed background vocals here – along with his sister, Jane Relf). 

Bradley died of undiagnosed leukemia on 8 February 1972, aged 25. A memorial concert took place at London’s Marquee Club on 14 March that year, with appearances by fellow bands Atomic Rooster, Beggars Opera, If, and Gringo. Steamhammer carried on for a while with a new drummer, John Lingwood, and lead singer, Ian Ellis (ex-Clouds). The new line-up debuted at London’s Imperial College on 3 May, followed by a European tour in May and UK tour in June with American vocalist/guitarist Bruce Michael Paine replacing Ellis. In June 1973, it was announced that they would now perform as Axis, playing their first gig under that name at the Marquee on 15 June. Quittenton rejoined, but the band split towards the end of 1973. 
In 1974, two years after drummer Bradley’s death, Relf sought Cennamo and Pugh out to form a band in California. Armageddon emerged in late 1974, and Rolling Stone magazine ran two articles on them before they had a drummer, a contract, or even a name for themselves. Relf brought in Bobby Caldwell on drums, and introduced the band to A&M Records producer Jerry Moss. Half a song into a set at the Charlie Chaplin Sound Stage in Hollywood, Moss signed Armageddon – they then released a self-titled effort in 1975. The band never toured, although the record was doing fairly well. Relf (and Cennamo) had returned to England while the rest of the band was still in LA, and had been considering a new band with other former Renaissance members[8] – but died after being shocked by his own guitar in May 1976. Pugh and Caldwell tried to reassemble Armageddon in the early 1980s, producing a number of songs for a second LP for Capitol Records with singer Jeff Fenholt (of Jesus Christ Superstar), and were close to signing contract – but the project never got past the demo/rehearsal stage. Caldwell eventually returned to Captain Beyond, Cennamo later rejoined the original Renaissance line-up (then known as Illusion) and later worked with Jim McCarty in Stairway. Pugh left the music business but stayed in California, eventually emerging from retirement to sit in with US-based rock and roll band 7th Order in 2002–2003. 

After leaving Steamhammer, White recorded a solo album, Open Door, which was released in 1975 – he later emigrated to the US (specifically Oregon), where he worked as a truck driver until passing away in 1995 (cancer).Quittenton played guitar and co-wrote songs, including “Maggie May” and “You Wear It Well” on albums by Rod Stewart. Jolliffe joined Tangerine Dream in 1978, and played on the album Cyclone…..wiki…~ 




Coming out of the second wave of the British Blues Rivival(Boom), Steamhammer formed in 1968 in the English township of Worthing by Martin Quittenton(guitar) and Kieran White(vocals, guitar, harmonica), Martin Pugh(guitar), Steve Davy(bass) and Michael Rushton(bass) and supported legendary Texas/Chicago blues guitarist Freddie “the Teaxas Cannonball” King in 1968 UK tour. 
In the spring of 1969 the band signed with CBS records and released their s/t debut(aka Reflection) with very little success in all ready blues-rock dominated market but the band became an fan favourite live performer both in the UK and in Germany. 
Quittenton and Rushton left the band immediatley after the eponymous release, enter Steve Jolliffe(sax, flute) who had a short stint with Tangerine Dream and drummer Mickey Bradley who had played with Methuselah which released a hard rock/psych album earlier in 1969. The two had a major impact on Steamhammer’s second album, Mk.II(1969), fusing jazz and prog with the blues-based formula and exploring and experimenting with all three in a intricate and melodic approach. Bradley’s drumming shows how technical the man was, rivalling the best out there at that time. 
Sadly Jolliffe left in 1970 and the remaining members released Mountains which saw the efect Jolliffe had on the music and with this release the band went back to more of a blues rock but with a harder edge than thier first. 
White and Davy left in 1971 after finishing the band’s tour and the band was left with only Pugh and Bradley and they recruited bassist Louis Cennamo who was an original member of The Herd(Peter Frampton’s band), part of the original line up of Renaissance and a two year stint with Colosseum. This line up released Speech in 1972 and is no way similar in sound to the first three albums. Three songs that take a experimental heavy psych/space progressive jam style that was very innovated for it’s time. Cennamo introduced the bowed bass on this album and suppossedly Garth Watt-Roy from the hard rock/prog band Fuzzy duck had contributed on the album as did Keith Relf(?). Bradley’s drum solo in “For Against” is a show technical wizardry. Sadley Bradley died of cancer after the release of the album. 
With only Pugh and Cennamo left they latter teamed up with Keith Relf(Yardbirds, Renaissance) and drummer Bobby Caldwell(Johnny Winter, Captain Beyond) and formed Armageddon and released only one album in 1975. Speech was the basis for this album and did recieve more success than the Steamhammer album…..~ 







Steamhammer ‎ “Steamhammer” 1969 debut album

One disc approximately 48 min. long.Sound is typical late sixties-not remastered. First off be aware that this album is still available in two different covers. I’m reviewing the disc put out by Akarma Records-the cover is a color photo of the band through some golden fuzzy leaves. Steamhammer,formed in 1969,was an interesting group. The vocals were a bit like This Was Jethro Tull,the songs were blues-based and the guitars were blues-rock sounding. There was a bit of Jethro Tull sounding flute throughout. In 1969 this was a curious sound-people didn’t know what to make of it. The opening instrumental,a quiet guitar passage,segues into an in your face guitar sound that will wake you up. The songs on this album were sequenced in such a manner that gives it a nice flow between fast and slow tunes. The original album ends with a continuation of the first quiet track-very nice. This edition has two extra tracks which are all right but disrupt the feel of the original album. I always thought it was a shame that this album wasn’t released in America in 1969. This is just the sort of non-commercial sounding music more people should hear…..by….Stuart Jefferson….~ 

Steamhammer’s debut is clearly entrenched into the second wave of British Blues Boom along with TYA , Savoy Brown , PG’s Fleetwood Mac and others. However , this album has enough progressive overtones to indicate that the next albums will be of more interest for the scope of the site. 

