Ozric Tentacles Biography

A UK festival band playing a mixture of progressive rock and 60s extended-jam music, Ozric Tentacles was originally a name conjured up by the band for a psychedelic breakfast cereal. Their original line-up featured Ed Wynne (guitar), his brother Roly Wynne (bass), Nick ‘Tig’ Van Gelder (drums), Gavin Griffiths (guitar) and Joie ‘Ozrooniculator’ Hinton (keyboards). They met around an open campfire at Stonehenge in 1982. By the following year a second synthesizer player, Tom Brookes, had joined. They started gigging in clubs such as the ‘Crypt’ in Deptford, south-east London. There they met their second percussionist, Paul Hankin. They soon became regulars at another psychedelic ‘head’ venue, the Club Dog, at the George Robey pub in Finsbury Park, north London. The band’s long existence has seen a number of shifts in personnel. In 1984, Griffiths left to form the Ullulators, and Brookes left a year later. Hinton remained but also played for the aforementioned Ullulators and the Oroonies. The next major change arrived in 1987 when Merv Peplar replaced Van Gelder. Later Steve Everitt replaced Brookes on synthesizers, while Marcus Carcus and John Egan added extra percussion and flute.

Considering their lengthy career it might appear that the band have had a relatively sporadic, and recent, recording output. However, much of their work from the mid-80s onwards was made available on six cassette-only albums. Into the early 90s, with the British neo-hippie, new age travellers receiving a higher media profile and their role in organizing music festivals becoming increasingly important, bands such as the Ozric Tentacles and the Levellers benefited greatly and began to widen their audience. Hinton and Peplar left the band in 1994 and devoted their energies to their dance side project, Eat Static. New members Rad and Seaweed were featured on the meandering instrumental albums Become The Other and Curious Corn. The Ozric Tentacles have continued to wend their merry way through the musical world into the new millennium. Do not be put off by the trappings; this band can really play as a musically solid unit and occasionally reach glorious heights.

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

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