The First Orgone Tour: Kala, Kingdom Come? and Ange Sunderland Locarno 13 April1973

kala2A strange one this, and a bit of a mystery. I saw this advert, which is a cutting from Melody Maker, for sale on eBay. As it was for a concert which I have vague memories of attending I could not resist buying it. The advert is for The First Orgone Tour and featured a date at Sunderland Locarno, a ballroom which I frequented almost every week at the time. Now Kala were a spin-off from the band Quintessence, who played Indian influenced progressive rock and of whom I was a big fan at the time. I’m not quite sure whether I actually ever got to see Quintessence, I have vague memories of seeing them at the Locarno but can’t be sure. I also almost saw them at the Reading festival in 1972, where they were second on the bill to Ten Years After on the Sunday night. However, the proceedings ran late and Quintessence were forced to play after Ten Years After to allow Alvin Lee and his band to headline at a decent time (I think there may have been a stage curfew of midnight or so). Quintessence came on stage after a great performance by Ten Years After, but because it was so late I’m not certain that they were actually allowed to perform. I had to rush off for my train back to London as I recall. Anyway I had the Quintessence album In Blissful Company and loved the tracks “Notting Hill Gate” (“Things look great in Notting Hill Gate”) and “Pearl and Bird”. Happy days.
Now Kingdom Come were, of course, my hero Arthur Brown’s post Crazy World band. I recall seeing a simply magnificent performance by Kingdom Come at Sunderland Polytechnic around the same time as this gig which featured Arthur being crucified on a massive cross and a Brain running around the ballroom floor chasing the Pope (it had to be seen to be believed!) I am certain if Arthur Brown and his mad company had supported the aforementioned Kala I would have remembered it. I do recall seeing Kala and they were led by Raja Ram from Quintessence and performed a similarly Indian influenced form of prog rock, featuring lots of flute and were pretty great.

I found this about Kala: “Although Quintessence played many hundred of concerts and festivals all over Europe, they never made it to the United States. Although a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall was already lined up in early 1972, they didn’t make it because Shiva and Maha Dev were asked to leave the band by Raja Ram in spring 1972. Shiva and Maha Dev went on to form the short-lived outfit called Kala. With ego clashes and problems on many frontiers, Kala quickly folded and Quintessence, now trying to make it the body without a head, and bereft of a sense of purpose, direction and being victims of the changing times, played on into the eighties, then slowly drifted into limbo.” http://www.acidvisions.com/musiccatalog/k/kala/index.html

I looked up Orgone and found this (isn’t Wikipedia wonderful): Orgone is a pseudoscientific concept variously described as an esoteric energy or hypothetical universal life force. Pretty hippie stuff, which just matches the mood of the time exactly.

First on the bill that night were a French band, about which I found this: Ange (English: Angel) is a French progressive rock band formed in September 1969 by the Décamps brothers, Francis (keyboards) and Christian (vocals, accordion, acoustic guitar and keyboards). Since its inception the band’s music has been inspired by medieval texts and fantasy. Again, pretty fitting for the time, and it seems the band still exist. Sadly, I have little recollection of seeing them that night.

So, an evening full of mystery and Indian influenced progressive rock hippie music. Very much of its time. Happy days. Wish I had a better memory and that I had kept a diary.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Peter
    I’ve never seen either of Kala or Kingdom Come, but I did see Ange back in February 1974.
    Imagine Tull’s ‘Aqualung’ character and you’ll not be far off what we saw! My friend recalls the band “waving lanterns about and carrying daggers with Christian Déscamps leaving the stage and wandering around the room waving his lantern – excellent entertainment.”
    They’re still my favourite French prog band with their album ‘Au-Delà Du Délire’ being a regular spinner on my turntable.

    Here’s my review, or at least, what I can remember of the gig.
    https://gigsnstuff787616231.wordpress.com/category/artists-bands/ange/

    Rgds,
    Roger

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on August 17, 2022 at 11:51 am

      Thank you so much for sharing Roger I only wish I can remember seeing them! They sound great! Happy days Peter

      Reply

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