There are many fine moments on this album full of good interplay and good songwriting making this album a sort of example of progressive blues and proto-prog. The two part water is actually book-ending the album and some tracks such as Junior’s Wailing , Even The Clock and 24 hours are very enjoyable. Hardly essential listening in the Archives’s scope , this albunm remains a very pleasant spin in your deck. much better is to come, though. 

Please note that this album came out with different sleeves back then and that all Steamhammer records have been reissued on the Repertoire label in the early 90’s, although never in the mini-lp format as here on the Italian label Akarma. …by….by Sean Trane ….~ 

The best term that describes this record is…prog blues, or prog related blues. The basic influence is the blues of famous artists like Freddie King and early Jethro Tull. The lead vocals remind a bit Elvis Presley himself. Some guitar solos also remind Jimi Hendrix: the guitar sound is just excellent for the early year! Steve Joliffe, who contributed for the Tangerine Dream’s Cyclone album, plays here some excellent flute parts a la Jethro Tull, a la early Solution or a la Focus. There are some visceral & typical harmonica parts. The tracks are a bit catchy, and some of them retain more particularly the attention. The melodic and galloping bass has a loud & bottom sound. Unlike MKII, Reflection unfortunately has no sax parts, and it is also slightly less progressive. This is a surprisingly good album for 1969…..by greenback ….~ 

Reflection'showcases the dazzling guitar work of Martin Pugh and the earthy vocals of Kieran White. Blending contemporary sounds with traditional blues resulted in a style that proved tremendously popular with club audiences throughout Europe, especially in Germany where the featured track ‘Junior’s Wailing’ was a Top 10 hit. This 1969 debut album, from one of the best bands of the late 1960s/ early 1970s, is now re-mastered and in a digipak, including informative sleeve notes and an interview with bassist L. Cennamo…..~ 

Credits 
Bass Guitar – Steve Davy 
Drums – Michael Rushton* 
Guest, Flute – Harold McNair 
Guest, Piano – Pete Sears 
Guitar [Second Guitar] – Martin Quittenton 
Lead Guitar – Martin Pugh 
Other [Clothes] – Take Six 
Vocals, Harmonica, Acoustic Guitar – Kieran White 

Tracklist Show Credits 
A1 Water (Part One)
A2 Junior’s Wailing
A3 Lost You Too
A4 She Is In Fire
A5 You’ll Never Know
A6 Even The Clock
B1 Down The Highway
B2 On Your Road
B3 24. Hours
B4 When All Your Friends Are Gone
B5 Water (Part Two) 











Steamhammer ‎ “MK II” 1969 second album

The second version of the British combo Steamhammer released its first LP utilizing the talents of Steve Davy (bass), Martin Pugh (guitars), and Kieran White (vocals/guitar/harmonica/Jew’s harp) from the original band as well as new recruits Steve Jolliffe (woodwind/brass/harpsichord/vocals) and Mick Bradley (drums). It was the blues that initially drove the combo on its debut long-player, Reflection (1969), likewise known as Junior’s Wailing. This lineup adds more exploratory and intricate melodies, courtesy of the multi-instrumental talents and sonic sculpting of future Tangerine Dream member Jolliffe. While this version of the band would not remain past this album, its unique fusion would arguably peak on Mountains (1970), the follow-up to MK II (1969). There are definite shapes of things to come throughout this effort, thanks to the aggressive interaction of the new recruits. They immediately step up to the plate, providing a variety of interesting melodic and instrumental textures. These range from the full-speed gallop of Jolliffe’s “Johnny Carl Morton” or the Baroque waltz “Turn Around” – both of which are punctuated by some prominent harpsichord interjections reminiscent of other U.K. progressive groups such as Family and Blossom Toes. 

Pugh’s guitar work is another of the band’s conspicuous assets, as he is able to fluidly waft between the acoustic romanticism of the diminutive “Sunset Chase” to the bluesy and tongue-in-cheek “Contemporary Chick Con Song.” The latter track includes a stretched-out instrumental jam that captures Pugh’s criminally underrated electric fretwork. Steamhammer’s various and seemingly disparate musical elements coalesce on the manic “6/8 for Amiran.” They blend the complexities inherent in the time signature with a tightly executed and churning blues – much in the same way that early Jethro Tull was able to do on sides such as “Nothing Is Easy” or “For Our Mothers.” The second side consists of a suite containing “Down Along the Grove,” “Another Travelling Tune,” and “Fran and Dee Take a Ride.” This 16-plus minute epic allows Steamhammer to improvise and stretch out. The open structure makes room for the various musical styles to be thoroughly explored with more intricacy than a majority of the three- and four-minute tunes. The double lead electric guitars, courtesy of the song’s co-authors, Pugh and White, blend well with Jolliffe’s jazzy sax and flute improvisations. Enthusiasts are encouraged not only to seek this platter, but the Mountains (1970) follow-up as well….. by Lindsay Planer….~

