High Voltage: Heep And Martin Turner’s Ash In Rehearsal
As part of the build-up to this weekend’s High Voltage festival, Classic Rock visited yesterday’s rehearsals of Uriah Heep and Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash. The former are, of course, going play their 1972 classic album Demons And Wizards in its entirety, with a slide guitar cameo from Micky Moody, whilst MTWA and guest star Ted Turner are set to revise the much beloved Argus (released in the same year – 1972).
Words and photo: Dave Ling
We can reveal that High Voltage attendees are in for a bit of a treat. MTWA had been rehearsing with Ted Turner, co-guitarist of the group’s original line-up, for a few days before our arrival.
“It’s like putting on an old shoe, which is odd cos Martin looks a bit like an old shoe these days,” quips Ted (no relation to the other Turner).
“When you’ve played as many gigs as we have, two or three runs through the songs is all it takes, the magic comes back very quickly,” agrees Martin.
Martin Turner is looking forward to seeing many of his old friends at High Voltage. “ZZ Top supported Wishbone in the States when we first started out, and we loved them dearly,” he says, “and Greg Lake is a fellow West Country man.”
Besides joining Martin for the climax of the Argus set and the show’s encores, Ted Turner will be playing a solo set in the backstage area’s VIP Tent in promotion of Eclektic Value, his brand new debut solo CD. Given that the album was recorded alone, can we assume it’s a one-man show?
“No, actually. There will be other players there. I’m still working out what I will be doing – so it’ll be completely new, even to me.”
The prospect of a spot at High Voltage was enough to cause Mick Box, Heep’s ever-smiling guitarist, to interrupt a family holiday. The show’s concept, a festival for older-but-wiser-rock fans, is something that’s close to his heart.
“Only two words need to be said: ‘At last!’” he beams. “This is something that we’ve needed for a long, long time – the fact that thousands of fans have bought tickets is vindication of that.”
“Bands playing real music, without sequencers or tapes… imagine that,” says singer Bernie Shaw with mock astonishment.
So which High Voltage bands are the members of Heep looking forward to checking out?
Shaw: “Dweezil Zappa, Foreigner and ZZ Top.”
Russell Gilbrook (drums): “Heaven And Hell, ZZ Top, Foreigner and ELP.”
Trevor Bolder (bass): “Joe Elliott’s Down ‘N’ Outz and ZZ Top.”
Phil Lanzon (keyboards): “I want to see Uriah Heep doing Demons And Wizards. They are doing that, aren’t they?”
Box: “I’ve been doing so much travelling, I just want to see my bed!”
Our line-up shot below shows (left to right): Mick Box, Dave Wagstaffe, Martin Turner, Danny Wilson, Bernie Shaw, Ray Hatfield, Ted Turner, Phil Lanzon, Russell Gilbrook and Trevor Bolder (Micky Moody not pictured).
Tags: Bernie Shaw, Classic Rock, Danny Wilson, Down 'N Outz, Dsve Wagstaffe, Dweezil Zappa, ELP, Greg Lake, Heaven And Hell, High Voltage Festival, Martin Turner, Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash, Mick Box, Micky Moody, Phil Lanzon, Russell Gilbrook, Ted Turner, Trevor Bolder, Wishbone Ash], ZZ Top