The Bevis Frond
|The Bevis Frond|
|Genres||Alternative rock, neo-psychedelia, indie rock|
|Associated acts||The Bevis Frond Museum
The Von Trapp Family
Mary Lou Lord
|Past members||Martin Crowley
The Bevis Frond is a British musical group whose range covers hard edge to melancholy vintage indie rock to poetic, "classic-rock" songcraft. Nick Saloman is the band's frontman and songwriter. They have recorded many singles and albums on various independent labels.
Saloman was originally in a band known as the Bevis Frond Museum in the late 1960s, and in the 1970s, whilst at college, he played guitar with a duo called Oddsocks. They released one album, Men of the Moment. In 1979 he formed a band called the Von Trap Family, who released the first single on his own Woronzow Records label. The early Von Trap Family recordings, comprising three sessions, were released on the Bevis Frond Bandcamp site for the first time in May 2010. The next release on Woronzow was in 1982, a 12" single by Room 13 with Saloman on guitar and future Bevis Frond drummer Martin Crowley. After Room 13 reached the end of its natural life, Nick Saloman had a bad motorbike accident that left him with a constriction of movement in his left arm. True to form, he had the arm set so that he could continue playing guitar. With the proceeds from a damages claim he bought a 4 track recorder and recorded some music which he decided to press as a limited release of 250 albums, more for the sake of just releasing an album than anything else. He was very surprised when Funhouse records in Kent phoned him up and asked for a couple of hundred copies as they'd been selling the album quite briskly. Saloman's desire was to "record the kind of music I'd like to listen to… I wanted a Hendrix/Wipers/Byrds sound but with a distinctly British feel." Subsequent albums were also recorded in a home studio and released on Woronzow until 1988, when he signed a deal with Reckless Records for the UK and USA. All the early albums were finally re-released on CD and Reckless financed the recording and release of his sixth album, Any Gas Faster, using a professional studio for the first time, reuniting him with Drummer Martin Crowley. This is also the point that he began touring. Another 1990 album, Magic Eye, was a collaboration with Twink of the Pink Fairies. In 1990 he returned to the studio to record his next album, New River Head, which featured guest musicians including Barry Dransfield and David Tibet. The next year he recorded London Stone, but Reckless were less than happy with the album, and in the ensuing friction, Nick decided to release the Album on Woronzow again. All his subsequent albums have appeared on Woronzow.
Saloman continued to release albums regularly until the release of Hit Squad in 2004. A couple of years earlier he had signed a deal with Past and Present in the UK and Rubric Records in the US, after which most of his early albums were remastered and re-released with bonus tracks. This initiative faltered after a couple of years, and all the early albums up to and including London Stone were re-released (Except Any Gas Faster).
In February 2010, a download site was set up for the Bevis Frond. The aim of this project is to make all the Bevis Frond material available for download in the best possible quality, and to make digitally available unreleased tracks and vinyl only tracks from throughout Saloman's career. Recent additions include all the studio sessions by the Von Trap Family. This project was completed in September 2010.
Early albums were usually entirely recorded by Saloman, while most later albums have been recorded by the contemporary touring band. For performances, the Bevis Frond usually has Adrian "Ade" Shaw on bass. Bevis Frond material is typically released on Woronzow Records label, and is frequently featured in the Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine and accompanying records and CDs. The Bevis Frond also record with and write much of the material for US singer Mary Lou Lord. The song "Lights Are Changing" was chosen for inclusion on Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976–1995.
After seven years without the appearance of new material, The Bevis Frond released a new album, The Leaving of London, on 10 October 2011. Recorded at Golddust Studios, it features a new drummer, Dave Pearce, formerly of Woronzow artists Psycho's Mum, along with regular contributors Adrian Shaw and Paul Simmons. Live shows in Europe and the UK to promote the album are scheduled for late 2011 and early 2012. In January 2012 the band toured Germany.
Following "The Leaving of London", The Bevis Frond released "White Numbers" in May 2013, with a similar band line-up. In 2014 the compilation titled High In A Flat was released including that song, which had been released on the CD reissue of New River Head but not on the one-CD release earlier. Then, in September 2015, Nick released a new album titled Example 22.
Saloman and Simmons host a weekly radio program called "The Scene", covering music from the 1960s to the 1980s, usually nearly-forgotten tracks from their own extensive record collections. It is broadcast from 7:00 A.M to 8:00 A.M. on Friday mornings on MIT's radio station WMBR, 88.1 FM, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They use their knowledge of musicians' timelines, bands played in and with to connect songs they play to other musicians and other bands. Saloman is owner of Platform One Records, a vinyl record store in Bexhill, East Sussex, United Kingdom-chiefly selling used 'rock' vinyl.
In 1991, Nick Saloman was a contestant on the UK television station Channel 4's game show Countdown. He is a supporter of Queen's Park Rangers F.C., prompting Richard Whiteley to joke "What do you get when you cross The Bevis Frond and Queen's Park Rangers? Rock bottom."
