Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hummingbird - 1976 - We Can not Go On Meeting

We Can not Go On Meeting

01. Fire And Brimstone
02. Gypsy Skys
03. Trouble Maker
04. Scorpio
05. We Can not Go On Meeting Like This
06. The City Mouse
07. A Friend Forever
08. Heaven Knows (Where You've Been)
09. Snake Snack
10. Let It Burn

Tench Bobby - guitar, vocals
Bernie Holland - guitar
Robert Ahwai - the Guitar
Clive Chaman - bass
Max Middleton - keyboards
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie - drums
Liza Strike - Back vocals
Madeline Bell - Back vocals
Joanne Williams - Back vocals

Hummingbird on this, the band's second album was essentially the Jeff Beck Group without Beck. Seasoned players all, keyboardist Max Middleton appeared with the Beck, Bogart, Appice project as well as Nazareth's classic 'Hair of the Dog' LP and guitarist Bobby Tench is one of those journeyman players who could never stay still for too long, moving through stints with Widowmaker, Streetwalkers, Humble Pie and many others. Yet despite such a large pool of talent, Hummingbird never really broke out as a major league group. In fact interviews with Middleton, Tench and guitarist Bernie Holland reveal very little about Hummingbird which is odd considering the group released three albums to critical acclaim and worthy of investigation.

Heavy on the jazz, blues and funk influences Hummingbird eclipsed most groups of the era not only due to the quality of the players, but the progressive rock vibe found in most of their work. Average White Band fans will find Hummingbird of interest in the funkier tracks like 'Fire And Brimstone' and 'Trouble Maker' but for this listener it's the fusion sound of Hummingbird where the group truly finds their mark with the gorgeous 'Gypsy Skies' on side one and 'The City Mouse' on the flip taking best in show. Personally I could have done with less funk and more fusion but the record is what it is and succeeds despite its yin/yang.

I have to be in the mood for an album like this and I'm sure most readers will find themselves feeling the same, but only you know how much you can take. Groups like Santana and Journey have been covered on these pages and both have touched on this style which peaked in the mid- 1970's with people like Bob James, Herbie Hancock and the aforementioned Average White Band leading the charge. 'We Can't Go On Meeting Like This' stands shoulder to shoulder with the best of them and is worth seeking out for those wanting something different, in particular the hard to find Japanese CD version.

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