Yorkshire Evening Post
1969 December 2nd.
Feast from Two Top Groups

Family and Deep Purple on the same bill must mean one of Yorkshire’s best nights of pop this year. Both groups appear at St. George’s Hall, Bradford, on Sunday night. Family must be one of the most brilliant and original groups. Their music is always their own and recent changes in personnel should not change their sound too much. John Weider recently replaced Ric Grech on bass, who departed to join Blind Faith. Weider is a Londoner of quite considerable skill on guitar and violin. In Demand.

When the Animals broke up he felt there were no groups he would like to play with, so he settled into session work where his skills were in constant demand.

Having seen him in action in Leeds recently that comes as no surprise. Finally he got an offer from Family, had a jam session with the group and then said: “Yes, please”. Latest addition is a gentleman called John “Polly” Palmer. He replaces Jim King, who left “To pursue his studies in musical theory.” But I see King’s name in Victor Brox’s new line-up so I don’t whether he is playing or not. Polly, who plays piano, vibes and flute, was formerly with The Election, another fine band.

But the man who is Family more than anyone is singer and songwriter Roger Chapman. His completely original voice and style of performance with those aggressive, jerky movements go far in giving Family the identity they have. John Whitney, who plays twin-necked guitar, is also a songwriter, and has been performing since he was 18. Drummer, Rob Townsend, who came to pop from jazz, has been in music since the age of 13.

Despite the absence of large commercial success Family command a very faithful following, and perhaps with their latest single, “No Mule’s Fool”, in my opinion one of this year’s best singles, they will achieve the wide success they so genuinely deserve. Respected.
Much the same can be said about Deep Purple. Organist Jon Lord is producing some outstanding pieces for group and orchestra. He is one of pop’s most respected technicians.

To watch Ritchie Blackmore on guitar is something of an experience. His standard is little short of fantastic, and indeed when playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra some of his blistering solos left classical string players gawping in amazement. The two groups should set one another off perfectly. Bradford here I come