Week of December 23, 2001

Slack Alice


John Cook - Keyboards, Vocals
Pete Finberg - Guitar, Vocals
Mick Howard - Bass, Vocals
Eddie Leach - Drums
Alice Springs - Vocals


Slack Alice (Philips 6308 214) 1974


Motorcycle/Ridin' The Wind (Fontana 6007 038) 1974

Straight-ahead rock'n'roll'n'rhythm'n'blues'n'boogie band from England, of which little is known today, except that they've London based and are not to be confused with another Slack Alice from the North, fronted at one time by Cliff Stocker.

Stylistically, it's very similar to Vinegar Joe with Alice Springs' vocals quite comparable to Elkie Brooks' (and Maggie Bell's, of Stone The Crows). When they rocked they really rocked: the opener, "Put Me On The Railroad" and "Mama's Gonna Boogie" are instantly reminiscent of Vinegar Joe's "Proud To Be (A Honky Woman)", although the tempo's different, and the closer of side A, "Slack Alice", is a real showstopper - a bluesy, vaudevillian Hollywood nostalgia piece that's well worth the price of admission alone (not unlike Sensational Alex Harvey Band's "Soul in Chains" and "Framed").  Side B of the record is a bit more subdued but by no means substandard; the opener here, "Mr. Sharpshooter" is also a hard-nosed boogie-rocker of the "they don't make 'em like that anymore" variety. 

Well worth digging up, overall, although it's doubtful if this lone album will ever see the light of day on CD. 

Keyboardist Joe Cook has played with Midnight Flyer (Maggie Bell's late 70s/early 80s band), Stretch, Alan Ross Band, Cozy Powell, Graham Bonnet, Peter Green and Rory Gallagher. Eddie Leach appeared on the Rolling Stones' "It's Only Rock'n'Roll" album, and Alice Springs was later in another short-lived band, Darling.

Alex Gitlin
December 2001

Discography taken from The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson
ISBN 1 899855 04 1

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