Jon Hiseman’s Tempest -in concert from Stockholm – recoded at Radiohusset, Sveriges Radio – January 1973 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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Cornerstone bands of the Prog period – Tempest featuring drummer Jon Heisman, in concert from Stockholm recorded at Sveriges Radio in January 1973.
Tempest was active from 1973 to 1974. Its core members were Jon Hiseman on drums and Mark Clarke on bass. They released two studio albums before breaking up. Hiseman and Clarke had played in Colosseum together and formed Tempest at the beginning of 1973. For the band’s first, eponymous album (originally called Jon Hiseman’s Tempest), the line-up was completed by Allan Holdsworth on guitar and Paul Williams on vocals and keyboards.
Later in Tempest’s brief history, they were joined by Ollie Halsall, who had played guitar with progressive rock band Patto. With two guitarists, the group played a number of shows beginning with a June 1973 show at Golders Green Hippodrome, London, which was broadcast by the BBC and later released as a bootleg erroneously entitled Live in London 1974. By the time a second album was recorded, 1974’s Living in Fear, Tempest was down to a trio, consisting of Hiseman, Clarke, and Halsall; reportedly Holdsworth didn’t want to play alongside a second guitarist. The band broke up soon after.
Jon Hiseman was born on June 21, 1944, in London. He played piano and violin as a child and turned to drums at 12. In his teens, he worked with jazz and R&B groups around London. He also studied accounting.
Mr. Hiseman became a full-time musician in 1966, when he replaced Ginger Baker in a blues band, the Graham Bond Organisation. (Mr. Baker went on to form Cream with Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton.) Mr. Hiseman later worked with the English singer and keyboardist Georgie Fame and with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, appearing on the group’s album “Bare Wires.”
As a studio musician, he performed on Mr. Bruce’s first solo albums, “Things We Like” (1968) and “Songs for a Tailor” (1969).
Hiseman went on to form COLOSSEUM II, while Holdsworth found varying degrees of success both as a solo artists, and with bands such as GONG, SOFT MACHINE, UK and BRUFORD. The late Ollie Halsall (died 29 May 1992) recorded with BOXER and Kevin Ayers among others. Clarke worked with various bands including NATURAL GAS, URIAH HEEP, MOUNTAIN AND RAINBOW.
For a reminder of the short-lived, but highly influential Tempest, here is a gig they did in Stockholm in 1973.