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Heron – A Brief History

  • Album launch in home town

  • Portrait for local newspaper

  • Posey promo photos

  • On Ray Mill Island

It all began in 1967 when Maidenhead’s indifference meant young people had nowhere to go – so the Dolphin folk club was born.

Down by the river Thames poetry, music & creative art was alive and kicking.  There was a vibrant mix of young talent.  Roy Apps, Tony Pook and Robert Collins formed Heron.

Folk music was a natural magnet to those songwriters and performers who had little experience, but lots of enthusiasm. Heron soon became a regular feature and, being fans of the Incredible String Band, Dylan and the like, their songwriting talent soon started to be noticed.

Martin Hayward and GT Moore crossed paths with Heron at Maidenhead folk club, Windsor College and other local venues. Exploring the sounds of penny-whistles, flutes, violins, steel guitar their experiments with sound all led to a deal with Dawn Label. Heron became Roy, Tony and GT.

Steve Jones, who had been gigging with GT on keys and accordion, joined them to rehearse at Manor Farm in Appleford, Berks and record Bob Dylan’s ‘Only A Hobo’ as a maxi single at Pye studios…

Despite a lot of airplay, vinyl shortages at the time meant it was impossible to buy the single and the opportunity for fame and success eluded them.

But Heron didn’t enjoy the studio experience – their music didn’t really flourish in an urban environment –  so they decided to only record outdoors!  ‘Heron’ (DNLS 3010) the album was born…

Following the Penny Concert Tour this LP still failed to sell in any quantity – so Heron launched into recording a double album for the price of one with session pals Terry Gittings and Mike Finesilver - ‘Twice as Nice & Half the Price’ (DNLS 3125)

Any dreams of fame and success soon evaporated and the band lost impetus.  Through GT Heron joined Shusha as a backing band (minus Steve but plus Martin).

Time passed and there was a lull until…   in the late ’70s/early ’80s Heron (plus Steve minus Martin) teamed up with Terry Clarke to gig folk clubs and Elephant Fair and a new era began.

Tony, by this time, was living in Cornwall and Heron recorded a new cassette – for promotion and sale – Open up the Road’

There followed a general drift away from GT as he concentrated on his reggae band, which led to working with Big Tom Robinson.
This new line up prompted recording a new album at Steve’s Crazy Hill Studio before it closed. They put together a new collection based on some well gigged songs. The result was Hystorical’ in 1991.

More quiet spells followed and Terry left to follow a (very successful) solo career. Enthusiasm waned – gigs dropped to one or two a year – mainly West Dean College.

Now we fast forward a few years to 1996…    Steve & Lyn’s holiday to Black Dog, a trip down memory lane and Heron ‘getting it together again’ – re-living the ’72 experience with new band member Gerry Power. They produced not only 32 songs old and new, but also a video documentary. (‘In a Field of Their Own’ video, ‘River of Fortune’ andBlack Dog’ CDs)

All this led to creating the Relaxx website, discovering they already had a bunch dedicated fans worldwide and attempting to get noticed again amidst the millions of internet users.
The story doesn’t end there…

 

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