Quatermass Reviews

From:
Well, if you're interested in keyboard oriented prog rock, one suggestion would be Quatermass. They were a trio (drums/keys/bass and vocals) ca. 70 who only released one album. EXCELLENT organ work. The song Black Sheep Of The Family was covered by Rainbow on their first album.

From: "Mark Fonda" <>
Good snag, Chris... this is one fabulous Hammond shred-fest!!!  Quatermass formed in the UK in 1969 and toured the UK circuit at the same time as The Nice and Yes... their 1971 US tour was cut short due to the band break-up as drummer Mick Underwood went off to join the band Peace.  They only released one album, self titled, in 1970 which got good reviews but did not take off commercially.  The music is a distinctive off-shoot of the old R&B format, influenced by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Nice, Cream and Atomic Rooster. Lead singer and bass player John Gustafson and Mick Underwood had came from Episode Six and keyboardist Pete Robinson (ex-Chris Farlow) joined forces to become this short-lived, blues-oriented, heavy prog power trio.  The music has stood up well to the ages and the organ work is meticulous and captivating.   There are many sections of pure Hammond solos backed with minor rhythmic bass and drum accompaniment.  There is also some piano and harpsichord.  The vocals are prominent but not overbearing... the album is mostly instrumental.  Vocalist John Gustafson sounds a bit like Kerry Livgren of Kansas.  The overall mood is upbeat despite the lyrics which are dark and foreboding.  The album has 11 tracks lasting 61 minutes... it includes the full original album plus two bonus tracks which were singles released before the band break-up in 1971.  This is a must-have for the Hammond enthusiast!!  (I got it at guess where?... Syn-Phonic).  I honestly think that ELP could have been inspired by this band!!  There are some great chops and music compositions that smack of Brain Salad Surgery.  Pete Robinson went on to work with the bands Contraband and Suntreader in the mid-70's (never heard of either one).

From: "Grant Penton" <>
> Actually, there was a much earlier LP re-issue on the Harvest Heritage label (at that time owned by EMI Records -- this must have been pre-1980, but I'm not sure of the year).  This was non-Gatefold with a different, more colorful, cover (although the original artwork was shown as an inset on the back cover in miniature).
Yes, that's the one I bought for $2.99 sealed in '80, which is still in great shape!   Then I found a used copy with the original cover for $1.  It was the Brand X connection that piqued my interest- then I got the Suntreader LP that was Robinson's next noteworthy project.  He's perhaps not as adept with producing a variety of synth sounds as Lumley, but he's overall far superior technically.  I have a video of a Swedish show in '81 with Collins, Robinson and a host of local greats, and he really drives the fusion- hope he's still active today.

From: Fred Rosenkamp <> Never heard Quartermass or Frumpy. I've seen Frumpy once on a festival here in Holland in the early 70s. I believe it was with singer Inga Rumpf. Or was the band called Atlantis?  I'm not sure, the memories are a bit 'hazy'...They didn't impress me very much I think. They were a solid rocking band though. But you should definitely check out Quatermass. That is: their 1st album from 1970 featuring Peter Robinson (keyboards), John Gustafson (vocals & bass guitar) and Mick Underwood (drums). The classic prog trio line up. I've always had a weak spot for this one and they certainly (still) mean more to me (personally) than ELP or Triumvirat - whom I both like very much BTW. Unfortunately Quatermass didn't last long. The members all went on to other groups and/or became succesful session men. Robinson worked a lot with Phil Collins in Brand X, Genesis and several solo projects. If you want to know more about John Gustafson, there's a fantastic site at: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palladium/2214/jgust_b.htm You'll be blown away by the mans' record: Gillan, Steve Hackett, Roxy Music etc etc! There's also a Quatermass page: <> In the 90s there suddenly was a Quatermass II, but their music seems to have very little to do with the original band. The CD is called 'The Long Road'.

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