Thursday, 3 December 2015

Campact - Living In The Sixties

Drawing Room/I'm Your Puppet/Wasted On A Fantasy/Break It To Me Slowly

Cam-Pact were formed in Melbourne in April 1967 with a line up of Mark Barnes on bass guitar (ex-Moppa Blues, Roadrunners, Delta Set); Keith Glass on vocals and guitar (Rising Sons, Eighteenth Century Quartet); John Pugh on guitar, vocals and autoharp (Roadrunners, Delta Set, Eighteenth Century Quartet); Chris Stockley on guitar (Roadrunners, Delta Set); and Bob Lloyd (aka Bob Tregilgus) on drums Originally named The Camp Act but, as that was "too outrageous", they soon changed to Cam-Pact. Initially they performed soul music in the Stax Records and Tamla-Motown mould. By 1968 Greg Cook, on organ and guitar, had replaced Pugh; and Trevor Courtney had replaced Lloyd on drums.

In March 1968 they issued their debut single, "Something Easy", on Festival Records followed by a four-track extended play of the same name. The track was written by Glass. Their second single, "Drawing Room", appeared in May and was also written by Glass. It was followed by a third single, "Good Good Feelin'", in September, which was co-written by Cook and Courtney. Late that year Barnes left and Glass took up bass guitar. The group issued a fourth single, "Potion of Love", in June 1969. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described these singles as "fine examples of late 1960s psychedelic pop".

By mid-1969 Glass had left to join the cast of Hair and Stockley left to join Axiom, and they were replaced by Chris Löfvén on bass guitar and Russell Smith on guitar, respectively. The group issued a second EP, Cam-Pact / Pastoral Symphony, with two tracks by Cam-Pact and two by label mates, Pastoral Symphony, which were a studio ensemble. Soon after Cook was replaced in Cam-Pact by Bill Blissett on organ and vocals. In September that year they released another single, "Zoom Zoom Zoom", and an EP of that name.

Early in 1970 Ray Arnott (ex-Chelsea Set, Browns) replaced Courtney on drums and Cliff Edwards replaced Löfvén on bass guitar. They toured to Sydney with Matt Taylor guesting on lead vocals (ex-Wild Cherries). A three-piece line up of Arnott, Edwards and Smith continued until March 1970 before the trio formed Company Caine with Gulliver Smith on lead vocals and Jeremy Noone on saxophone.

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