Easily Steamhammer’s crowning achievment (certainly as far as progheads are concerned) , although many rockers will prefer Mountains. The main difference with this album and other Steamhammer albums is Steve Joliffe who is not unknown to progheads since he went through Tangerine Dream , albeit on their controversial Cyclone , the only TD album to have acoustic instruments and yes! Vocals!!!! 
Hardly controversial Mk II album, though as it is simply their most refined album , much thanks to the afore-mentioned Joliffe who playds KBs but also flutes and saxes. B ut howeever progressive this effort may be , don’t look here for CTTE or SEBTP, as the general resulting music gives a very pleasant proto-prog but hardly anything groundbreaking or earth-shattering. Martin Pugh and Kerrian White make a solid duo on guitars but clearly the addition of KBs and winds is the difference. 

Easily the highlight is the 16 min+ Travelling tune but also noteworthy are the bonus tracks which are non-album rarities except for the single version of Junior’s Wailing (present on their debut album). A real classy album and a must for early 70’s loving progheads….by Sean Trane ….~

This is another surprisingly elaborated record of the 60’s. Sometimes, the tracks are blues, hard rock and jazzy with excellent sax parts. There are also some psychedelic elements revealed by the harpsichord and the typical fuzzy guitar notes a la early Pink Floyd. The omnipresent hard rock/bluesy electric guitar has a pretty conventional sound: there are some good solos, but the sound is a bit subdued. Steve Joliffe, who contributed for the Tangerine Dream’s Cyclone album, plays here the flute & the harpsichord parts: I cannot recognize his typical expressive voice present like on the Cyclone album, but some of his flute parts are identifiable, slightly approaching the PFM’s and the Ian Anderson’s styles. The tracks are not particularly catchy. There are very good fast and complex drums parts…. by greenback ….~

More blues-rock than prog-rock, Steamhammer’s second album would see this powerful outfit begin to accomodate more progressive elements into their rough 'n’ ready sound, yet also affirm their wonderfully earthy style thanks to that rare mixture of grit and polish that is rarely found in late 20th century rock music. By now featuring their 'classic’ line-up of Kieran White(vocals, guitar), Steve Davy(bass), Martin Pugh(guitar) and Mick Bradley(drums) and augmented by wandering multi-instrumentalist and future Tangerine Dream member Steve Joliffe, 'MK II’ rivals follow-up effort 'Mountains’ for the title of best Steamhammer album thanks to it’s nicely-judged brew of ever-so-slight psychedelic ingredients, heavy riffing, old-style blues workouts and the occasional complex musical workout(evident on the superb sixteen-minute epic 'Another Travelling Tune’. Though their progressive rock credentials are rather thin, Steamhammer’s muscular blues-drenched musical course makes lightweight groups such as Greenslade, Curved Air and The Strawbs seem positively feeble, especially when the group let their musical imaginations run away with them. The group’s real strength lies in guitarist Martin Pugh’s dextrous playing and Kieran White’s gruff vocals, yet this is very much band music made by men who have obviously been playing on the road for sometime. Later albums such as 'Speech’ - their ill-judged foray into prog-rock proper - would find the line- up fragmenting and the original magic slipping away, yet, for a few brief years Steamhammer were genuinely the real deal, straddling the gaping chasm between blues and prog with genuine aplomb. Highly recommended. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011…..~

Steamhammer’s excellent sophomore effort came out in 1970 - a magical year for progressive rock. That was when most bands created their debuts. Something was being born. Something new was comming. “MK II” marks (a little pun for you there) the time when most blues rock bands started including elements from outside blues to their music. Steamhammer was no exception. And even though it is largely based on blues, a lot more influences are visible. An outstandingly talented flautist Steve Jolliffe (later of Tangerine Dream) joined, giving the group a much more eclectic taste. Martin Pugh’s great guitar-playing taste gives you goose bumps. Kieran White’s amazing voice once again doesn’t disappoint. This work goes from “6/8 For Amiran”, an Arabic-inspired music with great singing, guitar, flute and haunring rhythm, through folk-influenced “Sunset Chase” to full-on modern blues “Contemporary Chick Con Song”. A unique work and a masterpiece that always seemed to stay in a shade of better known projects. It’s a shame that it did. 10/10 without hesitation!…… by ALotOfBottle ….~

Personnel changes led to a broader range of musical styles for this second album, Mick Bradley replaced Mick Rushton behind the drums, but the real difference was rhythm guitarist Martin Quittenton, who left to work with Rod Stewart was replaced by multi instrumentalist Steve Jollife, who added sax, flute and harpsicord to the mix. 
The boogie rock of 'Reflection’, still evident in tracks like 'Contemporary chick con song’ but with the added bonus of some fine sax play to support Martin Pugh’s guitar lead, were supplemented with a mixture of light and heavyish rock with some jazz added to the mix here and there. 
Highlights! 'Supposed to be free’ and 'Passing through’ are well worth a mention, but the albums killer track has got to be the wonderful 16 minute plus of 'Another travelling tune’ which makes this a must have album on its own. From the rambling flute opening through the laid back bluesy guitar riff that follows, this sets the trend for wonderful guitar/sax interplay, with Kieron White’s distinctive vocals adding to the mix before the guitar/sax/flute combination takes it through highs and lows to its conclusion. I once heard this described as the first example of 'progressive blues’, have a listen, you’ll see why. 
The bonus tracks are the a & b sides of their two single releases, and do not let the side down. 
If you think 1969 was all blues and psychadelia, try this, you’ll see it wasn’t. Gripping stuff from a band who were vastly underrated…..Mark Kibble….~

