Title: Upp/This Way
Go on, how many of you know this band, then? There may be a few aficionados out there but I’ll bet you’re in the minority. If that’s the case then you’re missing out, people. Upp were a British outfit, active during the 70s that pushed out a mixture of rock, a bit of pop and jazz. Populated by Stephen Amazing (or Steve Fields to his mother on bass guitar and previously of Clark Hutchinson), Andy Clark (also from Clark Hutchinson, guess which bit he was – on keyboards) and Jim Copley (major session drummer for the likes of Jeff Beck, Ian Gillan and more on drums) plus David Bunce (aka Zak Starstosky, guitar, also a producer and member of Driving Sideways).
This album emerged from a visit by Jeff Beck himself during a studio rehearsal session. Apparently the rather exuberant Beck “kicked the door down” on the way back from a gig with David Bowie and was impressed. He would subsequently produce and play guitar on the self-titled debut and the sequel, This Way.
The songs themselves feature a decidedly West Coast smooth and easy vibe while the music has an underlying funk, bass being prominent to emphasise the fact while the synth and Beck’s lead guitar added drive and instrumental wonder to many a track sequence.
As for mastering? There’s a fair bit of compression been cast all over the soundstage. I had to lower my gain quite a bit to arrive at a listenable volume. This adds lift to the upper mids and a glare within guitar crescendos. The sound’s inherent smooth nature is its sonic saviour, though.
You can hear more guitar greats from this label via The Gary Moore Band (Grinding Stone, 1973); Blood Sweat & Tears (In Concert, 1976), ZZ Top (Antenna, 1993) and Hot Tuna (Live at New Orleans House, 1969).
Roberto Azorin Durruty23rd November 2019 at 4:31 am
Paul this band UPP is fantastic i tried to remember the name of the band i remembered the name upp for the cover of that record that i bought in Uruguay Punta Del este on the year 1975 im impressed with the sound of the band and i didnt know who sang on this record please tell me if you know it.
My name is Roberto Azorín by the gift of have spotify i could re hear that magnificent first album.
Paul Rigby24th November 2019 at 11:08 am
Hi Roberto – appearing on this album? I think it was: Andrew Clark, Jeff Beck, Jim Copley and the wonderfully named Stephen Amazing.
Ian B18th June 2020 at 5:51 pm
I saw them at Wigan Casino circa 1976 ….Back then there was a short lived experiment for a year or so whereby …ahead of the infamous Northern Soul all nighters which only started at Midnight, the management tried a ‘rock night’ from 7.00 until 11.00 ish at which point we were shown the door to let the soul fans in…..Upp, Sam Apple Pie, Hustler, UFO, and the Kursaal Flyers were acts I remember (The KFs got THREE encores) I saw Upp as a poor mans ELP kind of which may have been a tad unfair, but I like a lead guitar!,,,,still I remember em 40 odd years on!
Paul Rigby20th June 2020 at 11:18 am
Great memories, Ian. Thanks for sharing!
D Smith22nd March 2022 at 10:50 pm
Yes I remember that gig.UPP we’re nothing like ELP.They we’re a far better band and sadly never got the recognition they deserved.