A Family get-together

At 15 I had nailed my colours firmly to the music mast, but front man Roger Chapman kept us informed of the progress of the game anyway, disappearing into the wings to ask a roadie with a radio the score.

I only just caught the band during their performing existence, but I had their most recent albums then and when my 18th birthday yielded a sheaf of record tokens, I filled in the gaps in my collection. What I Iiked most about Family, I think, was that they never made the same album twice. All eight of them are good, but very different, and only Chappo’s distinctive powerful bluesy vibrato voice really marks them out as being the work of the same group.

Anyway (the title of album four, curiously), you needn’t take my word for it, because reissue specialists Snapper Music are about to unleash a lavish boxed set of the band’s entire recorded works, complete with a lost live album, rarities and out-takes, and a 72-page book. And the band, or at least as comprehensive a version of it as is feasible, are committed to playing two dates at Shepherd’s Bush Empire at the start of February. This incarnation will include founder members Chapman and drummer Rob Townsend alongside long-servers Poli Palmer and Jim Cregan. It will be 40 years since the group last played.

“The impetus for the re-issue came from the record company,” says Chapman, “and they’ve done a splendid job. There’s lots of stuff that’s never been collected before, and the book is a good read and accurate, I think. I’ve found out more about myself than I knew 40 years ago.”

Read full article: http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts-ents/music/a-family-get-together.19882562

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Once Upon A Time – Box Set

February 2013 sees the entire Family catalogue come together for the first time in a massive 14 disc box set released by Snapper in the UK. It includes all the bands recorded work plus 2 discs of unreleased material. Containing all of the band’s albums from the career defining late ’60s albums Music In A Doll’s House (now including the exceptional pre-album psych-pop single ‘Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens’/’Gypsy Woman’) and Family Entertainment through 1970’s A Song For Me and Anyway, 1971’s Old Songs New Songs and Fearless, 1972’s Bandstand and 1973’s It’s Only A Movie. The set is further bolstered with a 1971 concert, Family Live (originally released in 2003), and a 2-CD set of unreleased demos and alt takes Once Upon A Time And More – culled from the Anyway, Fearless, Bandstand and It’s Only A Movie album sessions and remastered from original tapes that had lain undisturbed in Roger Chapman’s loft until 2012. This two disc set captures the hitherto unheard work-in-progress of some of Family’s most popular tracks along with priceless in-studio banter. Finally three singles from 1971 and 1973 are also duplicated in CD single format, all housed in their original artwork. Then there’s that super hard back book penned by Family website master Pete Feenstra and a separate magazine styled recreation of a contemporary music weekly featuring historic articles and reviews. Further still, each box comes with a hand signed certificate of authenticity from Roger Chapman himself.


Once Upon A Time And More is a selection of unreleased demo recordings and alternate takes culled from the Anyway, Fearless, Bandstand and It’s Only A Movie album sessions. Remastered from original tapes that had lain undisturbed in Roger Chapman’s loft until 2012, this two disc set captures the hitherto unheard work-in-progress of some of Family’s most popular tracks along with in-studio banter.

Disc 1:

1. Part Of The Load [backing track]
2. Lives And Ladies [instrumental]
3. Sat’d’y Barfly [instrumental – no horn]
4. Sat’d’y Barfly [instrumental #1 – guide track, no horn studio chatter]
5. Sat’d’y Barfly [instrumental #2 – guide track, more studio chatter]
6. Studio Chat #1
7. Studio Chat #2
8. Spanish Tide [instrumental #1]
9. Spanish Tide [instrumental #2]
10. Spanish Tide [instrumental #3]
11. Spanish Tide [with spoken intro]
12. Spanish Tide [instrumental #4]

Disc 2:

1. Burlesque [instrumental]
2. Bolero Babe [rough mix]
3. My Friend The Sun [instrumental – part vocal]
4. My Friend The Sun [guide track #1 – part vocal]
5. My Friend The Sun [guide track #2 – part vocal]
6. Ready To Go [alternate take #1]
7. Ready To Go [alternate take #2]
8. Ready To Go [alternate take #3]
9. Top Of The Hill [alternate take]
10. Boom Bang [instrumental – part vocal]
11. Suspicion [no brass]
12. Check Out [instrumental]
13. Stop This Car [alternate version of B-Side to Boom Bang]

Disc 1, tracks 1 & 2 from the ANYWAY sessions
Disc 1, Tracks Disc 1 3-12 from the FEARLESS sessions
Tracks Disc 2 1-9 from the BANDSTAND sessions
Tracks Disc 2 10-13 from the IT’S ONLY A MOVIE sessions

Pre-order: https://www.burningshed.com/store/family/

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An Evening With Family – Reunion Show 2013

News blast from chappo.com

Legendary British prog-rock giants, FAMILY have announced they will reunite in 2013.

For one night only, Roger Chapman, John ‘Poli’ Palmer, Rob Townsend and Jim Cregan will headline an exclusive reunion performance at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday 2nd February 2013.

Their first show together in over four decades, FAMILY will bring back the nostalgic sights and sounds of folk, psychedelia, acid, jazz fusion and rock’n’roll that made them one of the most pioneering bands of the underground progressive scene in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

Having played prestigious London venues including the Royal Albert Hall, The 100 Club and The Marquee, this one-off show is set to be something special, playing songs from a career spanning, seven studio albums.

