Get this crazy baby off my head!


Killing Floor

Killing Floor - Zero Tolerance - 2004 - Appaloosa Records

The first new Killing Floor album for 32 years. The album was written and recorded in 2002 and 2003 and includes the original 1968 line-up. An album of potent blues rock with twelve new band compositions and two classic blues covers - Slim Harpo's "Strange Love" and Sonny Boy Williamson classic "Bring it on Home". Bill Thorndycraft's vocals and harp are terrific. Mick Clarke provides intelligent guitar and slide. Lou Martin's piano is outstanding. Mac McDonald's brilliant bass guitar is as good as ever, and Chris Sharley and Bazz Smith show their class on percussion. The acoustic guitars add a nice touch. "Zero Tolerance" is a great album, and a reminder of just how good British blues rock can be. Try and locate the band's great "Out of Uranus" album. N.B: Killing Floor should not be confused with the San Antonio, Texas based "The Killing Floor" rock band.


1. Burnout (Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 3:54
2. Prozac Blues (Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 4:34
3. Calm Down (Smith / Martin / McDonald / Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 4:30
4. Sperm Bandit (Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 4:25
5. The Big Issue (Thorndycraft/Clarke) – 2:58
6. Strange Love (Slim Harpo) – 3:28
7. Zero Tolerance (Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 4:17
8. Run On (Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 3:59
9. Iron Ewe (McDonald / Davies) – 4:24
10. What is it about you? (Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 3:37
11. Road of Diamonds (Thorndycraft/Clarke) – 4:11
12. The Radnor Rumble (McDonald / Davies) – 5:13
13. Fred McDowell (Thorndycraft / Clarke) – 5:01
14. Bring it on Home (Sonny Boy Williamson) – 6:37


Bill Thorndycraft — Vocals, harp, and acoustic guitar.
(original Killing Floor singer)
Mick Clarke — Vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
(original Killing Floor guitarist)
Stuart (Mac) McDonald — Bass
(original Killing Floor bassist, also ex Paul Rodger's Peace, Jellybread, Salt)
Lou Martin — Keyboards
(original Killing Floor pianist, also ex Rory Gallagher Band, Blues'n'Trouble and others)
Chris Sharley — Drums
(Mick Clarke Band, ex Sassafrass)
Bazz Smith — Drums (tracks 3 & 12)
(original Killing Floor drummer)


KILLING FLOOR came together in 1968 when singer BILL THORNDYCRAFT and guitarist MICK CLARKE met up in a South London blues band. After one unsatisfactory gig with the band the two decided to form a new unit together..Bill suggested the name KILLING FLOOR. Bill had already met drummer BAZZ SMITH while touring in Germany, and ads in the "Melody Maker" music paper brought responses from bass player STUART (MAC) McDONALD and pianist LOU MARTIN. The band rehearsed hard in various South London pubs and rehearsal rooms, learning a repertoire of Chicago blues standards, but adding their own rock influences. Their first live performance was at London's "Middle Earth" with Captain Beefheart, and soon the band was playing at all the blues clubs of the time, including appearances at London's Marquee club with The Nice and Yes. Favourite venues included the Blues Loft in High Wycombe where they literally brought the house down..the footstomping of the crowd bringing down the ceiling in the room below! The first album was released in 1969 on the Spark Label, a subsidiary of the Southern Music publishing group, and licensed in the USA by Sire Records. It got good reviews and airplay, and the band played sessions for John Peel, Johnny Walker, Alexis Korner and other national radio shows. The band was very much a part of the developing "blues boom" of the '60's which created many great bands. Free's Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke jammed with the band while waiting for their own tour to begin, and Robert Plant witnessed their version of "You Need Love" sometime before Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" was recorded. The band played concerts with Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and many other names of the time. In May 1969 the band was offered the chance of backing Texas blues legend FREDDIE KING on his next U.K. tour. The package toured for three weeks, including concerts with HOWLIN' WOLF and OTIS SPANN. A further tour with FREDDIE followed a few weeks later, and a third tour was only called off after FREDDIE failed to receive his advance payment from the tour promoter. The band also backed up ARTHUR "BIG BOY" CRUDUP, the writer of some of Elvis Presley's early hits. Towards the end of 1969 the frustrations of the music business proved too much and the band split, with various members finding new projects to follow. But after a while a four-piece KILLING FLOOR came together again. Blues music at this time, having been the "in" thing for the last year was now moving out of fashion, and it was hard for KILLING FLOOR to find work in the U.K. The answer was to go abroad, with frequent trips to Germany and Switzerland. In March 1970 the band played at the Easter Festival in Hamburg with The Nice, Black Sabbath and many others, and in the summer they spent a relaxing six weeks working in the South of France. On their return from France the band went back to Pye Studios in London to record their second album, "Out of Uranus". released on Larry Page's "Penny Farthing" label. There was also a single released, "Call For the Politicians",which received heavy airplay on BBC Radio 1, and also sold well in Germany. The band appeared on "Disco 2" on BBC Television, which was the fore-runner of "The Old Grey Whistle Test". However, once again KILLING FLOOR failed to break through, and lacking a positive direction to follow, began to change line-ups once again. Drummer ROD DeATH was brought in and STAN DEKKER took over on bass, with LOU MARTIN back in the band. For a while it was a happy band working regularly around the U.K., but eventually the frustrations returned, and BILL THORNDYCRAFT's place at the mike was taken over by ex JUICY LUCY singer RAY OWEN. Again, the band prospered for a while with it's new lineup, with regular club and college dates, but soon it was time for a change again. 60's pop legend CLIFF BENNETT was looking for a new version of his band TOEFAT, and the remnants of KILLING FLOOR fitted the bill. Now with MICK HAWKSWORTH on bass and TONY FERNANDEZ behind the drums, the band finally slid into it's new identity. In the following years the original KILLING FLOOR members went their different ways. BILL THORNDYCRAFT retired completely from the business and followed a successful career in the social services. MICK CLARKE worked in several bands such as DADDY LONGLEGS and SALT, before beginning his solo career in the eighties, with worldwide album releases and regular touring. STUART McDONALD worked with FREE singer PAUL RODGERS in his new band PEACE, and then went on to work with MICK in DADDY LONGLEGS and SALT, finally settling in his native mid-Wales. LOU MARTIN, along with ROD DeATH, joined the RORY GALLAGHER BAND and toured the world throughout the 70's, recording several classic albums. He went on to tour with CHUCK BERRY and later joined Scottish band BLUES'N'TROUBLE, as well as appearing on several of MICK's albums. BAZZ SMITH worked in a variety of bands in Europe and America playing rock, jazz and reggae, as well as ground-breaking work with electric drums. The two albums, meanwhile, were re-released on various labels including Repertoire, See For Miles and Akarma, and continued to build the band's cult following around the world. The first album KILLING FLOOR is regarded as a classic of British blues from the 60s and achieves high prices for original vinyl copies. the second album OUT OF URANUS has become known as a classic of "psycho-blues". Both albums continue to be relicensed today, on labels from Germany to Japan. Early in 2002 MICK was approached by Franco Ratti at Appaloosa Records, Milan, to record a new KILLING FLOOR album. On approaching other band members MICK found there was a real enthusiasm to make a new record, and songwriting and rehearsal sessions were set in motion. However, it seemed completely impossible to find drummer BAZZ SMITH, despite extensive enquiries, and eventually CHRIS SHARLEY was lined up for drum duties. Subsequently BAZZ turned out to be alive and very well, living in Neuchatel, Switzerland. He was able to fly in and play on two tracks on the new album. Initial recording sessions took place at "The Moat" studio in South London in September 2002, and the album was completed and mixed during 2003. Entitled ZERO TOLERANCE the album was released worldwide in January 2004, catalogue number Appaloosa AP144 and is distributed in the U.K. through Cadiz Records / Pinnacle Entertainment. The album has received excellent reviews and airplay and is widely available through distributors in Europe and America. In 2006 the band played its first new concerts in 34 years in Germany, Belgium and Sweden, featuring their original 4-piece line-up. A further festival appearance in Italy followed in 2007 with more European dates in the pipeline. The story continues... © www.marshalamp.com/killingfloorcom.htm


