Phil Bassett (Vocals)
Tony Coxon (Guitar)
Mike Grose (Bass)
Paul Moon (Drums)
With thanks to Tony Coxon who supplied the following write up
It’s been a long time and my memory of this band is poor. I hope someone else will be able to add to it one day. An old friend and unpaid roadie to both Bent Cement & Marvelous Kid, Phil Mears has been able to add some detail on venues & songs.
Mike & Paul had been playing in Jason’s Mind. I had been away In London on and off from late 67 to early 69. Over Christmas 68 I was in Cornwall and stood in for Ben Marshall, Jason’s Mind guitar player, after he hurt his arm in a car accident. We played the Blue Lagoon, Newquay and a gig in Falmouth, possibly the Art School. This was the first time I had taken on a lead guitar role, as in previous bands I had played rhythm guitar.
Jason’s Mind carried on while I went back to London, but when I returned around Easter they had folded. Mike came round to see me with the intention of starting a new band with Phil & Paul. Bent Cement was born.
I bought Mike’s Telecaster and a speaker cabinet and ended up with a Marshall 100 watt stack. Mike had a Marshall 200 watt stack.
Mike’s father had a haulage company down in Bethel/Holbush. We rehearsed in an out-building which was always available to us so were able to get songs together quickly. Phil recalls the police being called out after complaints from the neighbours when we took the equipment outside to rehearse.
Mike also had access to a van so transport was not a problem.
We were very Cream influenced and I remember we played Badge, I’m So Glad, Crossroads & Sunshine of Your Love. I also remember playing Season of the Witch. Phil Mears recalls we played songs by Free - The Hunter and possibly I'm A Mover, Mr Lacey (Fairport Convention), Hear Me Calling (Ten Years After).
We always played as loud as we possibly could. We probably weren’t polished but I think we were confident with what we were doing and it was certainly enjoyable for me. Once we got going we would improvise much more, so the numbers got longer. During those times I think there were more commercial bands and they would certainly have got more regular gigs. We would have appealed to a different audience.
Where we played
I suspect we didn’t play too many gigs as I think we started around Easter and finished around September time. We did play PJ’s Truro, Mevagissey Quay during Feast Week, St Austell Youth Club, St Merryn Motel and some sort of barn near Wadebridge which I only remember because I walked off the stage and carried on playing outside the barn.
Phil recalls we played at The Riviera Club at Westward Ho and possibly Dobwalls Village Hall and Blue Shark Club Looe.
Steve Allen (see the Dissatisfied) returned to Cornwall after some time playing in Hamburg. He wanted Mike and me to join up with him and a singer from Okehampton called Alan ? he’d been playing with, and get back to Germany. Mike & I agreed and that was that. We went off to London to form a new band which called itself Joseph.
Footnote - Joseph
Steve Allen was living with a girlfriend in Twickenham and arranged a room somewhere nearby for me & Mike. After a couple of weeks we managed to find a flat above a greengrocers just around the corner from Steve. Steve stayed with his girlfriend – the three of us moved into the flat. We rehearsed at a local youth club and got a set together. I suspect we used a lot of Bent Cement material, although I can also remember doing new songs like Spooky Tooth’s Better By You. We spend a lot of time driving around visiting agencies in west London but getting nowhere really and Hamburg was never mentioned again.
We may have done 3 gigs. The only noteworthy one was supporting the legendary Howlin’ Wolf at the Dagenham Roundhouse. Mike, Alan and I also visited the London Lyceum on 12th October 1969 to see a newish band called Led Zeppelin! I remember hearing Whole Lotta Love & Communication Breakdown for the first time.
We had very little money, the weather was getting colder as winter approached, we couldn’t afford to heat the flat – you get the picture? One day Steve disappeared – have never heard of him since. The 3 of us needed money to eat and get back to Cornwall, or Devon in Alan’s case. About 200 yards up the road was the Automotive Engineering Factory. We got ourselves a job and for 2 weeks became factory workers and started eating again. One night when we had enough money we loaded the van and drove through the night back to St Austell dropping Alan off at Okehampton.
Within days of returning to Cornwall, Roger Taylor called Mike to come back & play with Smile (later Queen). Read much more by visiting http://www.queenincornwall.blogspot.com/
I was told recently that Tim Staffell’s father owned the Automotive Engineering Factory we worked at which is some co-incidence considering he was the original Smile bass player – see all details in link above.
Joseph - Audio Recordings
Earlier this year some very old open reel and cassette tapes re- appeared after being lost in the house for some years. Amongst them I was pleased to find 2 tracks recorded by Joseph (pre-Marvelous Kid) at Stuart Johnson Studios in Hayes Middlesex late 1969. I had totally forgotten these and assume we made them to pass on to agencies for finding work. There are only 2 tracks. The first is a cover of a song by the American band, Mountain, called Blood of the Sun. The second is an original song written by Alan, our singer, called Here We All Are.
The original tape (no idea what happened to that) would have been much better quality but I'm glad to find these anyway. At this stage I was playing a Fender Telecaster straight into a Marshall stack. I don't think I'd discovered effects pedals!