Echoing the words of Massimo Gasperini, As it announces Heavy Rock Spectucular is a spectacular album. "Born to be free" is a striking with it's rhythm, Pete's vocals and hammond sound "Ants" is a psychedelic piece where the band gets in to maximun expressive vein "Fast decay" derives from a setting on the hammond organ with a driving bass and hammond riff "Blitz" echoes the horrors of London in the 2nd world war were Pete and Jon ask the question "has anyone seen Mary" "Idiot" where Pete has the last laugh "Fingals cave" is a jazzy classic instrumental of the highest quality "Extensive corrosion" is a pure rock song where Jon's vocals carrying a driving rhythm to an interesting middle 8 and beyond to it's final dramatic conclusion "Poltergeist" is the piece de resistance of this album. Where Jon's bass solo and haunting vocals transport us to a foggy and haunting image of terror.
The band were Bournemouth based and consisted of Tony Bronsdon - Keyboards Pete Ballam - Guitars and Vocals Bob Haines - Drums and percussion Jon Bavin - Bass and Vocals The band were sucessful on the college circuit in the early 70's and social secteraries were very keen to book them. Their music has been compared to the Nice only heavier and more gothic. Tony's keyboard playing is up to that of Keith Emerson and Vincent Crane and the rest of the band follow in the same very high standard, with the tightest rhythm section of the time. The band were never signed and this is their only recording. Buy it I promise you will not be disappointed.
Finesse extraordinaire - an oustanding masterpiece of progressive brought to the point of perfection. Flawless harmonies based on classical melodies (treated with great respect and without cheap showmanship), virtuoso organ supported by quite heavy guitars and pulsating drumming. The band didn't need to be influenced (or to learn anything from) by overrated Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Or messy "Yes". Or "Nice" - "Bram Stoker" might remind it, but is way too heavier. It stands as equal among true gems of prog - first of all, Act One, neglected Captain Marryat, and, of course, Rare Bird ~ Remastered with Bonus Tracks. It might be goth, but aesthetically only. Apart from solid reputation in college/university circles, the band was readily accepted in the Netherlands (where they do have faithful following until now, perfectly matching the criteria of unique phenomenon - Dutch prog). "Stoker" might be considered as soulmates of cult Selected Ekseption, although they played their own compositions. The only existing album is a priceless artefact of world progressive heritage, and really deserves proper re-issue - with the history of the band, with the photos. Vernon Joynson (Tapestry of Delights: Revisited, most probably, is responsible for starting the rumours that it was studio project recorded with session musicians - because of the fact that "Bram Stoker" had misfortune to be signed to Windmill(budget label distributed through Woolworths). By the way, I would recommend not to miss another one of the "great unknowns" - Grannie
This is rock music at its best and an especially essential purchase if you like classic progressive rock. Roger Daltrey of The Who thought so too and encouraged the band in its career. If you like Peter Gabriel era Genesis, then this album is for you - but it's worth realising that "Heavy Rock Spectacular" is no copy of other more well known prog rock bands from the 1970s, because Bram Stoker's 1972 début album was ahead of it's time (I believe that the band had been touring from 1969). So I also recommend checking out and buying Bram Stoker's latest album "Cold Reading" which is also available here on Amazon. The musicianship on both albums is superb: if you like a sublime Hammond organ sound, then these CDs absolutely have it, not forgetting excellent bass, drums, guitar and vocals of course. Bob Blackham.
One of the better band's on the Bournemouth rock scene during the mid to late 1960's. After supporting The Who at their Bournemouth Pavilion gig, Roger Daltrey invited the band to record some demos at his Berkshre mansion. This they did, and a record deal and this album transpired. What other recommendation do you need?