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Eclectic Electric Volume 1

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Bandcamp. If you've heard of it you'll know why we are using it! If you've not heard of it you'll thank us for telling you!

Can you imagine a website where bands can upload full resolution audio files (.aiff) and you can chose what type of format your download is, and there's a minimum of third party overheads reducing the band's income.

Imagine no more because that's what Bandcamp is. By starting with the highest possible quality source, they’re able to convert our tracks into a bunch of different format and quality combinations for you to listen to, including MP3 (320, VBR V0), Ogg Vorbis, Apple Lossless, FLAC and AAC (aka .m4a or iTunes store format)

You can see why we have chosen bandcamp as our supply partner for our downloads.

Having said that In the days of our demo recordings the facilities available to up-coming bands were rather basic compared to this century!

The demo tracks were mostly recorded on a cassette based "portastudio" or in some cases directly off the sound desk at gigs but this also imbues the tracks with a certain 'patina', which given their 30+ years age is quite fitting, so please understand that these are not modern recording studio quality. We're currently leaving the tracks open for streaming so you can hear what you are getting before buying!

Click here for Pallas Downloads at Bandcamp

PALLAS MUSIC ON BANDCAMP

Towers of Babble - Rehearsal 2004

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This is Prog Rock 

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The Winter Angel - Video Christmas Gift 

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Euan came up to The Mill to rehearse for the Arrive Alive section of a gig at Rosfest

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Northern Star

 

Bringer of Dreams Soundcheck

 

 

Reichenbach Invincible

 

The Arrive Alive CD was compiled from the tracks from the original cassette and other tracks from that time period by Niall and Mike B in Summer '98 , and to start this section here are his thoughts as Niall finished it's compilation:

It was strange for me to be listening back to the old Pallas material from the late 70's and early 80's. I have to admit that there are a few cringe inducing moments, and I suppose my first reaction was to consign this material to the top shelf, filed under " well that was then and haven't we come on!!"

But then I started to listen to it more closely and I found myself really enjoying it, sure it's rough and ready and naïve, but it had something! It held the essence of what the band was and what we were to become.

The Arrive Alive album comes to you on CD by "popular demand" so if it hadn't been for the thousands of people asking for this I would probably never have sat down and had so much fun putting it together.

A Note for the purists!

Sorry I've changed the running order and added extra tracks. But we think it sounds better, and plays as long as possible, but anyway, a bit like your favourite hat of barbed wire cod piece, you'll grow into it!

Niall, August 1998

 

The Sentinel Remembers fondly !


The tracks on this CD date back form the bands first recordings in the early eighties, and were the stepping stones which eventually lead to the seemingly all important real recording contract with EMI.

Those were the days when the band trekked across Scotland to Glasgow Paisley and Fife as well as playing in their home town of Aberdeen, gaining a wildly enthusiastic following at the Dial Inn and The Bungalow Bar. etc This was no ordinary band we were constantly being told by venue owners who could not get enough of them, neither could the fans, so one day we all trekked down to the Bungalow bar in Paisley, along with the Radio Clyde Mobile and Brian Young from Ca Va studios in Glasgow, and simply recorded a nights set. And what nights they were -you could never move in the venues, packed in like sardines, often the doors would be closed 2 hours before the band was due on.

Soon after off we toddled to Ca Va for the mixing and then the tape was out !

They sold like hot-cakes and the proceeds were re-invested in new sound gear , we always used our own PA, and then not long after, when the record companies started pricking their ears up it ,was time to put down tracks for the then all important Single type songs. The tracks that were written to order so to speak sharpened the bands music, and Arrive Alive went on to be played to this day.

The CD contains tracks from both these sets of recordings, some of them only scarcely available before, plus a slightly later version of live classic Crown of Thorns. Taken as a whole and forgiving some of the long windedness, it is easy to see that all the ingredients which make the band what they are, are here in their early days

1 Arrive Alive (Studio)

In true Pallas fashion the title track to the album was written after it first came out ! This was a song written with one eye on the singles market, and no one at the time imagined that it would become the bands best known and longest played song The track was recorded twice once for the bands own label and again for the Vinyl Version of the album, the version here is the album version complete with thunder wobble board at the start !

