Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Death Warmed Up - Sea Shanties
High Tide was a band formed in 1969 by Tony Hill (guitar, keyboards, and vocals), Simon House (violin and keyboards), Pete Pavli (bass) and Roger Hadden (drums). The trademark of their first album Sea Shanties was the constant battle between the electric guitar of Tony Hill and the electric violin of Simon House. There is hardly a quiet moment on Sea Shanties, the heaviest tracks being "Futilist's Lament" and the instrumental "Death Warmed Up". Stylistically it is a mix of hard rock, psychedelic, blues, folk, and jazz-rock, and is sometimes even cited as the first progressive metal album. Allmusic author, Wilson Neate, had this to say of the group, "High Tide had the muscularity of a no-nonsense proto-metal band, but they also ventured into prog territory with changing time signatures and tempos, soft-hard dynamics, multi-part arrangements, and even some ornate faux-Baroque interludes.".
The second, self-titled, album is a little less heavy and introduces some keyboards, played by Hill and House; the folk and jazz-rock influences are more noticeable on this album. Featuring just three tracks - Blankman Cries Again, The Joke and Saneonymous - it can be seen as a concept of sorts, the theme being the slow slide into psychosis. Indeed, Roger Hadden was later committed for just that reason.
High Tide also played as backing band on Denny Gerrard's album Sinister Morning (1970). A third album, Precious Cargo, which was more a psychedelic album without any hard rock influences, was recorded in 1970, but the band split up, and it was not published until 1989, when Hill and House reformed High Tide as a 2-man band with the use of drum computers and produced Interesting Times, in the wake of which "Precious Cargo" was finally released.
Two other albums with previously unreleased material, The Flood and A Fierce Nature, followed in 1990. Simon House left, and Pete Pavli joined again. Together with some guest musicians including Dave Tomlin (violin), Drachen Theaker (drums) and Sushi Krishnamurti (vocals), they recorded Ancient Gates, which had some Indian influences. Another album of previously unreleased material, A Reason of Success, was released in 1992. The tracks "Futilist's Lament" and "Blankman Cries Again" are on the United Artists Records 2004 sampler All Good Clean Fun CD re-package (Liberty 8660902), but High Tide did not appear on the original 1971 LP.
More recently, Tony Hill has recorded with Nick Saloman of Bevis Frond and has also formed his own three-piece called Tony Hill's Fiction.
Tony Hill's Fiction were initially formed after the release of Tony Hill's solo album/CD 'Inexactness' which was released on Nick Saloman and Ade Shaws' Woronzow label 2006. Fronted by Tony Hill (Guitar/Vox) with D E Holt (Bass) and Syd Farrell (Drums) the band released one unofficial CD from their website ('Dna, The Brain, The Universe').