Thursday, 30 May 2013

Fogg - This Is It

Now I'd never heard of Fogg before up until the other day when I laid my fingers on their LP at Leicester Market. Fogg were not the best looking bunch in the world and would have probably been best not to stick their mugs on the cover of their album, a similar mistake was made by Ironbridge, Starry Eyed & Laughing and many other uncomely bands before and since. I personally see this as a good omen and was more than willing to shell out £3 for it!

Fogg were from Newcastle, UK and their line up consisted of Derek Rootham (guitar), David Robson (bass), Chris McPherson (Vocals) and Robert Porteous (drums). The LP is a German only release and was produced by Wally Allen from the Pretty Things. Both the label and the sleeve date the album as 1971 but several discography websites show that singles taken from the album date from 1974, which sounds about right to me. While not an amazing record, it does have its moments, usually when McPherson's Noddy Holder like vocals are embellished with harmonies which almost make Fogg sound a little like Badfinger (specifically the Tom Evans songs) at times.

"Captain Moonshine" starts the album off well with some space sound effects, layered vocals, harmonizing lead guitar and a catchy chorus. "Water Into Wine" is another good track, sounding a bit like something off "Slade In Flame". "Wind It Up" is a tough rocker with plenty of Moog Synthesiser. Album closer "Winter Sun" is a great ballad and the most Badfingery thing on here and one the Fading Yellow fans will dig, some ace Moog on it too. The real stand out track on the album is "Northern Song" which has got an early 1970's Tremeloes feel about it. I've put included my Youtube soundclip of it at the bottom of this post.

I haven't got heaps of information about Fogg so I've included Heidi Esser's sleeve notes to finish off this entry. As always, I'll add any extra information I may find as and when.

Take it away Heidi....

The Windsor Castle, a small pub on the outskirt of London, was packed. Some friends of mine had taken me to see FOGG, the group I had been wanting to meet for a long time. The atmosphere was outrageous. Fogg had played half way through their set and it looked like the place would fall apart any minute. Fans, Freaks and workmen were totally turned on, clapping, drinking, raving along to the music. The Geordie's really played their hearts out. From "Captain Moonshine" they rocked, spacy but straight into "Water In My Wine", the song which always knocks me out, listening to such fantastic harmonies. Without warning, they come back for strong, rough Rock n' Roll, like "Horrible Hannah", which makes the stiffest bone go crazy. 

Fogg is not just one of those bands which you can categorize. They are like their name says, unexpected, heavy, almost above you but easy to go along with, if you get the right vibrations. "Wind It Up", then gets stamping, roaring applause. The set finishes with a unique scream into the mike: "This is it"...!And trying to reach my ears, which had taken off for a musical trip, I thought, that could well be the best name for the album. Actually there is no more to say than: FOGG is a great band. dig the Fogg!

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