The South London-based Killing Floor was originally a pop duo formed by lead guitarist Mick Clarke and vocalist/harmonica player Bill Thorndycraft. During the British blues boom of 1968-1969, they decided to form a "straight blues" group, recruiting prospective members from the classified pages of Melody Maker. Joining them were piano player Lou Martin, bassist Stuart MacDonald, and drummer Bazz Smith. Taking their name from Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" (Wolf's cover was itself a version of Robert Johnson's "The Lemon Song"), the band played just one gig before ex-Radio Caroline DJ and ardent blues fanatic John Edward offered to manage them. Edward's connection with the Southern Music publishing company led to them signing with Southern's Spark Records imprint. The band was booked into Pye Recording Studios and with Edward aboard as "producer," they recorded their self-titled debut in 12 days' time. Most of the material was re-configured Chicago blues classics, except for a cover of Willie Dixon's "You Need Love." Killing Floor was released in the U.S. on new London subsidary Sire. Meanwhile, Edward booked the band gigs at Dunstable's California Ballroom, where they supported Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Chicken Shack, and the Herd, to name a few. He also helped them get gigs at the Marquee, where they supported Yes and the Nice, and in 1969, they also toured with Texas bluesman Freddy King on two U.K. tours, which helped further their growing reputation. The band also appeared on all the contemporary British radio rock shows and toured solidly around the U.K. Lou Martin left after the release of Killing Floor and a handful of BBC Radio sessions and the group continued as a four-piece band. There were additional lineup changes in 1970-1971, at which point the group included ex-Juicy Lucy vocalist Ray Owen, drummer Rod D'Ath, and bassist Mick Hawksworth (ex-Fuzzy Duck/Andromeda/Ten Years Later). A second Killing Floor album, Out of Uranus, was released in 1971 on Penny Farthing Records, this time with executive producer/label honcho and the Troggs' manager Larry Page overseeing the sessions. By mid-1972, Killing Floor had disbanded. The various members became Toe Fat and began backing Cliff Bennett. Thorndycraft retired from music and Bazz Smith continued to play in jazz trios. McDonald formed a band called Peace (with ex-Free vocalist Paul Rodgers) before returning to his native Wales and playing in local bands. Former piano player Martin joined Rory Gallagher's band, toured with Chuck Berry, and later played with Blues 'N' Trouble. In 1974, guitarist Mick Clarke formed legendary pub rockers S.A.L.T. with "Little" Stevie Smith. In 1983, he had his own group, the Mick Clarke Band, who have released numerous LPs. Both Killing Floor albums have been reissued by Repertoire Records and See for Miles (the first album was retitled Rock the Blues). © Bryan Thomas, All Music Guide