Very ‘Umble, Very ‘Eavy (Melody Maker, 1971)
This article was published in Melody Maker on November 27, 1971. The author is unknown.
Very ‘Umble, Very ‘Eavy
Some bands please the rock establishment — some bands please the customers.
Uriah Heep are one of the latter. With a disinclination to bestow approval on what is considered unworthy, the Establishment can be quite unkind to the struggling newcomer.
And it’s true that Heep have a rather corny name, and a reputation for bashing out the proven success formulate of ‘eavy music.
For my own part, having heard 4,380 groups in the past eight years, I found the early work of Heep, Uriah, slightly less than stimulating.
Nevertheless, in the interests of fair play, honour, integrity, and devotion to duty, we hereby present — the URIAH HEEP story.
Or at least — the Ken Hensley story. Ken is the organist and writer and on their current album, there are strong signs that their music is quickly evolving and improving.
Any number of today’s super groups would not like to be judged by their early efforts and now Heep are on the verge of moving out of their original rough and unready bag into more constructive contributions.
They take the business of music most seriously and want to stay around longer than a transient label.
Like most groups, they have built up their reputation in the nation’s smaller clubs, but says Ken: “Clubs get difficult after a while. We have been doing concerts where more people can come and see you and we can’t get them all in at clubs. I suppose you get a bit spoilt after doing concert halls.
“The band has been going for two years now and we’ve all grown up a lot. None of us played together before* the group. I was part of the original concept of the group and before that I was with Toe Fat.”
“I used to be on guitar before I switched to organ. I enjoy playing both instruments. The band is a bit more mature in its approach now. We went through the initial phase of playing exactly what we wanted, but after a while we realised that we have to make a living. But the changes have come naturally. There is a much better feel in the rhythm section for example — not so crash, bash. And there are some acoustic numbers and songs like ‘What Should Be Done’, which is on the album, and gives more light and shade to the act.”
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© Melody Maker, 1971
* This article was published on the day when Uriah Heep’s line-up changed: Ian Clarke and Paul Newton (who also played with Ken in The Gods) left the band, Lee Kerslake (another ex-Gods member) and Mark Clarke joined.
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