Monday, January 22, 2007

Voiz and Pete Yates-Round

Thanks to the new Heavenly Grooves blog I've been able to listen to one of the Grapevine albums, Boanerges by the Dutch rock band Voiz.

This was produced in 1978 by Pete Yates-Round the "last" member of Parchment. It's a great album in the classic 70s rock mode - but it also contains traces of the lightness of feel and experimentation that you'd expect from Parchment. The standard review, copied on Heavenly Grooves, praises the flute playing but there's also an astonishing use of a ukelele, mandolin-style.

Pete Yates-Round was discovered by the band playing solo in Holland and it seems that Grapevine maintained strong links in both Holland and Northern Ireland. When Brian Smith left after Shamblejam, the band played as a two piece for a while until they came to Chepstow, when, apparently, the organiser demanded a three-piece. Yates-Round was drafted in and John Pac, quoted in Buzz, recalled: "The guy said it was the best he had ever heard us."

A quick Google search suggests Yates-Round has had a subsequent career either as a publisher or a solo musician - or possibly both.

Voiz seemed to have produced a second album Disaster Electronics, the following year. There is no sign of it on the second hand market but Boanerges is selling for about 200 dollars. Meanwhile that elusive Whitsuntide Easter album goes for about 400 dollars and Reynard's first album is up to $155. Also no sign of Rufaro, which we think is another Grapevine rock album, so expect a scramble when that appears.

We have a number of Grapevine albums on order but are reluctant to say more for fear of prices continuing to rise. We should stress that this site is not in the game of bidding or trading high prices for these albums. Wonder who has the masters and the rights to the catalogue.

Roundabout launch

Phil Janvier is a former member of Roundabout, the Liverpool based arts movement associated with Parchment.

His blog now contains some details of an event on January 30th when plans for the Roundabout 08 event will be shared. There are also some recollections of his time working with the band.

"Come ride upon my roundabout
Come swing upon my swing
Come walk upon the water
Play your part in anything"

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


After the release of Shamblejam in 1975 the band were at a low ebb, struggling to stay in business.

Although the album was their first to be released in the USA and is one of the great prog folk albums of the 70s, their US-based label Myrrh do not appear to have granted them a US tour. This was not to take place until November 1977.

Sometime in 1976 the British label Pilgrim came to the rescue. Brian Smith had left and John Pac and Sue McClellan took on Pete Yates-Round after meeting him in Holland.

Pilgrim hired the three musicians as a production team with John Pac as head of production. There is some confusion as to what point the Grapevine label was launched as many of the releases seem to have been under the Pilgrim label.

By the time of the release of Rehearsal for a Reunion on Grapevine in late 1977 the trio had been involved in the production of some 40 albums. The three provided guitar, mandolin, drums and backing vocals on many of the records - Pac was the mandolin player and Yates-Round the drummer. The range of output is said to have included choral and classical work.

Examples of the work included: Stewart and Kyle Yours Ever, producer Pac; Koinonia Gentle as Morning, producer McClellan; Ben Forde The Supreme Sacrifice, producer Yates-Round; Rufaro Rufaro, producer Pac.

Stewart and Kyle were quite well known, Koinonia was an Irish choir whilst, judging by their album cover, Rufaro may have been a heavy metal band.

Source: Pilgrim Advertising Feature, Buzz Magazine October 1977


Well we now know one or two people are reading this blog so here's a list of tasks for the coming year

I'm going to get answers to some of my questions and also to some of yours, if you let this site know what they are.

First of all I have an invitation to put some questions to the great John Pac. I'll be in touch with John in due course but probably after some more research.

I've uncovered a stack of old Buzz magazines. This was the British gospel rock magazine and over the years its articles and interviews chronicle the rise and fall of a truly great band. I'll be posting some of those in the near future.

I also want to find out about the environment the band operated in and what their legacy is. In particular I want to find out more about the Grapevine label which emerged from a relatively stodgy British gospel publisher, Pilgrim, and seems to have been given its head to record music from a large number of innovative and not particularly mainstream musicians, such as Reynard.

Ultimately it released Parchment's last album Rehearsal for a Reunion but before that it was using band members in its production studios and seems to have given John Pac his entry into the music publishing business.

Much of this music is now causing excitement and involves bands few people knew about at the time. They cannot be found in the pages of Buzz, for instance. I'm looking forward to hearing samples of the music of the Dutch band Whitsuntide Easter for instance but, regrettably, it is unlikely to be through buying copies of their album which retails for several hundred pounds.

For 2007, both questions and answers are welcome!