*Special guests include: Steve Carman, James Fox, Charlie Morgan, Davy Paton, Gary “Legs”
Harvey and Richard Stevens
Music swirled through a metamorphosis in the 1970s and Rococo were key players in
that revolution, notably as one of the most advanced of London's progressive rock bands
at the time. Even though they reformed in 2012, only now can much of their material be
made available — and time has done nothing to dim their inspirational sounds, quality of
musicianship and originality of composition. In fact, time has only just caught up with this
Rococo’s first official album release, featuring 12 tracks recorded in the 1970s, is
available on CD and download, thanks to Peter Purnell at Angel Air Records (http://
www.angelair.co.uk/sjpcd337.htm). “Run from the Wildfire" has received rave reviews
from many critics. The album/tracks are also available from iTunes, Amazon, HMV, 7digital,
Emusic, Napster, Rhapsody and other outlets.
The band’s second album, “The Firestorm and other love songs” is also available http://
www.angelair.co.uk/sjpcd370.htm) and that album has equally impressed music mag scribes.
In their heyday, Rococo frequently broke attendance records at top rock venues in London,
including twice setting a highest audience figure at The Marquee Club in Wardour Street .
Featuring Ian Raines (lead vocals), Roy Shipston (keyboards/vocals), Rod Halling (guitar/
vocals), Clive Edwards (drums) and John "Rhino" Edwards on bass guitar, they built up
a devoted following. Disguised as The Brats, they inadvertently became involved in the
vanguard of the Punk movement although Rococo's music was always more adventurous,
varied and intricate, true to its progressive rock roots. However, several of their tracks had
the same energy as The Clash or the Sex Pistols who evolved a few years later.
Young and angry, in 1974 Rococo cruised into the finals of the Melody Maker contest,
using their pseudonym, The Brats, and audaciously advertised the prizewinners’ final at
The Round House, in MM, as "The Brats plus 12 support acts". Consequently, the organisers
deemed not to declare them winners, although they took most of the major prizes. In a
review of the Punk era several years later, the NME described The Brats as "legendary".
Rococo also fired out their advanced material — from two-minute pop songs to lengthy
Rock epics — on the UK club and college circuit. Throughout, they remained true to their
artistic credentials and continued to defy categorisation, switching easily from a country lick
one minute, a pop tune the next and 10-minute classic Gothic prog after that.
They had three singles released: "Ultrastar" (b/w their heavy rock anthem "Wildfire")
on Decca's progressive Deram label in 1973; the novelty Phil Spector spoof "Follow That
Car", with another heavy rock B-side, "Lucinda ", through Mountain Records in 1976 — a
Powerplay on Radio Luxembourg — and "Home Town Girls", their Beach Boys tribute (flip-
side "Quicksilver Mail") under another pseudonym, Future, on a small, independent label in
Now, at last, their first two albums are available, on Angel Air Records. The band is close to
completing a third, new album recorded this century.