Their debut LP was a really nice hard blues rock album and so is this second one too. They move into a more progressive and psychedelic direction this time even if the album still includes a clear blues rock sound. Steamhammer’s first two albums have pretty lame album covers but especially this one sucks hard. Sometimes a great album cover makes you interested in listening to the record but this one fails big time. 
However even if the cover art is weak as hell the music is the thing that matters here. And the music is great. From the more shorter tracks like “Johnny Carl Morton” to that 16 minutes jam fest “Another Travelling Time” the album sounds great. The album has a bit of jazz sound at times too which is really nice to hear. 
I still might like their next one Mountains even more than this one. However their final album Speech is probably my ultimate favourite Steamhammer album. Steamhammer’s first two albums are really impressive blues/prog/psych rock records and both of them are worth of four stars out of five I think. A rock solid totality….by…CooperBolan …~


Line-up / Musicians 
- Steve Jolliffe / flute, harpsichord, keyboards, saxophone (Alto), vocals, wind 
- Kieran White / guitar, harmonica, Jew’s-Harp, vocals 
- Mickey Bradley / percussion, conga, drums 
- Steve Davy / bass, guitar (bass), vocals 
- Martin Pugh / guitar, guitar (electric), vocals

Tracklist 
Supposed To Be Free 5:59 
Johnny Carl Morton 4:38 
Sunset Chase 3:02 
Contemporary Chick Con Song 3:49 
Turn Around 3:36 
6/8 For Amiran 3:04 
Passing Through 5:17 
Down Along The Grove 0:47 
Another Travelling Tune 16:23 
Fran And Dee Take A Ride 2:58 














Steamhammer ‎ “Mountains” 1970
STEAMHAMMER’s second release “Mountains” is just plain and simply one of those “full bodied brews” that the commercials always promised. This was STEAMHAMMER’s strongest album (although the debut album is also quite amazing) and represents a great journey into a rather interesting world where progressive, blues and psychedelic genres meet. This five piece band play somewhere in the CREAM, GOLDEN EARRING, Peter Green school of music. One of the interesting aspects of this album is that fact that basically half the album was recorded live yet sounds dynamically like the studio album and goes on almost undetected. Perhaps though the aspect I appreciate the most in this recording is the standout instrument interplay with some fantastic guitar solos (aka SANTANA) and bass guitar that just wont stop….by loserboy ….~

This album is their third and also their hardest in terms of rocking. Gone is Steve Joliffe and in come more guitars. Please note also that Louis Cennamo from the first Renaissance line-up is in the fold on bass. This album is highly rated among collectioners and early 70’s afficionados but personally I think that the second album is much better and suitable for a proghead.
A relatively stunning artwork sleeve enhaces the hard-rock listening bringing you through some not always basic power chords , searing guitar work and good interplay. Hold That Train and the title track being the highlights and so is, in a relatively way, the lenghty live track Riding On The L&N.
Prospective progheads should investigate the second album Mk II before moving to any other album…..by Sean Trane ….~

I’ve always had a soft spot for Steamhammer. There’s something inexplicably nice about their music. Their albums MK II, Mountains and Speech are all very, very enjoyable indeed, though I personally prefer Mountains above them all. I guess that’s because it was the first album I bought of Steamhammer’s. I wouldn’t say it’s prog but I would not say it’s not either. I guess a fair judgement would be progressive blues-rock and that isn’t bad, I’ll tell you. At times I get the feeling of Jethro Tull bar the flute. The music on Mountains is folky, bluesy, progressive and quite brilliant. The musicianship is excellent and really, the album leaves little to miss. I heard or read somewhere that Steamhammer set out making the best album EVER with Mountains. Now, I can’t say it’s the best albums ever made but it’s really worth the effort, money and time if you like proto-prog (which isn’t too far off the mark, when I think about it) with rough edges and both feet stuck in bluesy hard rock. Good'un!….by GruvanDahlman …~

This album is top of British blues rock excelence! A perfect crossover between stealthy, classic blues rock sounds and a hint of prog rock flavor. Steamhammer produced some fascinating and breathtaking material during their short-lived career in the British underground.
Wonderful songwriting, musical know-how, tasty moods - these terms perfectly define this album. Featuring excellent playing from one of the most underrated guitarists in the history - Martin Pugh. I can easily say he had his own style and his screaming signature tone, you know it when you hear it!! Kieran White supplies this album with robust, veteran blues vocals and rhythm guitar playing, which sits perfectly in the band mix, at times sounding like a Rhodes electric piano. Steve Davy, a young bass player with a strong jazz influence and a new drummer Mick Bradley provide a strong rhythmic fundation for the band’s own sound.
My favorite tracks from the album… Every track is my favorite, but if I were to choose just one, a cover of a New York swing-blues classic “Riding On the L&N” leaves you speechless. This track has it all. An essential track in British blues history. A sign that blues is getting modern, that the new age for blues is comming. As an interesting fact - “Henry Lane” features something of a rarity in those days - a banjo! This gives the track a pleasant, folky feel.
Overall, I didn’t even think about any other rating than 5 stars. This album is a must for progressive rock fans, showing boundaries of what the genre was and how interesting it could be. That said, hail Stemhammer - a criminally underrated band!…. by ALotOfBottle ….~ 

