clive calder

clive calder

ABSTRACT TRUTH - SUMMERTIME / 1970

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ABSTRACT TRUTH - SUMMERTIME (ALBUM : "TOTUM") / 1970 PROGRESSIVE ROCK / PSYCHEDELIC ROCK SOUTH AFRICA Studio Album, released in 1970 Songs / Tracks Listing : 1. Jersey Thursday (3:47) 2. Coming Home Babe (6:32) 3. Oxford Town (4:09) 4. Fat Angel/ Work Song (10:16) 5. Summertime (5:40) 6. Scarborough Fair (3:44) 7. Parchman Farm/ Moaning (2:57) 8. Ain't Necessarily So/ Take Five (10:02) 9. Total Totum (Acid Raga) (5:10) Line-up / Musicians : - Ken E Henson / guitar, sitar, vocals - Robbie Pavid / percussion - Brian Gibson / bass, vocals - Sean Bergin / sax, flute Releases information : Uptight 1970 LP Fresh 2005 CD (as a double album with "Silver Trees") Abstract Truth biography : Abstract Truth (they shunned the prefix of "the" because they didn't want to sound dogmatic) was the brainchild of one Kenneth Edward Henson (dubbed Ken E Henson by David Marks). The band Abstract Truth existed only for a very short time, but it was a time of super-creativity. They exploded on to the Durban music scene early in 1969, released 2 studio albums during 1970 (as well as a compilation in the same year!) and, after numerous line-up changes, imploded in 1971. Henson had been the guitarist in a band called the Leeman Ltd, which had formed in Durban in 1965. In 1966 he and the enigmatic Ramsay MacKay got together with ex-Navarones members Colin Pratley and Nic Martens to create Freedom's Children, arguably South Africa's greatest rock band. Clive Calder, who signed Abstract Truth to EMI in 1970, said recently that Freedom's Children in his opinion "was then and probably still is today (over 30 years later) the only SA rock group that, given the right circumstances in the right geographical location, could have become an internationally successful rock band just by being themselves and doing what they did." Henson was involved in the early single releases by Freedom's Children, which were unbelievably credited to "Fleadom's Children" because the government of the time considered the word "Freedom" as unacceptable! Henson then left Freedom's Children to join The Bats for a six-week sojourn. In 1969 Henson and sax-player Sean Bergin were in a jazz group called The Sounds. Henson says, "In February 1969 I was approached by the owner of a local hotel. He had heard that I played the sitar and asked if I could get together an exotic/Eastern-sounding outfit to back a belly dancer in the hotel's disco/pub." The pub was called "Totum" and was situated at the Palm Beach Hotel in Durban's Gillespie Street. Robbie Pavid, who had played drums for The Mods in 1967, remembers: "[The club owner] wanted a backing band for a belly dance act that would attract customers to his cocktail hour. Ken got hold of Brian Gibson who would play bass, formerly from the British group the 004's, Sean Bergin who would play flute and sax, myself on percussion, who was with the band The Third Eye, and Ken on lead guitar and sitar. I was playing in The Third Eye at the same time as Abstract Truth (whose gig at "Totum" was a 5 to 7 cocktail hour gig) and would then rush off to The Third Eye gig.... ahh, what you can do when you are young!!!!"Brian Gibson came from Wales where he had started in cabaret. "I was into pop for two years then came to South Africa with a group known as the 004's". Future Bats guitarist Pete Clifford was also in the 004's and the band released a few singles and an album titled 'It's Alright' in the mid-60's. On the b-side of one of their singles was a version of boogie-woogie pianist Mose Allison's 'Parchman Farm', which was later reworked by Abstract Truth and released on the 'Totum' album. This is not the same as Bukka White's 'Parchman Farm Blues', which was recorded in 1937, though it does cover a similar theme. The album 'Totum' was recorded in Johannesburg over a single weekend using a 4-track machine. The album was released in early 1970. "According to today's standards it's pretty rough," says Henson, "but I guess it was an honest ...