Count Bishops - Good Gear (1977)

July '75 and a band called Chrome were sculling around the third rate pub circuit long before Mr Rotten and Co. had pissed in their first ash tray. Ted Carroll looked at the Melody Maker gig guide(erama), pushed his glasses back up his nose and decided that with a name like that they had to be the first band on Chiswick Records. A week later, accompanied by diminutive partner, Roger Armstrong, he slunk into a seedy pub in Highbury and was confronted by four mean looking characters playing Chuck Berry riffs as if their lives depended on it. To the right, chewing gum and looking like he would eat your cat was Zenon Hierowsky; (later de Fleur) by any other name The Count Bishops had arrived. Maniac American Mike Spencer inveigled his way into the operation several weeks later, sacked most of the band, brought Johnny Guitar over from the States on the promise of a vast record deal (Chiswick Records I ask you?) and gave birth to The (original) Count Bishops. After one disastrous recording session, where the bass player couldn't even play "Walkin' The Dog", they went into Pathway Studios (8 tracks and no air) in August '75 and in about 7 hours laid down 13 blistering rock and roll tracks from which, in November of that year emerged the first release on Chiswick, The Count Bishops Speedball E.P.

It didn't exactly set the world on fire, but through the vast Rock On Empire of two market stalls and few sympathetic dealers it managed to shift its initial pressing of 1,000 copies in a surprising short space of time.

Not long after the band drifted away from Chiswick, for a while to a small Dutch label called Dynamite for which they recorded Taking It Easy/Train Train. Chiswick picked up the rights for this, flipped it to make Train Train the A side and released it as their fifth single. In the meantime Mike Spencer had left the band in an incident involving an unfriendly plate glass window. The four piece band that had recorded Train Train allowed an album of what were essentially demos to escape in Holland and went on to lay down backing tracks for what was to become the first 'official' Count Bishops album.

Listen ! Raw, high energy and exciting !

Paul Balbi (drums)
Zen De Fleur (guitar, vocals)
Johnny Guitar (guitar, vocals)
Steve Lewins (bass)


01. Don´t Start Crying Now (Moore/West) 2.05
02. Shake (Cooke) 2.05
03. Walkin´ The Dog (Thomas) 3.40
04. Somebody´s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight (Spencer) 2.50
05. (I Want) Candy (Berns/Gottehrer/Feldman/Goldstein) 3.26
06. Wang Dang Doodle (Dixon) 5.38
07. Dear Dad (Berry) 1.44
08. Confession The Blues (Brown/McShann) 3.25
09. Little By Little (Jagger/Richards) 2.45
10. Carol (Berry) 2.35
11. Johnny Be Goode (Berry) 2.00
12. Dust My Blues (James) 2.55
13. Shake Your Moneymaker (James) 2.38

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