Starting out as an electric blues group in the '60s, Steamhammer transformed into a hard progressive rock group on this 1970 album. A highly collectable album in the British prog scene, the guitarists of this group – Martin Pugh and Martin Quittenton – were both, in fact, hardworking session musicians who made their names co-writing “Maggie May” with Rod Stewart for Stewart’s debut solo album. Although throughout they maintain their electric blues roots, this album is a fairly awkward and mediocre transition period for the group. However, hardcore collectors of progressive rock will find much to delight in….by Dean McFarlane…..~ 
Two tours with Blues Legend Freddie King in 1968 and 1969 saw the nucleus of England’s forgotten and overlooked STEAMHAMMER be given the grounding for two albums on CBS Records - their raucous Blues-Rock debut “Steamhammer” in early 1969 on CBS S 63611 (also known as “Reflections” because of the cover art) and “Steamhammer MKII” in late 1969 on CBS Records S 63694. But Steamhammer was better than just Blues-Rock and had melody makers at their core too. The first of those albums featured Acoustic Guitarist genius Martin Quittenton - who would be a quintessential part of Rodders band sound for five amazing Mercury Records LPs between 1969 and 1973 - “An Old Raincoat Won’t Let You Down”, “Gasoline Alley,” Every Picture Tells A Story, “Never A Dull Moment” and Smiler" - as well as co-pen the monster hit “Maggie Mae” with Stewart in 1971.

But the British band’s “Mountains” album from late 1970 saw original band member Martin Pugh return to the fold (he was on the first LP) as Lead Guitarist and along with founder member Kieran White (Vocalist and principal songwriter) - Steamhammer changed tack and went a bit more Prog Mellow with their third and what many feel is their best record. November 1970’s “Mountains” was issued on the Charisma Records offshoot label B&C Records. Its gorgeous sticker-titled gatefold sleeve (the Chris Stepan artwork is now fully reproduced n the newly upgraded booklet) has been a notorious and sought-after vinyl rarity in the UK ever since - often exceeding its modest £50-ish price tag by three or four times that amount.

And that’s where this superlative little 2016 CD Reissue and Remaster by England’s Esoteric Recordings (part of Cherry Red) comes storming in - a very welcome and timely reminder of a band and a record that shouldn’t have been so marginalised at the time and deserves mucho reappraisal now. Let’s get to the details for Mark III…by..Mark Barry …~ 
Fondly remembered for their sub-text – original member Martin Quittenton being co-writer of the Rod Stewart hits Maggie May and You Wear It Well – Steamhammer were partly Worthing’s answer to San Francisco’s Quicksilver Messenger Service, partly a British blues/progressive hybrid à la Man.
Mountains, their third album (first released 1970 and now remastered), didn’t contain anything quite as epic as Junior’s Wailing but it’s still a guitar lover’s dream thanks to the interplay between Martin Pugh and Kieran White.

For this updated version producer Martin Birch tweaked the sound, ensuring the instrumental passages on Levinia and the title track grabbed listeners by the throat. Folk elements, such as the Sussex madrigal Leader Of The Ring, pushed them into Fairport territory, although the ‘Ammer were happier ripping into the metallic wah-wah pulse of Lionel Hampton’s Riding On The L&N, a standard workout for Brit blokes back in the days of the three-day week when the nation huddled around joss sticks and shivered in Afghan coats.

This is music for dopers, and the whiff of patchouli oil is all over Henry Lane and Hold That Train, recorded live at London’s Lyceum; the musical equivalent of a Camberwell carrot….By Max Bell ….~ 
Steamhammer were an English rock band from Worthing, England, whose origins were in the blues. The band was founded in 1968 by Martin Quittenton (guitar) and Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica). The first stable line up consisted of Quittenton, White, Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass), and Michael Rushton (drums). For me the band was an unknown name until I got a review copy of their third album titled Mountains.
Esoteric Recordings was responsible of this newly re-mastered edition of the classic 1971 album, which includes a booklet with liner notes and fully restored artwork.

As mentioned earlier Mountains was the third album of the band. Which they recorded in the summer of 1970. The group consisted at the time of Kieran White on lead vocals and harmonica and second acoustic and electric guitar, Martin Pugh on lead guitars and bottleneck guitar, Steve Davy on bass and organ and vocals, and Mick Bradley on drums. This is the last album White would play on, due to differences of musical direction. The band was starting to head in a more hard rock, progressive rock sound, which Kieran disliked. Steve Daly would also leave after this release. Nevertheless these four musicians worked together as a team to provide a selection of high-quality white urban blues songs. Songs which also had a connection with rock and even progressive rock. Most of all the guitar solos are worth a listen. A good example is the opening piece Wouldn’t Have Thought. which starts as a shuffle sounding blues number with very strong lyrics. In the middle, guitarist Martin Pugh slows the proceedings down for a clean and thoughtful solo. Overall, not a bad opener that perhaps goes on for a couple of minutes to long. Another strong piece is the title track. The album has also some strong songs performed partly on the acoustic guitar. Songs such as Levinia, an obvious ode to a girl with another shuffle influenced guitar riff, but this time the solo is done acoustically. Leader Of The Ring is another acoustic guitar number that sounds like it was written sitting around a campfire.

