T2 – It’ll All Workout in Boomland (3 x CD Esoteric)

  

T2 are one of those bands that slipped under the radar when they were originally around in the early 1970s. Possibly the biggest problem being despite a series of successful gigs and a BBC2 TV appearance the number of copies of “It’ll all Workout in Boomland,” that were pressed was very limited and made the album hard to find. A lack of publicity surrounding the release didn’t help either. The pressures and disappointments all contributed to internal conflicts within the band and they split up whilst recording their second album. The album ended up being one of those cherished and impossible to find albums from the likes of bands like Comus.

As with those long lost, obscure, grail type releases from the early 70s it eventually appeared on CDs on both a German label and an Italian one and led to the band reforming, with 2 of the original trio, to release three more albums in the early 1990s. The renewed interest in the band resulted in demos of the unreleased second album finally coming out and then being followed with a further album of demos from 71-72.

All these three releases have been collected together here in this 3-disc collection from the Esoteric label. They come in a foldout digipak with a colour booklet and an essay from Mark Powell.

The main album “Boomland,” is a real powerful blend of hard, folk and prog rock.  T2 were a band who were able to combine all those elements of the different styles and put on top catchy melodies to create pieces that beg for repeated listening. Keith Cross’s guitar work on the album is really sublime, his ability to play not just blistering lead work but also gentle lilting acoustic work too reminds me very much of Paul Rudolph’s work on the first Pink Fairies album. Sadly, Keith wasn’t part of the version of the band that reformed in the 90s. While the album is only four tracks long it does come in at 44 minutes, fairly standard for it’s time. But it’s a shame they didn’t produce a few more pieces.

The second disc has a similar feel to it, the quality and production slightly less polished than Boomland, but then these are demos taken off an acetate so what they might have sounded like in their finished versions we can only imagine. Once again, it’s Keith’s guitar work that really stands out. Perhaps the most surprising thing being that all the tracks from this and the other albums are all credited to Peter Dunton, the drummer and lead vocalist. A lack of input to the writing being given by Keith as a reason to him leaving the band.

By the time we get to the third disc of demos from 71 and 72 there’s only Peter Dunton left from the original line up and the music eases back on the heaviness. Perhaps sounding more like Man, the Pretty Things or late sixties The Who with a more pop sensibility. The band definitely missing Keith’s guitar work.

I found this a very enjoyable collection and I’ve revisited the first two discs plenty of times. I could live without disc three but it’s good to have it from a completeness aspect.

Certainly, a release worth investigating if you enjoy early 70s rock or more recent bands like Wolf People. DB

Contact: www.esotericrecordings.com