Atomic Rooster

The heavy prog­gers revive some ex­plo­sive favourites.

Classic Rock - - News -

Al­most three decades af­ter the sui­cide of key­boardist Vin­cent Crane and seven years on from gui­tarist John Du Cann’s fa­tal heart attack, Peter French, lead singer on the band’s 1971 al­bum In Hear­ing Of Atomic Rooster, talks about the lat­est reunion of the heavy-prog­gers, con­ducted in tan­dem with Steve Bolton, gui­tarist of the same era.

Whose idea was it to revive Atomic Rooster back in 2016?

It hap­pened in a bizarre way. Steve Bolton heard a ru­mour that some­body was plan­ning a new line-up, and he sug­gested we do it our­selves. The first thing we did was to ask Vin­cent Crane’s widow for per­mis­sion, which she granted. Re­hearsals sounded pretty damned good. Our pi­anist for the first few gigs, Chris­tian Mad­den, went off with Liam Gal­lagher, but the new guy, Adrian Gautrey, fits just fine.

With­out Vin­cent and John, has the group’s le­git­i­macy been ques­tioned?

Ac­tu­ally, it hasn’t re­ally hap­pened. I mean, I was the one that took the band to the States and Canada, that’s how the band Cac­tus ended up cherry-pick­ing me to join them. I did so many gigs that I be­lieve I have quite a rea­son­able stake in it all.

You do Death Walks Be­hind You, Devil’s

An­swer and To­mor­row Night, ob­vi­ously, but what else should fans ex­pect to hear? This [reunion] isn’t about mak­ing a new al­bum or any­thing, but there’s quite a lot from the one I did, In Hear­ing Of…, which is among the band’s more rock ori­en­tated al­bums, in­clud­ing A Spoon­ful Of Bro­mide Helps The Pulse Rate Go Down, Black Snake, Break The Ice, Head In The Sky and De­ci­sion/ In­de­ci­sion. We’ve also been do­ing Sleep­ing For Years, Save Me and the in­stru­men­tal VUG. I love that we’re bring­ing new life to songs that oth­er­wise might not be heard.

Do you feel the pres­ences of Vin­cent and John when you play live?

I can see them in the back of my mind, but up there I con­cen­trate on do­ing my thing.

Is your other band Leaf Hound now on the back burner?

No, I’m gig­ging with both and my solo al­bum, Ducks In Flight [orig­i­nally is­sued in 1978], which fea­tures Micky Moody and Kenny Jones, has just been re-re­leased, so this is a good time for me. DL

The band play Lon­don on Jan­uary 20.

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