The composition which probably has it all, is the live track, Riding On The L&N. This is without doubt one of the highlights of the Mountains album. It is a ten minute live track, the only one on the album, and is a somewhat poorly recorded, although well performed, blues jam, with fairly simple lyrics. Listen to the drumming and try and keep your feet still, bet you can’t!. Also the bass parts are pretty awesome, but best of all are the brilliant guitar parts. They keep on going, on and on while the rhythm sounds like a runaway train. Also worth listening to is the harmonica solo. In a way the complete song reminded me of the early work of Led Zeppelin.

I guess to most people, Steamhammer’s Mountains album is probably fairly ordinary. Well, ordinary by 70s rock standards, which means, it’s still pretty darn amazing and totally enjoyable blues rock/ progressive rock. The guitars on the album are well-played and immediately enjoyable, and the overall sound is really good if you know the album was made forty six years ago. A highly detailed-sounding album that’s for sure. Really good music that’s worth owning even if you are a proghead like myself and like your daily progressive rock mixed with blues and rock music. Just give it a try!….Henri Strik…Background magazine….~
The third album by the British blues rock group Steamhammer. Mountains was released in the fall of 1970 and the band follows the same kind of style they performed on their first two studio albums. Their debut album and their second one MK II are both really strong releases and the same thing continues with Mountains.
Two out of these eight tracks are live performances. The longest jam “Riding on the L & N” and the following “Hold That Train” were recorded live at the Lyceum and both of those are fantastic. Especially “Riding on the L & N” is just great. Other standout examples include the opener “I Wouldn’t Have Thought”, “Henry Lane” and the title track “Mountains”. Rest of the songs ain’t any weaker still and the whole album is a very balanced totality.
Steamhammer’s first two album covers aren’t my favourites at all. Especially the cover art of MK II just blows. But with Mountains they had a cool album cover for the first time which is also a nice plus here. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t give a try to this record if you’re a blues rock fan. Really worth giving a shot….by…CooperBolan …~ 
Credits

Banjo – Keith Nelson (tracks: A3)
Bass, Organ, Vocals – Steve Davy
Drums, Percussion – Mick Bradley
Lead Guitar [Acoustic, Electric], Slide Guitar [Bottleneck] – Martin Pugh
Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Acoustic Guitar [2nd], Electric Guitar [2nd] – Kieran White


Tracklist
I Wouldn’t Have Thought (Gophers Song)
Levinia
Henry Lane
Walking Down The Road
Mountains
Leader Of The Ring
Riding On The L&N
Hold That Train













Steamhammer ‎ “Speech” 1972

It’s true but strange (to me, anyway) that Steamhammer, if people check out their music at all, are generally known solely for their early output, which is miles more ordinary than what’s to be found on their last album, ‘Speech’. There were basically two sides to Steamhammer’s musical history, despite the numerous lineup changes earlier on. The side that gets me excited is the ‘Speech’ side; the other one is everything before that, and while there were some good moments in that first phase, it’s not at all in the same league or style. 
Steamhammer came together in Worthing, England at the end of 1968 as a blues band, with a lineup featuring Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Martin Quittenton (guitar), Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass) and Michael Rushton (drums) and released their self-titled debut on CBS in 1969 (a.k.a. ‘Reflection’), after playing the role of backing band for Freddy King on his UK tour. Despite being nothing remarkable on record at this point (not discounting some good tracks with hints of psychedelic rock and slight progressive yearnings), they were building up a reputation as a great live band who would go into extended jamming on stage, often playing 2 hour-plus gigs. Over the next year or so they became more popular in Europe than at home, and played festivals in w. Germany, Holland and parts of Scandinavia, as well as later performing on Beat Club. At the end of the year Quittenton and Rushton had been replaced by Mick Bradley (drums) and Steve Joliffe (sax, flute), and with the newcomers came a turn to a slightly more original and ‘progressive’ sound, though without dropping the blues rock roots they’d started with. Still, though, the resulting album ‘Mk II’ [CBS, 1969] was no masterpiece either, but some good tracks were to be found on it. In the interim Joliffe left, and later of course, ended up in Tangerine Dream! 
Now down to White, Pugh, Davy and Bradley the band turned out one last record documenting phase one of Steamhammer, ‘Mountains’ [B&C, 1970]. Compilers (such as the ‘Junior’s Wailing’ compilation) generally only go up to this point, probably because at least the tracks are still shorter and more accessible. ‘Mountains’ is regarded by many progressive rock fans as Steamhammer’s best album, and it surely is better than the preceding two, particularly on the live track included, the lengthy jam song ‘Riding on the L&N’. (When they sing that line though, it always sounds like ‘Driving on the Isle of Man’ to me unless I listen more closely, and funnily enough not only does it also have a kind of Man feel to the driving stoned groove jamming, it’s perfect driving music and I listen to it most often on a compilation tape I made for the car.) But, none of this is a patch on the monumental forgotten album that would follow and end the story of Steamhammer. 
Having now stripped down to a duo of Pugh and Bradley, and stripped of the controlling influence of the departed Kieran White, they picked up Louis Cennamo (ex-Renaissance) on bass to record their last album in late 1971, though some accounts say he joined the group whilst White was still around, as a replacement for Davy. The occasional vocals were apparently contributed by Garth Watt-Roy (ex-Greatest Show On Earth, Fuzzy Duck), but there’s no mention of this on my copy (the Repertoire CD reissue). This last album would be a radically different experience from anything Steamhammer had done before – or indeed pretty different from what anyone had done before, overall. ‘Riding on the L&N’ hinted at some of it, but really, it’s like a distant echo from bygone times in comparison. 
Even the liner-notes for the Repertoire CD reissues refer to this as a “disappointing, partly chaotic album and the negative reception of the record led to the end of Steamhammer”, which is hardly likely to make people want to check it out – except if you like the sound of the “chaotic” bit like me – but whatever jackass wrote that description needs his or her ears and sense of taste checked, because if you ask me and everyone I’ve played this too, this is some pretty cool shit right here. I sure wasn’t disappointed – in fact when I first listened to just a few seconds of the CD in the shop and didn’t have any money on me, I put myself out coming all the way across the other side of town again first thing the very next day just to be sure it was mine as soon as possible. And by the way, it’s not that chaotic, either – but don’t let that put you off. And by the way, before we get off this paragraph, the very same liner notes preceded that statement above by saying that by the time the album was released in 1972 (only in Germany, too, which couldn’t have helped their exposure, but you’d expect the Germans at least to buy this kind of stuff, especially as the band were popular there) the band didn’t exist anymore. So how could poor reception of the album lead to their breakup if they had jumped the gun and broke up before it hit the shops? 
The album cover was a painted job but it had the appearance from a slight distance of being one of those great covers of old, where someone would go to the trouble of creating some little 3-dimensional diorama or scene and then photographing it. However a closer look quickly reveals that it’s no such thing, but it’s still an interesting cover, with a blue planet cracked open to reveal simmering volcanos within, and flying saucers, space stations and astrological symbols orbiting without. Following over to the back cover you see that the top of the planet is lifted off by strings attached to an equal-limbed cross being manipulated by a disembodied puppeteer’s blue hand, emerging from a dark murk in the midst of white clouds. 

