Get this crazy baby off my head!




England - England - 1976 - Deroy

England (Not the England who recorded "Garden Shed"), was an English progressive rock band band formed in 1971 by guitarist, Olly Alcock. Originally the band included drummer, Mike Kidson, who later became Genesis' road manager, and bassist John Waite, who released the big hit "Missing You" in 1984. Despite constant touring, the band never hit the big time. By 1973, Olly Alcock was the only remaining England member. In 1974, he recruited bassist, Ben Eggleston, drummer John Clark, and saxophonist, Paul Rossiter. The band continued gigging and touring, still without any noticeable success or a record deal. By 1975, drummer John Clark had left the band. By 1976, England had secured a small record deal. Drummer, Phil Cook joined the band, and Paul Rossiter became more of a background player. The late, great Alexis Korner thought highly of the band. The band's first s/t release posted here, sank without a trace. By 1978, England had split up. Olly Alcock formed The Olly Alcock Band. Ben Eggleston retired from the music scene, and Phil Cook seems to have disappeared! England was quite a good progressive blues rock band, often compared to bands like Nektar, and Wishbone Ash. On this s/t album, all the songs were played 'live' and only the vocals were added later. A decent prog/hard blues rock album with some above average songs, great raw guitar, and nice sax work. Vocals could be better, as they sound slightly "off key" at times. However, this was a privately issued album, with a very limited circulation. With more studio production, this could have been a far better album.


The Osprey
Keswick Line
Out Of Town
Beauty & The Beast
Paradise Lost
How Does It feel?
Nature Ruled
The Fleece
Life And Soul

All songs composed by Olly Alcock, except "How Does It feel?", and "Beauty & The Beast" by Rea/Alcock


Olly Alcock - Guitar, Vocals
Ben Eggleston - Bass
Phil Cook - Drums
Paul Rossiter - Sax


The old adage, ‘If you remember the sixties you weren’t there’, comes into its own when you try to remember things on their proper chronological order, but I will try to fill you in about the history of my bands through the years. I was there, I think. My first band was the ‘BURGUNDY BLUES’, which began life in school prefect’s rooms. The first line-up consisted of myself, Ernie Horn on bass, Tim Wilson on drums, Graham Luck and would you believe Tom Jones on vocals! (Not the TJ). This soon evolved into the ‘WEIGHT’, and Phil Cook took over on drums for a while and Boz Borrowdale played second guitar. Haircuts were something else around this time, as some of the photos suggest. Soon the band stabilised with Mal Thorburne taking over on drums, and Arnie Armstrong on bass, and with the new line-up, a new name; ‘UNIVERSE’. Original material was arranged and composed, and we built up quite a following in Cumbria, so London was the next logical step. The boys hit London and their first gig was the Hampstead Country Club, and soon we were playing all the usual haunts. The Marquee on Wardour St. was the bees-knees as far as we were concerned, and we were to play there regularly over the next few years. The highlight of this time was undoubtedly the Reading Festival in 1971, playing on the same bill as Rory Gallagher and Arthur Brown. We also played at the first Kendal Festival, also in 1971. The line-up stayed the same until Mal Thorburn left the band and Mike Kidson took over. Record deals proved elusive and soon it was clear that something new had to be tried. Tails between legs, we returned home to try and put something new together and ‘ENGLAND’ came into being. Mike Kidson and John Waite were to make up the three-piece band, and we headed back south. Kendal Festival in 1973 was another great day for the band and we were doing all top billings in London. Things were going well but…..still no record deal. A ‘make or break’ night in the Marquee, when we had every record company in town attending, proved fruitless and it was the end of another era. John went on to have success in America, especially with his massive single ‘Missing You’. Mike was later to work with Genesis as tour manager, going round the globe several times. Home again and it was to the mercurial Ben Eggleston and John Clark I turned, and we also added a sax player, Paul Rossiter, still under the England banner. Other musicians around this time were the superb Kenny Hopper (drums), and the talented flute and sax player, Dave Ross. Throughout all this time, the record deal proved elusive but gigs were the driving force and new material was rehearsed. Eventually the final England line-up was to be myself, Ben Eggleston and Phil Cook, and in 1976 we recorded the ‘England’ album, with Paul Rossiter guesting on saxes. Gigs in the North-East were plentiful at this time and we topped the bill at Carlisle’s Bitts Park Festival in 1977. The band, still England, toured ever onwards and gigs were going well until…..punk rock happened. A lot of the major gigs we were playing in the N.E. just faded away, and turned into ‘new wave’ gigs, and the dinosaurs were just about out of work! Something had to be done and so the ‘DELTAS’ came into being. It was a sort of alter-ego to England, playing the acceptable face of rock & roll, playing good stuff, but suitable for a more mixed audience. Being novices in clubs, we hired Billy Simpson to front the band, and we learned a lot. Bill had even played guitar in Beirut ! Meanwhile England was still functioning for occasional gigs and tours. Over the years the Deltas line-up changed and Gary Dewhurst, the return of Boz Borrowdale, and the first stint of Eddie Chicken took place. Stuart Dodd replaced Phil on drums. Original material beckoned again, and the ‘DELTA BLUES BAND’ came into being. In 1988 we released the album ‘A New Leaf’, and had good local success. Kevin Robinson played bass on this venture, originally inspired by Arnie Armstrong’s Abercorn company. In 1989 Boz returned south for his new job, and Eddie preferred playing guitar to the bass, and so a new bass player was recruited, Alex Green. A new era had begun. The Deltas were still gigging regularly and on New Years Day 1990 Mike Thorburn joined the band. Olly, Eddie, Alex and Mike. Then we were three. Eddie went on to pastures new and soon ‘THE OLLY ALCOCK BAND’ came into being. It was Mal Thorburne who suggested the name change, as the name the Deltas was getting a bit stale. (It was only really a joke name to begin with). Mal did some publicity for the band and soon we were busy rehearsing our most prestigious album to date, ‘Last Chance Café’. It was on these sessions that we hired the sax player Roz Sluman, and she was to figure later in the piece, being a full member of the band. The general idea with OAB was to play the right music for the right venue. Playing as much blues as we could, gigs were interesting to say the least. Colleges, pubs, clubs, even the odd wedding thrown in for good measure. ‘Nightlife’ was the result of all this hard graft on the boards, as we recorded two nights of live music, one as a three-piece, and one with Roz on saxophones. We again topped the bill at Carlisle’s Bitts Park Festival in 1997, and supported Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings at Carlisle’s Sands Centre in 1999. Millennium eve was a grand affair, at Dalston near Carlisle. In a massive marquee adjoining the Victory Hall we were set up, with jazz acts in the actual hall, and fireworks outside. One to remember. Roz Sluman was by now a full member of the band, having returned from her jazz course in Leeds. (She got an AA). Notable gigs around this time were; playing the main stage at Maryport Festival in 2002, and supporting the charity event in Carlisle’s Sands Centre in aid of the U.S.A. Disaster Fund 911. Another album, ‘Rough as a Badger’s’ was made up of tracks recorded at these gigs. Then in 2003 things went full circle, as Alex Green decided on a change, and Eddie Chicken returned on bass guitar. In 2008 Mike Thorburn left and was replaced by Steven ‘Harry’ Harrison on drums. http://www.olly-alcock-band.co.uk/About_Olly.html