Quatermass II - the story so far

If you've been dipping in to the Nick Simper subsection of the Deep Purple WWW pages you'll know I've spoken to Nick a a couple of times now and that he's working with Mick Underwood on a new project. Or a new take on an old project. Whatever.

I spoke to Nick a couple of weeks ago, and he put me on to Peter Purnell of CeeDee Management (details at the end) who has been handling the creation of some demos and the search for a recording deal. Peter promised to put a pack in the post and mere days later it dropped through my letter box (despite the "Handle With Care" stickers all over the envelope). Inside was a biography of the band with pictures and a demo tape.

Apparently, Bernie Tormé was unable to continue with the original project, Peter Parks (Fandango) sat in for a while but again couldn't add this to his existing commitments so the search was on for a new guitarist. Sound familiar?

In the event, they turned up a great young talent in the shape of Gary Davis to augment the vocals of Peter Taylor.

Thus, it was with expectation and trepidation I played the tape.

Quatermass II Demo Tape

Diamonds In The Rough

Pure chugging 12 bar rock and roll. Jangly intro but as soon as the vocals come in, that image is dispellled with a "ba-dump-ba-dump-ba-dump" beat that refuses to quit.

Walking The Thin Line

Punchy anthemic rock, with harmonica and a guitar solo that yells Ritchie on a good day but without being a steal.

Rain Fall Down

Acoustic guitar and echoey vocals. Get yer lighters out for this one kids: "Rain fall down, wash over my soul..."


I can't help making comparisons with some aspects of the Underwood/McCoy/Towns/{Tormé/Gers} Gillan lineups for the first two tracks since Underwood's drumming underpinned the great hard rock they put out and guitarist Davis matches Tormé, Gers and to an extent Blackmore with great solos and importantly, a great sound.

On the first two tracks, Underwood's drumming is precise and strong but has the big sound that screams to be echoing around a huge venue - like Reading or Donnington.

The vocalist Peter Taylor has a distinctive style with unashamedly English pronunciation that yells great, British rock and roll. I wish I could think who is closest in style.

Nick Simper's bass is of course, perfect: fluid, heavy and driving.

I've not heard Warhorse or the original Quatermass, and there's no comparison to MkI Purple or Fandango. Maybe someone with a more encyclopaedic knowledge of rock can draw better similarities than I can, but this is rock and roll the way I like it. On a scale of one to heavy, it's a nine.

Mail-order EP anyone?

Dave Hodgkinson
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