‘Speech’ contains just three long tracks, and is progressive rock but very much of the underground variety. It stretches out into dark space and at times hits metal territory in a unique way that blows me away each and every time. Much of it sounds as though played out over some remote, icy Nordic waste under ageless permanent night. 
Side 1 consist of just one track, the vast chasm of aching melancholy, pain and cosmic mourning that is ‘Penumbra’ [22:42], broken up into 5 parts – ‘Entrance’, ‘Battlements’, ‘Passage to Remorse’, ‘Sightless Substance’ and ‘Mortal Thought’. It begins with solemn and ominous bowed cello intonations matched melodically by wordless vocals and underscored with a subtle drone from a resonant cello string. Actually, it might just be reverbed guitar scraped with a bow, and bowed bass doing the lower drone. It’s clear from the start that this is going to be a much different journey, and this unsettling gothic mood feels almost like having a tea party in a crypt with several animated corpses. In fact, it wouldn’t sound out of place in an appropriate Dario Argento flick. The tea party is shattered around the 3:30 mark by a synth-like drone fading in, the cello-substitute drones to a big distorted climax and guitars, bass and drums all kick into an instant galloping groove, rocking mean, lean and technical like a less-heavy Three Man Army stomper, or early Allman Brothers Band crazed on crystal meth and ditching the blues for some agitated progressive hard rock. They’re riding along like the horsemen of the apocalypse, minus one, but made up for with the overdubbed lead guitar that blazes away with embellishments from speaker to speaker, before all crash down on one note that rings out, and it’s all solemn musical pronouncements again. We’re in the hall of the mountain king, as a regal but dark sparse riff reverberates with sombre spaciousness over some of the few vocals on the album. I can understand most of the lyrics but can’t figure out what he’s singing about – regardless, it’s all fairly solemn, fantasy-laden and devoid of future hope. The drums are crashing and resounding almost like gongs in some huge, sacred place of stone. Several minutes of this and another hard, complex riff kicks in, still with drums rolling and punctuating in their inner galaxy of reverb, and the guitar takes on a weird, spacey garbled tone as it claws out its sinister riff, which all sounds like some dark classical work for a small chamber ensemble, but played with rock instruments. A couple of minutes later it slows down, leading to a mind-enveloping gong crash, the wake of which opens out into deep space central, sounds resounding as far as the ear can see. Out of the void comes a mellow, exploratory groove carried by meandering bass and free-flowing, lyrical guitar work, the drums tinkering and rolling beneath holding it all up like a twinkling belt of stars. It all has the feel of some inspired three-piece West Coast acid rock band jamming themselves into the cosmos, somewhat like later Agitation Free. The drums push up the strength of the whole groove now, riding the toms and the cymbals simultaneously and lifting it all up closer to the sun without changing the pace. Hmmm, maybe more like Ash Ra Tempel now, and/or some highlight from the first Hawkwind album… Out of nowhere the guitar starts plucking the form of a very cool riff out of the passing clusters of sound, but it disappears almost immediately before the whole groove vanishes down Shiva’s butt crack and a beautifully cosmic space opens out, created entirely by gorgeously reverbed and subtly echoed dual-tracked guitar, all faded-in strokes of glistening manna, angelically beautiful, and you feel like you’re standing awestruck in some glowingly whiter-than-white room on board a spacecraft just beyond the edge of the known universe. A minute or two and this again fades, and a massive oppressive groove enters, driven by a wicked repeated fuzz bass riff, sliding up and down like a striding dinosaur, and that very cool riff from before re-enters, here perfectly at home riding the bass and drums like they were just waiting for it, but nonetheless weeping and mourning like an already-dead soul that just won’t give up hope. Anguished vocals enter for the last time, crying out for some kind of relief from the confusion and sadness, the groove starts pounding along monstrously, before huge distorted clarion calls of guitar grind out periodically over the top of it all as tormented but defiant sheets of sound, heralding a signal to the gods beyond that these humans will not lie down and die without a fight. It’s all so heavy, but there’s nary a power chord in sight, nor any riffs of great leadenness – it’s all produced by that enormous bass and the overall oppressive vibe and relentless rhythmic drive laid down by the collective, somewhat like Sweet Slag, if you’ve had the pleasure of hearing them. After charging straight up to the battlements at Valhalla, the massive, imposing gates creak open with spaced guitar sounds echoing and scraping through your weary mind before it fades away and you can sleep and gather strength for a few seconds before turning the record over. 

