Out of Darkness
From 1968 to 1974 South East London band OUT OF DARKNESS forged a dynamic and energy packed new form of multi-cultural gospel rock music and are now seen as forerunners to spiritually influenced artists such as U2, the Alarm and Ben Harper. They were a UK ‘Gospel Blues Super Group’ with musicians selected at audition. Their first manager Ian Wilkie created the band around guitarist Wray Powell who with bass, keyboards & percussion player Carl Grant were from the black Gospel group the ‘Soul Seekers’. Drummer Tim Anderson, came from the progressive gospel blues band ‘Insight’, as did bassist Bruce Duncan, who joined ‘Out of Darkness’ in 1972. The vocalist and guitarist Tony Goodman came from the band ‘The Pilgrims’.
They started their career playing London rock club venues and regional theatre concerts then toured England and Scotland several times and performed at the National Jazz and Blues Festival. Rock festivals followed with BBC and international radio and TV coverage. They also appeared with Cliff Richard, Marsha Hunt, Quiver, Gravy Train, Terry Dene, Bill Nelson, Gordon Gilltrap, Graham Kendrick, Judy McKenzie and Van Der Graaf Generator.
Originally signed to Key Records in 1969 the band recorded one studio LP Out of Darkness and a live set on the ATV Mobile in Manchester, during the 1970 UK ‘Sound Vision’ tour. Their self titled debut LP is (quite rightly) regarded as an outstanding example of late 60s/early 70s rock music and is, at a (very high) price, highly collectable. After completing a tour of Scotland in 1972 the band returned home and recorded their tour set at the Celebration Cub in Gillingham. The session was arranged by Graham Cray and supervised by BBC engineer Peter Cornelius and it would have been the band’s second album but remained unreleased until Plankton’s Simon Law, who as a fan knew that the band’s records had become very collectable, prompted a search for new material which resulted in the tapes being unearthed by the group’s drummer Tim Anderson. Tim knew Simon and Keith at Plankton from their mutual on-site work at the Greenbelt Arts Festival and in 1993, 21 years after the recording took place, The Celebration Club Session CD was at last released. The Plankton CD features historically important material stretching out from Hendrix style heavy riffs to Afro rock percussion. It is lyrically diverse, not many bands lamented the pain caused by drug addition, celebrated creation and dealt with racism in the early 1970s!
In their six-year history OUT OF DARKNESS performed with seven different line-ups. The first LP was recorded by line-up version four and the Celebration Club Session features line-ups five and six, but for many fans of the band, the Celebration Club Band is the favourite.
Vocalist, lead guitarist and writer Wray Powell sadly passed away on 14th January 2015 at his hoe in Jamaica following a short illness. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered. In tribute to Wray, we created a video using the opening track from The Celebration Club Session album. Here is the link to the video http://youtu.be/3WnENDFkJ0w
The Celebration Club Session album is also now available on all leading digital music download and streaming sites worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon
“The Celebration Club Session” CD (Limited edition)
Released 1993 Cat No: PCDN 138. Available in on-line shop
OTHER PLANKTON ALBUMS Featuring OUT OF DARKNESS
“Plankton, The First 20 Years” CD
Released 1998 Cat No: PCDN153. Available in the on-line shop