About Pacific Drift


So alongside Barry Reynolds, Graham Harrop, Brian Chapman, Jack Lancaster and Pete Gray the band embarked on a hectic tour of the North West’s club scene developing their style of music which was later to be known as Progressive Rock. Larry now takes up the story………

“What struck me right away was the combined sound of Barry’s excellent lead work, Brian’s Hammond Organ sound and Jack’s skills withe Sax and Flute. Also their attitude was musically sharp and although we were doing mostly covers you could tell they had a lot of musical ideas of their own. I soon settled in.”

The fortunate thing was the group started gigging as soon as the rehearsals were over, playing a lot of standard covers from the R & B and Rock scene and toured all over the North West of England to begin with, eventually getting some gigs in London. About this time a certain John Rubin from Manchester expressed an interest in managing the band, promising to invest in new transport and new equipment.

It was also clear that Jack Lancaster our saxophonist had caught the attention of Mick Abrahams, a guitarist who had helped launch Jethro Tull (Coincidentally we had supported Tull at the Manchester Uni) but wanted to now form his own band. He knew Jack and asked him to join offering a recording deal with Island records and so it was that they formed Blodwyn Pig and we were a man short.

However this wasn’t such a blow as we had just been offered a chance to audition for Decca and a new label they were planning and our manager John had also arranged through an agent a 6 week gig at a club in the Bahama’s at the Jokers Wild club in Freeport, Grand Bahama Isle, so along with new member Dave Bowker (playing bass instead of Pete Gray who couldn’t travel) we started preparing for a flight across the Atlantic and a new and defining phase in the bands history.

The gentle whine of the 4 jet engines of the BOAC Boeing 707 changed to a different, higher frequency as the jetliner began it’s descent into Bermuda after a 7.5hr flight to disembark some of it’s passengers. There was a brief stop here so we had a quick mooch around the airport and surrounds in the kind of weather we had only dreamt about back in the U.K. But dusk was already upon us and by the time we lifted off for the final leg of our journey night was upon us and 2.5hrs later the pilot announced we were about to land in Freeport.

We were soon through customs as we had only taken some bare equipment essentials such as Guitars, Snare Drum and Cymbals under the understanding that everything else, Amps, PA, Hammond Organ and a full Drum kit would be available at the club. Meeting us was the owners rep who took us to a hotel were we would spend the night to get some sleep and prepare for our residency at the club.

A few hours later I awoke and drew back the curtains to my room to be confronted by a beautiful horseshoe shaped pool surrounded by gently swaying palm trees and a view across the bay like you would not believe. Naturally we were all rather gobsmacked at this and immediately began to enjoy the beautifully cool blue water and the searing sun. But far too soon our escort came to collect us for our transfer to our permanent residence at the Robin Hood Apartments where we would stay during our working stay.

We were also presented with the use of a Chevy convertible which went down very well as in those days transport around Grand Bahama island was either by car or taxi and a very sparse bus service.

Our working venue was the JOKERS WILD club where we were due to play five 40 minute spots 6 days a week a tough gig but the money was great and all things considered a very reasonable state of affairs considering all the extras that had been included. And we could have a free drink after every spot in fact given everything I had done to get this far, this was the best booking ever to date. And given that we had 6 weeks of this it was, and still is, one of the best times in my life.

The Making of Pacific Drifts ‘Feelin’ Free’ Album
( Concerning the vinyl release in 1970 on Deram Nova of 11 tracks)

The drone of London’s street traffic faded into the background as the Transit Van pulled into the courtyard at rear of an address in Regent Street where the studio REGENTSOUND was based and out tumbled 4 musos and a Roadie ready to assess their workplace for the next 5 days during which time the band hoped they would have put together a decent enough album that best represented their musical vision.

Back then in 1970 the idea of late night working was reserved for the bands who had made their mark and as we were just beginning that process we were on the 9-5pm shift, with a possibility of the occasional evening as well if we fell behind schedule. And so we inspected the studio, a fairly compact affair but with plenty of recording and relaxing space with an stunning 8 track recording desk (amazing for the time), some smart crew behind the controls namely, Ron Wilkinson and Bill Price. Wayne Bickerton was in charge of production, a musician from Liverpool who had made good in A&R at Decca and was writing hits (in conjunction with Tony Waddington) for The Flirtations among others. In fact part of the deal was that we included one of their songs on our Album, a catchy Vocal lead number called ‘Just Another Girl’, which Wayne had high hopes for a possible Eurovision song entry……………

As far as our own stuff, we had been rehearsing consistently the past few weeks preparing our material so we were pretty sure given any unforeseen hitches we could record them practically as they were. mind you all things being equal that’s not quite the way it turned out on 3 of the tracks specifically, Greta the Legend, Norman and Happy Days.

The first day in the studio was spent mainly on setting up the gear, miking up the instruments and drums then having to go through a couple of numbers so the engineers could get the sound balance right. We did manage to get in a couple of backing tracks during the rest of the session, which as far as I can remember were Happy Days and Tomorrow Morning Brings….

We went back to our base (a rented house in Brixton), and spent the evening rehearsing a couple of numbers then relaxed for a couple of hours before getting some kip.

to be continued……………………

Footnote: This article covers the following recordings; ( Plaster Casters USA, Tomorrow Morning Brings, Feelin’ Free, Just Another Girl, Garden of Love, Norman, Grain of Sand, Greta the Legend, Going Slow, God has Given Me and Happy Days :….Water Woman and Yes you Do were released together as a single and We’re on our Way and Don’t Turn Away were with-held but are now included on the re-issue CD.

The photographs used on the front and back of the original release were shot on location in Shoeburyness during one day by ace photographer David Wedgebury…………………….

Our manager at the time was John Reuben who owned a furniture business in Manchester.

A little known fact about Pacific Drift was that after the Album release and numerous gigs promoting same we had become a really tight band and had gained a very favourable reputation, we were offered the chance of some extra work and self promotion by acting as a backing line up for Dave Berry( The Crying Game ), Wayne Fontana (Game of Love) and Arthur Brown (Fire) for example, and these were all short tour arrangements to Scotland, France and Denmark.


http:youtube.be/GqYOJraG8HY or just type in the youtube site POP2 1970 PACIFIC DRIFT. ENJOY!!!

>>>>>>>>>>P.S. (This was the start of a 4 week tour of Europe taking in France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland which culminated with the band being part of a 3 day outdoor Festival which had the likes of MC5, The KInks, and many more of the years top Artistes.) More on this later on in the story………………………..

A new re-issue of the bands album and single tracks, together with 2 songs never before released is now available on CD from all good record outlets, or from this site. Interested? Then e mail me asap for more details…………..Also this CD contains a pretty concise story of the bands history together with a collection of photos and quotes from ex members about those heady PD days!

VIDEO Extract: Live in Paris 1970

The opening Track only from our concert in Paris for French TV – less to download if you are having difficulty with the full concert download elsewhere on this site.