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Van der Graaf Generator V

Fusion, Winter 1970

The Marquee club, long considered the London club to watch for bedding new chartbusters, is on the verge of adding another name to their long list of "discoveries" with Van De Graaf Generator [sic], a five piece combo led by youthful guitarist Peter Hammill, a solid musician and a gifted songwriter.

The group's first album, with the decidedly un-hip title of The Aerosol Grey Machine, has never been released in England though Mercury distributes it in the States. It's worth picking up on, containing as it does ten originals nicely presented by Hammill, Hugh Banton on keyboards, Keith Ellis on bass, Guy Evans on drums and Jeff on flute. In fact, this album is probably what you would call a mild "sleeper", so be the first one on your block to "discover" it.

Since Aerosol Grey Machine, Van De Graaf Generator have split up (Hammill gigged as a solo for a while), lost Keith Ellis to Juicy Lucy, reformed with Nic Potter on bass, added Dave Jackson on horn, and completed a new album, The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other, which will be released in England on the Charisma label in mid February and in the States shortly thereafter on Probe.

The album is comprised of six excellent tracks, Hammill sounds good with his distinctive falsetto flying, and the band proves itself to be as tight and inventive as just about any of the "heavies" now on the scene. It will hopefully bring Van De Graaf the attention they merit and pave a healthy way for their proposed tour of America, expected to take place this spring.

© 1970 Jonathan Demme / Larry Kaplan - Fusion

[This article comes from the Pawn Hearts' archives.]

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