‘Telegram’ [12:00], opening side 2, fades in with an unsettling rising tone over a humming drone like some mundane machinery on space deck 8, before a big ‘whoooooshhh!’ sweeps out and whacks you between the eyes with a strange, malevolent prog-metal riff matrix, guitar grinding away like a meshwork of intersecting blades, bass sliding up and down scarred ravines like a lupine predator. A fiddly change comes with notes flying and locking together before that gong from space hits again, dissolving all into blissful dreams of starry night, as a gentle guitar melody is plucked, floating sweetly before being interrupted by great reverbing gong strokes and segments of the soul-eating riffage from earlier. Then the beauty is banished altogether as guitars, bass and drums kick back in with a vengeance, slicing out a savage grind of a riff that digs tunnels through mountainsides, and indeed the king who hangs out in that mountain hall is back and pissed, stomping portentously between bars like the giant motherfucker he is, before a voice plaintively moans “it’s under control…” and the riff exits stage left, with only the funereal ceremonial beat of the king’s kettle drum and wordless vocals chanting like Gregorian monks at a way-serious ceremonial do. No laughing in here, chum. As they finish their thing, guitar and bass emerge with a quiet, complex mediaeval riff, soon joined by clattering military drums, all tight as a fish’s rectum. This gives way to a spacey segment of knob-fading-in heavenly guitar strokes, bass and percussion meandering in their now regained consciousness, before all coalesce and build to a jittery peak, then BAM, re-enter the serious riffage, now heavier and more furious than before, and more limber from the brief rest, loping along like a 6-limbed, well-lubricated robotic predator after its prey, but keeping just enough behind to make it tense and thrilling, before leaping on the fleeing being and tearing it asunder as everything rolls to a close. 
‘For Against’ [10:58] begins with a complex flurry of notes, bass and guitar matching each other at each step, with a second guitar intermeshing but not copying the others. After building to nearly mind-boggling levels of inter-coordination they flow into a kind of funky sub-Santana groove of the sort that seems destined to lead shortly into a drum solo, which of course it does after a bit of jazzy noodling. It’s good as drum solos go, and Mick Bradley here definitely shows his worth as a talented jazz-worthy drummer, but yes, it is just a drum solo for nearly 8 minutes, book-ended by instrumental segments of jazzy riffing and closing in a spacey swirl. Regardless, the album remains a classic for the previous two tracks alone, which fortunately make up over ¾ of the whole record. 

In early ’72 Bradley had passed on from leukaemia, when the album was still being mixed. Although the remaining members tried to keep going shortly after with John Lingwood as a replacement, though their hearts weren’t really in it after their friend’s sudden departure, and after gigging briefly as Axis, they called it a day for that particular musical avenue. Pugh and Cennamo went on to join up with Keith Relf (ex-Yardbirds) and Bobby Caldwell (ex-Captain Beyond, Johnny & Edgar Winter bands) to form Armageddon, who had nothing to do with the earlier obscure US hard psych band nor the German band Armaggedon (note the difference in spelling). This Armageddon made a self-titled album for A&M in 1975, which is under-rated and contains much wicked heavy rock with pummelling grooves, bearing echoes of both the rhythmic sensibilities of late Steamhammer and early Captain Beyond, but sounding overall more like Captain Beyond-meets-Three Man Army. This has also been reissued on Repertoire, and ‘Speech’ has more recently been reissued again by Akarma…..by achuma….Head Heritage….~

Credits 

Bass Guitar, Bass Guitar [Bowed], Vocals – Louis Cennamo 
Guitar, Vocals – Martin Pugh 
Lead Vocals – Garth Watt-Roy 
Percussion – Michael Bradley* 


Tracklist 
Penumbra: (22:34) 
Entrance
Battlements
Passage To Remorse
Sightless Substance
Mortal Thought
Telegram (Nature’s Mischief)
For Against
































Steamhammer in concert, Hamburg, Germany, Easter 1970.




Discography 

Singles 
“Junior’s Wailing” (single version)/ “Windmill” (1969) 
“Autumn Song” / “Blues For Passing People” (1969) 
“Mountains” / “I Wouldn’t Have Thought” (1971) 

Albums 
Steamhammer (also known as Reflection) (1969) 
Mk II (1969) 
Mountains (1970) 
Speech (1972) 




watch….
Steamhammer “Live In Germany 1969-70” (bootleg) UK Blues Rock 
https://johnkatsmc5.blogspot.gr/2017/11/steamhammer-live-in-germany-1969-70.html

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