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Ginhouse: Ginhouse

Geordie band’s lost cult favourite remastered.

In 1970, this Newcastle-formed trio won a Melody Maker Battle Of The Bands contest at London’s Lyceum. As an indirect result they recorded their sole album at Abbey Road, with Quatermass producer Anders Henriksson. It didn’t set the world alight, despite the group playing live with everyone from Yes and Tull to Zeppelin, but has become a cult ‘overlooked one-off’, marking that moment where bands sought to stretch out blues rock into something more expressive and exploratory.

Their main man, vocalist/guitarist Geoff Sharkey went on to work with Brand X and Alan Price, and he leads the parade here, with bassist Stewart Burlison and drummer Dave Whitaker totally tuned in.

They move tentatively from the solid songs such as Tyne God, and a tricksy cover of The Beatles’ And I Love Her to the more fantastical and hippie-profound (The Journey, Life).

Half the time Ginhouse resemble a training-school Free or Family; the other half they’re tapping into looser, allegorical areas like (very) early Genesis. Or imagine Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross with added quirky lyrics, studded with northern lights. This time capsule has retained its period charm.