Hailing from Southport, Merseyside, Timebox was an excellent northern soul band that released a few singles during the mid-to-late 60s to no particular acclaim, other than being one of the few bands of the era to feature a vibraphone. The band did feature two gifted members, vocalist Mike "Patto" McGrath and guitarist Ollie Halsall, and was rounded out with Chris Holmes on keyboards, John Halsey on drums and Clive Griffiths on bass. In 1968, they scored a minor hit with the Four Season's "Beggin'" b/w "A Woman That's Waiting" for Decca Records, rising to No. 38 on the UK charts. However, an album provisionally titled Moose On The Loose remained uncompleted; and by the end of the decade, Holmes had split. Rechristened as Patto, the remaining quartet signed with Vertigo Records, enlisted the talents of producer Muff Winwood and made the switch from psychedelic to progressive. "The Man" kicks off and reveals the band's unique mix of blues and jazz, punctuated by Halsall's sexy vibraphone midway through. "Time to Die" slows the pace, with Mike Patto's coarse but earthy voice pushed to the fore. "San Antone" paces through some chord and time changes before dropping back into a fine swing, propelled by Halsey's hard-hitting drums. "Government Man" contains more of the fine hooks of the Patto/Halsall writing team, but the monster track is "Money Bag." Free jazz without keyboards, the song features Halsall's blistering guitar, contrasted with Griffiths's bass, while Halsey's drumming thrills. Mike Patto eventually chimes in, his fine prose accentuated by the music's dramatic rests. Though the album did not chart, the band's live reputation kept them in play for another record.
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
One of my favorite bands on the early 70s. Ollie Halsall is a genuine British treasure of a guitarist.
"Always ready with the ray of sunshine"