The Bevis Frond is essentially Nick Saloman - Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboards and Vocals. Also the producer.
The Recording and Touring Band has included at various times:
- Adrian Shaw (bass guitar)
- Bari Watts (guitar)
- Ric Gunther (drums)
- Paul Simmons (guitar)
- Rod Goodway (guitar, vocals)
- Andy Ward (drums)
- Jules Fenton (drums)
- Martin Crowley (drums)
- Debbie Saloman (vocals)
- Dave Pearce (drums)
|1987||Inner Marshland||Woronzow Records|
|1987||Bevis Through the Looking Glass||Woronzow Records|
|1988||Acid Jam||Woronzow Records|
|1989||Auntie Winnie Album||Reckless Records|
|1990||Any Gas Faster||Reckless Records|
|1990||Ear Song||Reckless Records||studio/live album|
|1991||Magic Eye||Woronzow Records|
|1991||New River Head||Woronzow Records|
|1992||A Gathering of Fronds||Reckless Records|
|1992||London Stone||Woronzow Records|
|1993||It Just Is||Woronzow Records|
|1996||Son of Walter||Flydaddy Records|
|1997||North Circular||Flydaddy Records|
|1999||Vavona Burr||Flydaddy Records|
|1999||Live At The Great American Music Hall||Flydaddy Records||live album|
|2000||Valedictory Songs||Woronzow Records|
|2002||What Did For The Dinosaurs||Woronzow Records|
|2004||Hit Squad||Woronzow Records|
|2011||The Leaving Of London||Woronzow Records|
|2013||White Numbers||Woronzow Records|
|2014||High In A Flat|
|2015||Example 22||Woronzow Records|
In addition, Nick has also released three Bevis Frond CDs that were made available exclusively to the Yahoo! Bevis Frond community group. These CDs, titled Valedictory Demos, The Long Ones, and Clocks, were packed full of demos and unreleased songs.
- Sexorcist (1990) Clawfist (split with Walkingseeds)
- Snow EP (1991) Woronzow (free with Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine)
- High in a Flat (free with Bucketfull of Brains magazine, split with Dream Syndicate)
- Summer Holiday EP (1993) Woronzow
- Let's Live For Today / 29th September (1994) Helter Skelter, HS 94743
- Dolly Bug / Green Park Saturday (1995) Damaged Goods, DAMGOOD 81
- Little Town Pier / Anything You Say (1997) Spare Me, SM005
- Sister John / Off My Shoes (1997) Distortion Records, DR-1033
- African Violets (1988) B-side of a Flexi-Disc given away with Freakbeat (Fanzine) Issue 4 - The A side was 'History Hates No Man' by The Steppes (Band)
- You Wouldn't If You Knew (2001) from Dean Quixote: The Soundtrack To The Film (various artists), SpinART, SPART 99
- The Bevis Frond Estate (2011) Respect Vinyl
- Record Day Store (2012) Woronzow, WOO 59
Bevis Frond/Nick Saloman pseudonyms and collaborations:
- The von Trapp Family - Brand New Thrill single (1980) Woronzow
- Room 13 - Murder Mystery single (1982) Woronzow
- Bevis and Twink - Magic Eye album (1990) Woronzow
- Magic Muscle - Gulp album (1992) Woronzow
- Fred Bison Five - Beatroots album (1993) Woronzow
- Todd Dillingham & Nick Saloman - Art Into Dust CD (1993) Voiceprint
- Doctor Frond - Doctor Frond album (1998) Magic Gnome
- Country Joe McDonald and The Bevis Frond - Eat Flowers and Kiss Babies album (1998) Woronzow
- Scorched Earth - Fed To Your Head album (2001) Woronzow
- Mary Lou Lord - "Lights Are Changing" cover from "Mary Lou Lord"
- Mary Lou Lord - "Baby Blue" album 2004 (Rubric Records) Writing and production credits, plus guitar bass and harp.
- Anton Barbeau - King of Missouri (2003) "Anton Barbeau with The Bevis Frond"
- Strong, Martin C. (2003) "Bevis Frond", in The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
- Male, Andrew (2012) "Welcome Back! The Bevis Frond", Mojo, February 2012, p. 26
- Booklet accompanying Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976-1995, published in 2005 by Rhino Records
- "Bevis Frond". AllMusic. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
- "Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era - 1976-1995". AllMusic. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
- Ralf bei der Kellen (21 January 2012). "Comeback einer unbekannten Kultband". Deutschlandfunk. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "WMBR Fall/Winter 2015 Program Schedule".
- "Vinyl destination Platform One". Bexhill on Sea Observer. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- Fan Site
- Download Site
-  Thorough biography by Trouser Press
- Psychotropic Zone interview with Nick Saloman
- The Boston Phoenix music review of Nick Saloman
- Blurt interview with Nick Saloman Part 1
- Blurt interview with Nick Saloman Part 2
- Dusted Magazine feature on Nick Saloman
- Perfect Sound Forever interview with Nick Saloman
- Aural Innovations interview with Nick Saloman