Musically, Geordie rockers Fogg are like a low-rent version of Slade due to McPherson’s Noddy Holder croak.
Written by: Eric
ALBUM: This Is It..
SERIAL: EMI EMD 06155
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Derek Rootham – guitar * Chris McPherson – vocals * David Robson – bass * Robert Porteous – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Captain Moonshine * 02 Don’t Get Caught In The Rain * 03 Water In My Wine * 04 Big Star * 05 Livin’ By The Gun * 06 Wind It Up * 07 Horrible Hannah * 08 Northern Song * 09 Winter Sun
I knew the moment I saw this album cover with its German connection, mid-70s bad hair and cool but remarkably cheesy logo, Fogg was something I needed to hear. I was right which I’ll get to in a minute, but what of their history. For starters Fogg were four lads from Newcastle who played pubs and clubs up and down the UK.
They picked up support slots with anyone who would have them, including a local band with big league aspirations that would play a big part in its history – Geordie, legendary doom rock heavies Iron Claw and UFO.
All well and good, but ‘This Is It..’ was only issued in West Germany and didn’t exactly fly out of record shops, despite three single picks. By 1975 the band were still a going concern, but replaced vocalist Chris McPherson with Dave Ditchburn and apparently released a single which took a heavy rock direction, far removed from the glam pop found on the LP.
Musically it’s like a low-rent version of Slade due to McPherson’s Noddy Holder croak, and opener ‘Captain Moonshine’ shows these guys could write good pop while retaining much needed pint-soaked pub rock appeal.
In fact in my minds-eye I can just see the punters swaying back and forth to sing-a-longs like ‘Water In My Wine’ and special mention for six-stringer Derek Rootham whose tastefully melodic ‘reach for the sky’l solos rank right up there with Pilot‘s Ian Bairnson.
The galloping ‘Wind It Up’ is a sure-fire junk shop classic and while most of side two is a mixed bag, including the jaunty ‘Horrible Hannah’ which is as bad as its title, the album is a pleasant mildly average listen that will have big appeal for fans of Paper Lace and ravenous collectors of ’70s glam obscurities.
Following the dissolution of Fogg, Dave Ditchburn replaced future AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson in Geordie but it was short lived. Despite Ditchburn already having written and recorded a brace of tracks Johnson returned to Geordie bringing Fogg’s Derek Rootham, David Robson to the fold and all of which appeared on the patchy 1978 album ‘No Good Woman’.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)