It’s a scary time of year. We’ve just had Halloween, when ghosts roam abroad and witches ride on flying broomsticks. And, in a few days time, there will be cacophonous firework displays in the UK in remembrance of Guy Fawkes’ unsuccessful attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. I suppose you could say we’re between broom land and big bang boom land.
But there’s no need to worry. Whether you’re afraid of ancient evil spirits or the modern scourge of viral diseases, the T2 band has assured us that it’ll all work out in boomland. And who would doubt it? After all, a certain Donald J Trump has already defeated the horrible Covid virus in the U.S.A. and the rest of the world can’t far behind. Can it?
The Crotchety research elves have been unable to determine why Pete Dunton (drums, vocals), Bernard Jinks (bass) and Keith Cross (guitar, keyboards) called their band T2 in 1969. (But see the footnote for one possibility.) They were unusual in that their drummer wrote the songs and led the band. Their material, though, was very much the flavour of the period, spanning hard rock and progressive rock. At the turn of the decade they were sharing the rock venue circuit with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Free.
To the Crotchety ear, T2 had more to offer at the melodic ‘prog’ end of rock than the high decibel, ‘hard’ end. J.L.T. from their first album is a particularly fine example.
I can only speculate on the meaning of ‘J.L.T.’. It’s probably not “jam, lettuce, tomato”. Someone’s initials, perhaps. The lyrics suggest a parting of the ways leading to uncertainty and loneliness, so that could be it. Perhaps she is the songsmith’s most significant other. And perhaps the ‘warrant’ in the second line signals J.L.T.’s arrest with the prospect of a prolonged period of confinement in a prison cell for her and a lonely void in the life of the singer. However we interpret it the song has a lovely lilt reminiscent of Caravan at their best.
In the same vein, No More White Horses is more Moody Blues than Deep Purple, featuring both an orchestral interlude and a soaring guitar passage.
The singer is trapped in a land of threatening shadows. Dark spirits are gathering around him. There is no escape route to a brighter place. So here he must stay.
No one is on your side
You’ve got nowhere to hide
There’s no white horse to ride away
The other two tracks on the album are heavier and longer. Circles gives us more than 9 minutes of driving guitar-based rock overlaid with somewhat incongruous mellow vocals. Morning lasts over 21 minutes. It includes enough screaming guitar to satisfy the fans of most heavy rock outfits but it never strays too far from the early prog centre ground.
Over all, It’ll All Work Out In Boomland is one of the finest examples of early 70’s rock available. It is also a relative rarity. If you type its title into Google and click the Shopping link the first offering is priced at £499.99 in UK money. That’s for the original release on vinyl. The re-release and CD versions are more sensibly priced. Back in May, Crotchety Man paid £2.99 [sic] for the download and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
It certainly worked out all right in Crotchety Land.
There is a family of viruses that infect the E. Coli bacterium found in the human gut; they are called T1, T2, etc. These have been studied extensively and the boffins know a lot about them. T4, in particular, is the poster child for the kind of virus that uses a syringe-like mechanism to inject its DNA into its host cell. Perhaps this was the inspiration for the band name. Or perhaps there’s a more prosaic explanation.