1972/73 Gasworks – Gasworks

1973E - Gasworks

Whilst I never actually owned this album, it’s here because of its importance in shaping my musical outlook. Mum and Dad took us all to The Crucible Theatre one night to see the duo. They were in The Studio, not the big stage. I’ve no idea how they knew about them, I’d never heard mention of them, and we really didn’t have a clue what we were in for. It was brilliant. There was a mix of funny monologues (as introductions to folky type songs, themselves ranging from very funny to extremely moving) unique singing and truly impressive musicianship. What made the greatest impression on me was not only the huge number of instruments played by them, particularly Mick Draper, but how they swapped between them with such ease. That was something I wanted to be able to do, even at that age. Mum and Dad obviously enjoyed the music, particularly Dad who liked anything with a bit of bounce. He loved traditional jazz and skiffle, anything that was a bit rough and unpolished but played with heart and guts. He’d never mastered the guitar but had bought “The Penguin Book of American Folk Songs” by Alan Lomax and gave it to me when I showed some musical ability. I learned quite a few songs from there and particularly liked “Take This Hammer” which Dad also had on a single featuring Ken Colyer’s Skiffle Group. Gasworks were very much in this vein, but I don’t think Neil or Ruth were moved by it at all. It just wasn’t their kind of thing. Ruth wasn’t particularly into music like we were and Neil, being a couple of years older, preferred more ‘worthy’ music like Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I just soaked up anything and everything, worthy or not.

Dad bought the album after the show but I was the one who played it most.

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