Blodwyn Pig Biography

During its short life, Blodwyn Pig made a valuable contribution to the British blues boom in the late 60s. The band was formed when Mick Abrahams (7 April 1943, Luton, Bedfordshire, England; guitar) left the fast-rising Jethro Tull in 1969. His energetic and fluid playing blended well with the rest of the band, Jack Lancaster (saxophone), Andy Pyle (bass) and Ron Berg (drums). The fine 1969 debut, Ahead Rings Out, with its famous pig cover, was a critical success, containing a healthy mixture of various styles of progressive blues. The Jethro Tull-influenced ‘Ain’t Ya Comin Home’ and the superb slide guitar of ‘Dear Jill’ were but two highlights. Lancaster’s lengthy ‘The Modern Alchemist’ showcased his jazz influence and saxophone skills. The band were a prolific live attraction, and Abrahams delighted the crowds with his exceptional showpiece, ‘Cats Squirrel’, probably the only time that a Cream number had been ‘borrowed’ and improved upon. Abrahams’ solo was superior to Eric Clapton’s, although this was a millstone he constantly attempted to shed. The second album showed great moments, notably Abrahams’ punchy ‘See My Way’. Lancaster’s advanced long pieces such as ‘San Francisco Sketches’ ultimately gave the band a split direction. Abrahams departed and was replaced by Peter Banks (b. Peter William Brockbanks, 15 July 1947, Barnet, Hertfordshire, England), formerly of Yes, and Larry Wallis. Their direction was now led by Lancaster and they changed their name to Lancaster’s Bomber, and finally, Lancaster, before they crash-landed shortly afterwards. Four years later, Abrahams and Lancaster re-formed Blodwyn Pig, with Pyle and ex-Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker (b. 12 December 1946, Blackpool, Lancashire, England; drums), but they had hardly started when the signs that their day was long-past became evident.

While Lancaster eventually carved out a career as a producer, Abrahams set up his own financial consultancy business. However, Abrahams was not able to forsake the music business for too long and subsequently resurrected Blodwyn Pig in the 90s to play club dates. The new line-up utilized the services of Dick Heckstall-Smith (b. Richard Malden, 26 September 1934, Ludlow, Shropshire, England, d. 17 December 2004, London, England), plus former members, Clive Bunker and Andy Pyle, and performed new material. Lies appeared on Abrahams’ own label in 1993. The informative CD notes contained an invaluable Pete Frame family tree. The line-up of the band in addition to Abrahams comprised: David Lennox (keyboards), Mike Summerland (bass), Jackie Challoner (vocals), and Graham Walker (drums).

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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