2 Five to Four (Live)

This track was a crowd favourite with its long complex instrumental section, applause would break out at each tempo change, unfortunately it never made it onto the vinyl version so this could be new to many fans, and we are glad it can be heard again.

3 Queen of the Deep (Live)

Another crowd favourite ! That's why the original cassette album was made, there were so many crowd favourites that we needed to get the recorded and move on to new material, which became the Sentinel album! Queen of the Deep along with most of the tracks on the CD features MELLOTRON in a non-standard way, in this case to spooky effect in the 'underwater' section along with effective Guitar Bubbles from Niall, all in all a dramatic use of the available instrumentation in a live setting.

4 Flashpoint (Live)

This is a riff based rocker which shows the other side of the band, as we have said before, all aspects of the formative Pallas sound are here  

5 The Ripper (Live)

Now here's THE track that the band were most famous for in those days! The extremely controversial subject matter and the highly powerful stage persona of Euan coupled with a both atmospheric and dramatic instrumentation was the cause for sensation at gigs.

The famous Yorkshire Ripper case was in the news a great deal at this time and the lyrics are a psychological interpretation of what may have been in his mind when committing his heinous acts, it was not a celebration of violence and was never taken as such by the audience, though these years later it needs to be seen in those terms so as to not misinterpret the lyrics !

The Ripper saw such an intense performance from Euan that people were known to faint, this was Rock Theatre writ large and certainly never seen before at the club and pub gigs that the band were playing at the time. This recording can only hint at the total experience of the audience at the time, for best effect I would recommend listening to it in the dark and let your imagination paint the pictures ! For many a chance to hear this again will be enough reason to get the CD. Below , Euan interpreting The Ripper.

6 Crown of Thorns (Studio)

Another track so in demand that many would want the CD just for it alone !

In many ways this is a sister track to the Ripper as it was another dramatic highlight of the bands live performances. The subject matter being less controversial the band kept the song in the live set for many years - through to the Concert Hall periods. We have substituted the original live version with the Studio version which was recorded for the B side of the Eyes in the Night 12", which makes it hitherto rather rare ! All in all the most popular Pallas song of that period and a unique chance to hear it in its full glory !

7 Paris is Burning (Studio)

This track is one that is a bit of an oddity ! Written with the need for singles material in mind it developed a mood all its own and listened to these years later it certainly has an interesting feel, a mini - epic in many ways, the highlight of which is Nialls E-bow violin sound guitar solo at the end. Writing and enjoying shorter but still complex songs like this sharpened the bands composing abilities and was a good educational activity !

8 The Hammer Falls (Studio)

A slightly rough and ready one off studio take of an at then recently written track which went on to become a popular part of the live set, this was the first song that Graeme took lead vocal in, which he later did in Imagination on the Wedge.

9 Stranger on the Edge of Time (Studio)

When compiling the CD it was fairly obvious that it should end with this track ! It's ending is so unusual that nothing could follow it !

This was highly experimental stuff in those days, and was the original B side of the Arrive Alive single. Formed around a synth pulse from Ronnie this highly atmospheric and mysterious track was in many ways ahead of it's time. It is the immediate for-runner to Just a Memory on the Wedge and Spirits on Beat the Drum, ethereal and sparse. It was the first chance that the band had to explore studio technology and the results were truly impressive for the time  

General Notes

We have used the first generation studio masters wherever possible, but it must be remembered that the technology available to bands such as ourselves in those days was limited compared to modern standards, and the forthcoming Beat the Drum CD will be digital quality !

We have not included Heart Attack from the original release as an updated version of it is on the Sentinel CD, and we substituted the Live Crown of Thorns with the studio version as it is simply much better! Anyhow the CD is approximately 74 minutes long and we could not cram another track in !

