The cover of Locomotive’s 1970 LP
Listen/Download – Locomotive – Mr Armageddan
The tune I bring you today is an old fave that first slipped into my ears by virtue of the old British Psychedelic Trip comps.
Back in the olden days, when it was all (or mostly) about the comps, many shipped here from the old sod so that we impressionable youths might fill our heads with beat, psychedelia and the like.
We would head into the city and hit up joints like Venus records where the mighty Ron Rimsite would lean over the counter conspiratorially and convince us to empty our wallets so that we could take home with us the latest groovy reissue comp or fanzine.
I can’t say with certainty where I picked up my initial copy of the British Psychedelic Trip but I do know that it went a long way into warping my mind. Without those comps I may never have heard the Attack, or Tintern Abbey or any number of amazing freakbeat, psyche or prog bands.
I do know that the first time I heard Locomotive’s ‘Mr Armageddan’ it was on one of those volumes.
A perfect example of psyche heading into prog, featuring lots of Hammond organ, wah wah guitar, sneering vocals and bright orchestration, ‘Mr Armageddon’ is classic.
Locomotive were a Birmingham band that made their first mark on the UK charts in a very unusual way.
Their first two 45s were actually ska-inspired, with the B-side of the first being a cover of Dandy Livingstone’s ‘Message to You Rudy’. The A-side of their second 45s. ‘Rudi’s In Love’, a soulful bit of ska was a UK hit.
How they found their way from the bright, Island inspired sound of the early 45s to the psychedelic bombast of tunes like ‘Mr Armageddon’ I don’t know, but I dig both sides of their sound.
Both ‘Rudi’s In Love’ and ‘Mr Armageddan’ were written and sung by Locomotive’s organist Norman Haines.
The band went on to record a full album (which included today’s selection) for Parlophone in 1970.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll see you next week.