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• The Perfect World of Vincent Crane •
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by Bob Eborall
Mail Spin - Wednesday June 22nd 1983.

Sometimes a band is ahead of its time, as Vincent Crane of the re-formed Atomic Rooster mused over coffee. We were chatting about the Crazy World of Arthur Brown which he and Arthur formed in 1968 and had the British and America chart-topper 'Fire' which certainly ignited the pop scene. "We were doing psychedelic things two or three years before the others. Then it all sort of fitted together with flower power". The line-up of the re-formed Atomic Rooster includes Paul Hammond, the drummer who was on their hits like 'Tomorrow Night and the 'Death Walks Behind You' album. They are now getting into full crow again but Vincent stressed it's not nostalgia. "When I got the band together I didn't want it to be looked at for nostalgia. I hope our new album is an eighties one, not looking back to what we played before because we did it first, you have got to have something original to say all the time". How does Vincent compare pop today with that of the sixties or seventies? "There seems to be more variety and you can try out things more. In the sixties and seventies there was a trend, and everything was that, and you didn't work if you didn't go with the trend. Maybe all the comparisons have been used up. It doesn't seem to be the one thing they go for. A lot of young kids say it was good in the seventies and don't think much of it now. There seems to be a lot of looking back. Heavy rock was new, but nowadays heavy metal bands just play the stuff and it isn't easy to tell one from the other. It's not what the music was like." Vincent who studied at Trinity College, London, including the piano, reckons that "The trouble with keyboard players now is all the synthesisers are doing a lot for them and they don't learn the basic fundamental technique, which means you are limited by what the machine can do." Atomic Rooster decided to retire from the scene for a few months in 1976 but those months stretched into years because, as Vincent said, they enjoyed the chance to do their own thing individually. "I had been ten years non-stop on the road, touring," said Vincent, who then went into the world of theatre, working on lights, effects and music. "My wife, Jean, worked in the theatre on lighting, and I got involved through her really." He worked on such West End Productions as the Rocky Horror Show, and with a Japanese show at the Roundhouse. Since being re-formed Atomic Rooster have toured extensively in Europe, and are now back on the record with a new album 'Headline News' and a single from it 'Land of Freedom'. They hope to do British and European dates in the Autumn and later go to America where the album is also being released. It's a good session with Vincent on lead vocals, keyboards and bass, Bernie Torme on guitar, Paul on drums and Tareena Craze on backing vocals. Guitarist, Dave Gilmour, guests--"He does hardly anything apart from Pink Floyd." Vincent is enthusiastic about the album, "I think it's one of the best things we have done for a long time." Stroll past Vincent's maida Vale home, when he has the time to be there, and you could hear classical music coming from Vincent at the grand piano for which he has had to alter the size of the room. "It's a nice way to relax, playing classical music," smiled the quietly spoken music man, who seems to enjoy everything he does.

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