“This is something that I’ve considered, and been constantly asked about, over the years. It’s always been a question of timing. 2013 marks the 40th year since we did our last show – and we ain’t getting any younger!” – Roger Chapman

Tickets go on sale Friday 7th September 2012 at 9am
from ticketweb.co.uk or 0844 477 2000

Roger Chapman, Poli Palmer, Rob Townsend and Jim Cregan will be joined by Geoff Whitehorn on electric guitar & BVs, John Lingwood on drums & percussion, Gary Twigg on bass, Paul Hirsh on organ, piano & BVs and Nick Payn on sax, harmonica & BVs.

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Chapman/Whitney Streetwalkers long awaited CD reissue

After Family’s break up in 1973, Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney kept things going and recorded an album Streetwalkers, released in 1974. The long awaited official release of the tracks that comprised that first  Chapman/Whitney Streetwalkers album is taken from the original master tapes and re-sequenced by Roger Chapman. This has been much demanded and a long wait for fans of this excellent record. The tracks appear in the original order that the band wished to appear on the record but was changed by “management”. The CD features a new sleeve (per Chapman’s suggestion) plus sleeve notes by Pete Feenstra, lyrics and rare pictures of Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney.

  1. Hangman
  2. Roxianna
  3. Sue & Betty Jean
  4. Call Ya
  5. Just 4 Men
  6. Tokyo Rose
  7. Creature Feature
  8. Parisienne High Heels
  9. Systematic Stealth
  10. Showbiz Joe

All songs written by Roger Chapman & John Whitney Vocals & Percussion – Roger Chapman Guitar & Steel Guitar – Charlie Whitney Keyboards – Max Middleton, Tim Hinkley Drums – Ian Wallace, Mike Giles Guitar – Neil Hubbard Bass – John Wetton, Rick Grech Brass & Woodwind – Mel Collins Congas – Godfrey McLean Vibraphone – Poli Palmer Backing Vocals – John Wetton, Boz Burrell, Linda Lewis, Jim Cregan.

Pre-order it from Amazon.com (UK)

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Previously Unreleased FAMILY BBC Sessions officially released

Previously unreleased BBC tapes from this legendary progressive rock band. Two previously unreleased tracks. This is the third of three Hux volumes of previously unreleased BBC Radio 1 sessions by the band, and features new material as well as different versions of original songs never before available on CD. Included here are Poli Palmer’s debut Radio 1 appearance with Family, plus ‘Here Comes The Grin’, which has never been released before in any form.

The CD closes with the group’s jam, ‘Blow By Blow’, which is another previously unreleased track.The first two titles here have been remastered from the original BBC production tapes. The remaining tracks on this CD are taken from private ‘off-air’ recordings, as the original master tapes no longer exist.

This album has been compiled and released with the full endorsement of the group. The accompanying 12 page booklet includes extensive liner notes, complete recording details and several rare band photographs.

Order from Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

BBC In Concert, 4th January 1970
93’s OK J
Here Comes The Grin

Top Gear session, 5th September 1970
Holding The Compass
Lives And Ladies

John Peel ‘Sunday Show’, 27th September 1970
Good News Bad News
Drowned In Wine
Procession + No Mule’s Fool
Holding The Compass
Lives And Ladies
Strange Band
The Weaver’s Answer
Blow By Blow

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New Roger Chapman album “Hide Go Seek”

Hide Go Seek, the new Roger Chapman album, will be released in the UK on 5th May and in Europe on 8th May. It is a double CD set, released by the Hamburg based Hypertension Label and features  28 tracks.

The double CD, close on 2 hours long, is very diverse, featuring a collection of previously unreleased songs, demo’s and alternative versions of tracks already featured on other albums. Asking Roger about the work that had to be carried out to turn what was already ‘in the can’ into Hide Go Seek, he explained:

“There were no ‘Added Extras’, just cleaning up stuff. i.e. ‘topping & tailing’ tracks. Being demos they would have all kinds of stuff on –  beginnings & ends, count ins, rough fades, F`ing & blinding, piss takes etc. Then of course came  the difficult job – the running order. Gee whizz, what a marathon trying to put 28 tracks in order, drove me  mad. Played the real thing yesterday & still want to change it! The record company made me stop `cos I was going on & on – as is my want of course.

All the Cregan stuff, except for Devil & Wings which we did a couple of years ago, we did together in L.A. about 14/15 years ago. Get this, we were trying to write a ‘Family Theme’ album, but then as managers moved on we moved on. Naked Hearts was actually written for a movie about Loch Ness but missed the boat. We wrote it over the phone, London to LA, me humming & Jim writing. He then recorded the back track in his studio in LA, sent it to me where I recorded the vocals in London while recording the ‘Wicked B`s’ & ‘Bring me Your Love’ demos. Anyway, it was a writing thing really, I went there for 3 weeks especially for that reason, to meet up with Jim for a serious writing session. As you`ll know some came out on ‘Kiss’ & some on ‘Stone’.

The rest contain hours & years of me & Stevie in various studios & houses around London. There are also out takes from sessions as far back as ‘Chappo’. Also obvious ones from ‘Cat’. I just hope they`re enough for people to enjoy & have an idea of what goes into our making music. It`s not just write something, record it, wham bam, there’s so much more to it. Whole life changes, thought processes & styles for people through so many years.”

Order the new album from Amazon.com

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