Strange Angels

 Saturday 17th September, 2022
 9:00pm | Session Trail

Strange Angels

Featuring Jeff Ward: Guitar. (Iron Pig, White Lightning, Mournblade, Ragged Boys, The Barrelhouse Brothers…)

Jeff began his musical career in the underground Heavy Metal band IRON PIG, during the NWOBHM era of 1979. The band recorded three demos, one of which was playlisted by Geoff Barton of Sounds and played some high profile gigs, including Guildford University and London`s Marquee Club, before calling it a day in the summer of 1980.

In 1981 he formed THE HOLLOW with IRON PIG vocalist, Graham Dundas. This band had a more folky/prog rock feel and recorded a limited edition cassette only album Winter in 1982. In 1984, he reunited with former IRON PIG members Simon Pengilly and Gerald Goff , along with former STATIC and ICEMON vocalist, Noel Jones in the ambitious metal band WHITE LIGHTNING. This line up recorded the ultra rare 7 inch single THIS POISON FOUNTAIN, financed by the band themselves. They continued to gig and after the acquisition of their own multi track recording equipment, they recorded more demos.

In the summer of 1985, with WHITE LIGHTNING on hold, Jeff joined the cult Space Rock band MOURNBLADE. They recorded the album TIME’S RUNNING OUT for Flicknife Records, home of HAWKWIND and gigged continuously throughout the year, still finding time to record the unreleased mini-album EIN HELDENTRAUM.

In 1986 , Jeff reformed WHITE LIGHTNING , bringing Richard Max Goddard from MOURNBLADE on Bass. This line up recorded the self financed album AS MIDNIGHT APPROACHES. With rave reviews and the patronage of DJ TOMMY VANCE, who played every track on his legendary FRIDAY ROCK SHOW, the band were signed by Workshop Records, who re-issued the album in larger quantities in 1988. In 1990, guitarist Simon Pengilly was replaced by John Storey and WHITE LIGHTNING proceeded to lay down tracks for the album PARADISE AT A PRICE at Woodcray Studios in Berkshire, where BLACK SABBATH had just recorded their TYR album. More high profile gigs followed including support slots to Japanese HM band VOW WOW and MEAT LOAF. With the album in the can and things looking rosy, Workshop Records folded and the master tapes dissappeared. Thus bringing the WHITE LIGHTNING story to an ignoble close.1991 was spent mostly in the studio working on various projects, including THE COMPLETE WORKS by SKELETON CREW, an album that started a long association with PAUL KING and COLIN EARL from the original MUNGO JERRY line up.

In 1992, Jeff was asked to join the RAGGED BOYS a Blues edged rock band signed to London based Timbuktu Records. An album was recorded and a single RAT TAT (WHO ARE YOU) was released with a video to promote it.

In 1993, Jeff relocated to Co. Cork in Ireland to begin setting up an independent music production company, licensing music to various labels and TV companies around the world, including the ITV coverage of the Bruno/Tyson fight and two further releases with PAUL KING, the solo cd HOUDINI`S MOON and THE MILL IS GONE by THE KING EARL BOOGIE BAND, both on the A New Day label. Jeff also appeared with legendary DJ BOB HARRIS, as guests of THE KING EARL BOOGIE BAND at the 1996 Cropredy festival. During his stay in Ireland, Jeff met NOEL REDDING, bassist with THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and regularly jammed with him at the famous Friday night sessions in De Barra`s, Clonakilty. An album`s worth of new material was recorded , but due to contractual difficulties, it remains unreleased.

However, tracks were laid down for a proposed Blues album that eventually surfaced in 2002 on the Dutch based Provogue label as PICK IT UP, PASS IT ON by THE BARRELHOUSE BROTHERS and also featured contributions from ERIC BELL (THIN LIZZY), JOHN COGHLAN (STATUS QUO), DAVID JACKSON (VAN DER GRAF GENERATOR) amongst others. During this time, Jeff also recorded an album for folk legend and West Cork resident, ROY HARPER. THE DREAM SOCIETY, considered by many to be Roy`s finest album in years, also featured Roy`s son, NICK HARPER, top session drummer, SMILEY (JOE STRUMMER/ROBBIE WILLIAMS) and IAN ANDERSON from JETHRO TULL on flute. Jeff also engineered some tracks for CORKY LAING (MOUNTAIN) and ERIC SCHENKEMAN (SPIN DOCTORS) collectively known as CORK, for their album OUT THERE.

Jeff returned to his native West London in 2003 to record an album with Legendary Folk/Blues chanteuse DORRIS HENDERSON. The resulting album HERE I GO AGAIN was released to great critical acclaim and reunited her with JOHN RENBOURN, with whom she had recorded in the 60`s. A further album was recorded with her backing band, THE COHORTS, before her sad death in March 2005.

After Dorris`s death , Jeff teamed up with fellow COHORT, MAC McGANN, who has also worked with RALPH McTELL, BEVERLEY MARTYN and McGUINNESS FLINT, for the acoustic blues album and recent BLUESTONE RECORDINGS release, ALL CHANGE.

Les Sampson: Drums (Noel Redding Band, Clonakilty Cowboys, Road, Stray Dog, Gas)

This veteran British rock drummer has drummed not only in Road — a band and not something a touring band drives around on — but in Gas as well, again a band and not what the band needs in order to do the aforementioned driving, nor what some members might find themselves suffering from after another greasy meal on the road with Road. The Road that recorded in the early ’70s at the Record Plant in Los Angeles was a Noel Redding project, Gas not. Sampson‘s other experiences with Redding, famed original bassist from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, include Ramatamand the Clonakilty Cowboys. Sampson relocated to West Cork, Ireland, to be closer to Redding and his projects, and may have had an even more sympathetic musical relationship with the unique guitarist and bassist than the better-known Mitchell.

The drummer also worked in Stray Dog, a trio formed in the ’70s with two American musicians. The combo was given an energetic production and promotional push by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Gas, like more than a few of Sampson‘s collaborations, was a heavy power trio featuring bassist Dell Vickers and guitarist and vocalist Donnie Burke. Song co-writing credits for the drummer pop up here and there with these various groups, such as the helpful “I Would” and the freaky “Mushroom Man.”

Jerome Rimson: Bass (Van Morrison, Phil Lynott , Steve Winwood, Aretha Franklin,Freddie Mercury, The Detroit Spinners….)

Jerome Rimson (the Detroit Hit Man) from Bad Boy Blues is familiar as an impeccable – 10 years playing with Van Morrison, bass player with Phil Lynott after the Thin Lizzy days and roving musician with the likes of Steve Winwood and Aretha Franklin.

Jerome, who was born in Detroit, lived just down the road from Aretha Franklin

He has had the honour of performing with many of the world’s most renowned people in the music business, as well as recording classic albums with Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, Eddie Cleanhead Vincent and the late great Muddy Waters. The Hitman has recorded with modern blues giants Steve Winwood & Van Morrisson, rock legends Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Phil Lynott, Ginger Baker, Alvin Lee and jazz artists Al Jarreau & Al Di Mieola and not forgetting The Detroit Spinners.