Screaming Lord Sutch - Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends

05 March, 2014

By Jesse Hoffman



"Watching Lord Sutch perform is like watching Arthur Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis and James Brown rolled into one" -Phil Flamm, Go Magazine   


Too bad he committed suicide in 1999! So you can't. But you can still listen to this album and his few others that just slid through the cracks of music history, at the same capturing a very important part of it. I'm currently listening to "Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends", an album recorded in 1969, then released a year later. It's an accidental masterpiece of punk overtones and hard rock. I mean obviously it's not exactly "punk" music, being it is only 1969, but it really has a life to it the other bands just playing Rock n' Roll.


The Heavy Friends consisted of, but not limited to, Jimmy Page, Nicky Hopkins, Noel Redding, John Bonham and Jeff Beck. If you don't know who any of those people are, you might as well get a lobotomy and do the human race a favor. Apparently this album was released without the consent of the talented musicians involved, thinking their recordings were just demos. They got pretty upset with it to say the least. This might answer as to why Lord Sutch never got the fame he desired and possibly deserved. He was an entertainer and political candidate, running on such planks like "Votes at 18", "Beatles Memorial College" and "Enforced Birth Control".


The man simply bled Rock n' Roll and every weird thing that goes along with it. The names you will see most in the song credits are Page and Bonham. If you have half of Led Zeppelin in your recording studio, you're bound to turn out some heavy sh*t.


They album definitely holds true to its name starting from the first track, "Wailing Sounds". The opening riff is like something you would hear from The Melvins and after that it jumps into a more up-tempo, punkish beat, as every musician on the track really starts to "wail" in every aspect of the word. It's covered in the kind of guitar solos that made Jimmy Page the player he is today. The next track, "'Cause I Love You" is almost a testament to The Kinks, while also having its own individual roughness from its blistering lead guitar. Next is the very interesting "Flashing Lights", which vocal effects are similar to something you might hear in this super cool futuristic society we live in now. It might appeal to you, but most likely won't, either way it's a look into the talents of Page and Bonham. The way they play of each other throughout the entire album is just incredible. The track "Gutty Guitar" is the only on the album that features Jeff Beck and if you are a fan of Beck's Yardbirds years, you will love this song it is exactly what it sounds like it be. "Would You Believe", is one of the two songs on the album that have all of Lord Sutch's "Heavy Friends" playing on it. The track is bass heavy thanks to Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), with powerful fills from every other extremely talented musician on it. Regardless if to these musicians really looked as all these tracks as "demos", it is most certainly something to stop and pay attention to.


The album is seriously just a load of fun. There is no way you could drink with your friends, listen to this and not have a good time. "Thumping Beat" is the first song on the second side and it had Page, Redding and Bonham on it. It sounds almost like something that could have been played by the Experience, but with Sutchs anger and Pages lead riffs, it is a monster on its own. The next track "Union Jack Car" is of course very British and very basic in the sense of rock n' roll music, but still is an entertaining listen, nonetheless. After a blues standard, comes a track called "L-O-N-D-O-N", another obviously very British track. It doesn't hold to standard rock and blues changes and is still a damn cool song. "Brightest Light" is the other song on the album containing all the "Heavy Friends" and is one of the most original on the album. It definitely sounds like other bands took some riffs, for I have heard a few songs fairly reminiscent of it. I can't remember the names of them for the life of me. Just listen to the song and all of the music on the album. It's technically just as punk in content as anything the 80's could have dished out and deserves the time and respect albums like,Graceland,or something like that gets. It's lays down the tracks of the movement of heavy blues rock that took over the times, so if you're into any aspects of those genres, this is definitely worth a listen.






Primary Genre: Rock n' Roll


Secondary Genre: Punk


Release Date: 1970


Label: Cotillion Records


Like this and you'll probably also like: Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck


Album highlights: Gutty Guitar, Flashing Lights, Would You Believe




Screaming Lord Sutch - Gutty Guitar




Screaming Lord Sutch - Flashing Light



Screaming Lord Sutch - Wailing Sound




Screaming Lord Sutch - Brightest Light