 

Arrive Alive Period Gallery

 

 

Grampian TV,  RIP,  used to feature their local band did good quite alot, and we recorded our appearances on good old VHS tapes and these are the first time we've had them online!

Down on the Farm! Grampian TV visited Pallas at their farmhouse prior to them recording The Sentinel

 

Arrive Alive Video and Interview on Grampian TV

 

Weirdness abounds as Alan mimes to Euan's vocals and Wookie the roadie comes on as The Sentinel!

 

Well at least Alan's miming to his own vocals on this one - this is what local TV was all about!}

 

Slains Castle has never been the same since!

 

Imagination - well it's someone at Grampian TVs imagination of a video!

 

 

Despite the lack of activity on the promotion front from EMI, fans were sending the band copies of continental reviews of the Wedge, some of which are featured below.

 

"BEST" "le mensuel du rock" Juin 1986

The Wedge (Harvest EMI-Pathé)

par Hervé PICART

 

Décidément, il ne se passe plus un mois sans que se présente à nous un groupe écossais de première classe. Vrai, nous allons finir par demander l'asile musical à la patrie du Chardon. Voici donc Pallas, qui nous arrive de Glasgow, et ce "The Wedge", qui est son second album, est tout simplement renversant de talent.

 

Disons-le tout de suite: Pallas s'impose d'emblée comme un groupe de première grandeur et je ne serais pas vraiment surpris de le voir remplir le Zénith et peut-être Bercy dans pas longtemps-là-tout-de-suite. En ce qui me concerne, c'est tout simpIement la révélation de l'année. Si vous aimez Marillion ou Pendragon, vous pouvez déjà vous précipiter, mais vous ne serez sans doute pas les seuls à vous arracher Pallas, car ce groupe aux facettes fort multiples s'adresse tout autant aux amateurs de U2, voire de Simple Minds, et même aux dégustateurs de riffs plus corsés et carrément hard. C'est possible? Eh oui, c'est possible.

 

En tout cas, c'est le petit exploit que réalise Pallas avec une musique-croisement qui se situe, par je ne sais quel miracle d'opportunité, à l'intersection parfaite des trois courants majeurs du rock britannique actuel: le néo-progressisme de Marillion, la new wave venteuse et lyrique d'U2 et la hargne inépuisable des hardos. Si vous avez du mal à vous convaincre qu'une telle alliance soit possible, écoutez donc 'Throwing Stones At The Wind' , I'enthousiasmant single de ces cinq Scottish surdoués: ce cocktail improbable est tout à fait homogène et se boit comme un Manhattan.

En fait, si l'alchimie de Pallas fonctionne si bien, c'est parce que le groupe ne pratique aucun genre rock déterminé mais joue sur les émotions: il ne fait pas du hard, mais se fait hard quand la rage lui monte au cœur; il ne fait pas de la progressive, mais sait trouver ces mélodies chantantes, un rien baignées d'effluves celtiques, qui vous chavire tout de suite l'âme, et s'il peut paraître new wave dans d'autres domaines, c'est tout simplement là sa fraîcheur et sa modernité qui s'expriment naturellement.

 

Bon, ces types sont (provisoirement) de parfaits inconnus. Ils ont tellement l'air de jaillir du néant que c'en est sidérant. Mais ils possèdent de bonnes têtes et leur musique est mûre, parfaite, géniale (réellement, car inspirée à la moindre seconde). Vrai. à aucun moment on ne saurait dire que l'on a affaire avec "The Wedge" à des nouveaux-venus. Il y a notamment une perfection du son, une modernité éclatante des arrangements qui emportent d'emblée l'adhésion. Il est vrai que Mick Glossop est aux manettes. Qui plus est, les compositions sont vraiment toutes bourrées d'idées, et ce groupe les interprète avec une verve, une spontancité, une rage de jouer qui font vraiment plaisir.

