BUDGIE - Original Drummer Ray Phillips Readies Solo Album
by Martin Popoff
Yes indeed, from deep within the Welsh countryside comes a poundin' rhythm. It is none other than work from original BUDGIE drummer Ray Phillips, the man behind the kit on Budgie (1971), Squawk (1972) and Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (1973), three seminal hard rock records from the low '70s.
"Literally up until six months ago I had no intention of going on the road and playing," says the affable Welshman, down the line in this exclusive. "I've really had enough of working, with other people. The bass player, Tom Prince - I had done stuff with him for 25 years, and I've got my own studio. I've just finished a solo album now, and I wrote 95% of everything, wrote all the songs, do all the singing, and I met up with a young guitarist, a guitarist called Adam Healey, and that was purely a fluke meeting, and I invited him back, and literally, he lives one mile away from me. And so he came to my house, and there were a few tracks I wanted to get somebody else to play a bit of guitar on, on three or four of the numbers, just to give it a different aspect, a different sort of angle for the numbers. And he came up, and he'd done the playing, and Tom kept on to me about hitting the road. And I said, 'No, Tom, I'm not interested, I'm not interested.' But slowly but surely, we had a couple of practices and rehearsals with the guitarist, and it was good. It was excellent, and I thought to myself, well, this seems like it's worth checking out. So I had a chat with the bass player and the guitar player, and we began rehearsing, and our first gig was last Saturday, and it was excellent! We took the place apart."
How would you describe the music you're doing on this album?
"Well, on my album, well it's a cross between Budgie and Ray Phillips - that's all I can tell you. But a lot of people say it's quite Pink Floyd-ish as well. And so like I say, my new band is called The Ray Phillips Band, and we just had our first gig, and now it's getting down to writing and recording new material for the first Ray Phillips album. But yeah, that's the Ray Phillips solo album, and my favourite title at the moment is Revelations, and the reasons it's Revelations, is that I sit back and I think of the state of greed on the planet, and where it's taking everyone around the world. And it's really affected Britain, people making so much money, where so many people are struggling and suffering, who've lost their houses, yeah? It really annoys me - greed and corruption. So that's the concept lyrically with this band."