 

Du coup, 'The Wedge' risque d'être un des albums majeurs de 1986 et vous ne pouvez pas passcr à côté de morceaux aussi monstrueusement bons que 'Throwing Stones' ou l'époumonant 'Ratracing'. Ces nouveaux Glasgow Rangers sont indiscutablement de la race des équipes qui gagnent.

 

 

Sym Info

Door Dick Speelpenning

 

Vorige maand stipten we het al even aon. De nieuwe elpee van de formatie Pallas heet The Wedge en is een elpee in de kategorie BINGO, dat stast voor Bijzonder Interessante Nauwelijks (op de radio) Gedraaide Opnamen. The Wedge drijft een duidelijke wig tussen het heden en het verleden van Pallas. Het heden heeft als voornaamste kanmerk dat de muziek steeds beter wordt naarmate je het vaker beluistert, iets wat naar mijn idee het afgelopen jaar slechts Misplaced Childhood volledig waar kon maken.

 

The Wedge is kortom een plaat om je vingers bij af te likken, waarop gebruik wordt gemaakt van een fors elektronisch instrumentarium. Een drummachine, gitaarsynthesizer, Emulator, vocoder en E-bow-what ever it may be- zijn in de jaren'8û kennelijk niet meer weg te denken.

 

De fraai uitgevoerde binnenhoes bevat naast alle songteksten ook dankbetuigingen aan alles wat in de verste verte maar iets met The Wedge te maken heeft gehad. Zo ontbreken de geoorloofde meer of minder versterkende middelen Nescafé, Heineken en Coca Cola niet, terwijl zelfs de Pallas-weduwen en -wezen blijvend bedankt worden. Je zal maar popmuzikant van beroep zijn.....

 

De openingstrack is een flitsend, vurig en adembenemend geheel en heet dan ook zeer toepasselijk Danœ Through The Fire. De titel dost denken aan Peter Gabriel's Walk Through The Fire, de in dubdel hartslag tempo uitgevoerde muziek absoluut niet. Na het op 1 2-inch uitgebrachte Throwing Stones At The Wind (zie Sym-lnfo nr, 40) krijgen we het fantastische Win Or Lose. Zanger Reed is verantwoordelijk voor de refreinen en de zang in het orkestrale intro, terwijl-bassist Murray of - dat maakt de hoes niet echt duidelijk - toetsenman Brown de overige vokale honneurs waarneemt. Win Or Lose heeft een prachtige diepzinnige tekst en zit vol tempowisselingen en intermezzo's met fraaie perkussie. Het refrein (Winners never lose, losers never win) is dermate pakkand, dat het drie dagen door mijn hoofd heeft gespeeld. Voor symfostars on 45 houd ik me dan ook aanbevolen.......

 

Ook kant b heeft nag het nodige fraais in petto. A Million Miles Away (Imagination) is een in de positieve zin van het woord kommersieël nummer, De tweestemmige zang en de opzwepende en behoorlijk stevige begeleiding maken het tot een song, die in de diverse hitparades vast gean gek figuur zou slaan. Als Pallas bij een groter publiek bekend zou willen worden, raad ik ze aan A Million Miles Away meteen op 7-inch single uit te brengen. Je kant het namelijk niet altijd mis hebben.

 

Tot slot aandacht voor zonder enige twijfel het mooiste nummer van The Wedge. Het acht minuten durende Ratracing is als een symfonische weide op een vroege, nog schemerige herfstochtend waarin de meesteriijk mooie, magisch realistisch aandoende tekst als een mist de rennende raspaarden omgeeft !


The Wedge is resumerend veruit de beste Pallas-elpee tot nu toe, waarmee de Schotten keibard roak schieten. Van de zeven doelkansen die Pallas van EMI heeft gekrepen beiandde er één ver naast (Just A Memory), eén tagen de paal 'The Executioner' en werden er vijf met groot gemak benut. Pallas beschrijft haar winst zelf: Winners never Lose !