The Count Bishops

 
The U.K. Press

Record Mirror

 

RECord MIRROR  -  May 13, 1978
 
THE BISHOPS  -  "Live !"  -  Chiswick CH7

It was as I remembered . . . an eyes - down, straight ahead evening of rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues, back in February at The Roundhouse. A night when The Bishops, or The Count Bishops as they were then known, played a long, blistering set, with the whole house on its feet and were brought back for two more encores . . . and they were only a support band !!!
Their music is timeless, a continuation from the 50's and 60's into the 70's. Some of the songs, "Train Train" and "Baby You're Wrong" for instance, have already surfaced upon vinyl as 45s. But old or new, The Bishops attack each number with the ferocity and verve of a jealous tigress, quick, vicious and perfectly timed.
Another plus is that you won't have to break the bank to get it, it's a snip at 2.50 (don't ask me why) and comes in both 10" and 12" versions. Marketing bulletin over.
A truly live, Live album. + + + +

Kelly PIKE
 

 

RECord MIRROR  -  September 9, 1978
 
THE BISHOPS  -  "I Want Candy"  -  Chiswick NS 376

One of the very few quality, new (or at least recent) R&B bands in existence, The Bishops provide an energy packed, simple number, repetitive enough to stick in the memory without being annoying. Commercial treatment makes it suitable for radio and thus mass acceptance. A hopeful hit.

Kelly PIKE
 

 

RECord MIRROR  -  October 28, 1978
 
STRICTLY PARSONAL  -  Kelly Pike hears The Bishops' confession

SCENE ONE: Pushing open the huge, creaking wooden door, they slowly march through the hallowed halls, footsteps resounding from the cold stone walls. Reaching the altar they ascend, backs to the assembled thousands, and a great hush falls. Suddenly they turn, guitars in hand and burst into "Route 66". The Bishops - live at Westminster Abbey !!!  A publicist's dream.
Scene two: As they stroll onto the famed stage the crowd is awash with hysteria - fans are carried out and those who survive the incredible heat and excitement scream in worship (geddit?). After a scorching set they are brought back for 15 triumphant encores, and yet still the milling millions are not sated. The Bishops play again ... a band's dream.
Scene Three: Back to reality. Backstage at the Music Machine The Bishops are trying to pass the time before they take to the boards.
Tonight they are not a happy crew, for the previous week both band and roadies managed to leave all the guitars behind after playing the Nashville, with the result that they were unaccountably "lost" before they could be claimed.
At Music Machine, those guardian angels Motorhead come to the rescue, lending their gear, so temporarily the problems are solved: with only bassist Pat McMullen getting wound up fearing that some indignant Motorhead follower (a terrifying sight) will think that his Lemmy has been ripped off, and fight his way through to kill, wound or maim the culprit.
While McMullen quivers singer Dave Tice sits in one corner discussing the situation with various members of BF and The Heatwaves, who have perpetrated the security, whilst the remaining three Bishops try to get themselves into a reasonable frame of mind, for the interview.
"I think we play more the newer style R&B, it's more progressive than the older type R&B rock 'n' roll, a little more contemporary" says drummer Paul Balbi, making his first and last contribution to the conversation.
"Rhythm and blues is a very big field you see" adds guitarist Zenon De Fleur (I kid you not). "Even the stuff half the punk bands are doing is R&B hiding under a different name".
"You get any funk song, and put BB King's rhythm section behind it, you'll get the meanest blues around" finishes American import, Johnny Guitar (guess what he plays folks !).
"There's always a market for R&B because there are always people, particularly boys, who just wanna go out on a Saturday night and hear some real live headbanging music. The thing is, whether it's cool for them to go and listen to an R&B band in the first place".
"But basically it's just down to having a good time, whatever the rest of the crowd say" he drawls.
It was the feel which the music gains from live performances which prompted them to release a live album as their second.
"In the beginning we had just recorded the Roundhouse date so that we could put a couple of tracks onto a Chiswick compilation album, but when we heard how it had turned out we decided it would make a better release than if they were redone in a studio" explains Zen.
"In the set we tend to do about half our own numbers and half cover versions . I think it's important to maintain that balance because a lot of people come along to hear the classics alone, as well as those who come for your original stuff".
"We've been playing most of the material for a few years now, taking the songs in and out of the set every so often. The new single is really old. "I Want Candy": it's on the live album, but we released a studio version as the single".
"We've made it more commercial too" concludes Johnny. "Although the last one was getting quite a bit of airplay, it didn't exactly leap into the top five. But we're hoping for more success with this one because we've used a producer who makes songs specifically aimed at the radio. It isn't some kind of candy-pop song, but it is just that bit more acceptable".
"Besides" he says, throwing all artistic integrity to the winds. "What's the use of bringing out a single if you haven't got the radio and charts in mind?"

Kelly PIKE
 

 

RECord MIRROR  -  March 17, 1979
 
This week's get-well-soon goes to The Bishops' guitarist Zenon De Fleur, who managed to bend his Aston Martin (how can someone in such a minor pop combo afford such luxury my dears?) round a lamp-post after a gig in the Nashville last weekend. He's in hospital with a broken collarbone - and anybody would think he was trying to get into The Radio Stars (a group well known for their self mutilation).
 

 

RECord MIRROR  -  April 7, 1979
 
THE BISHOPS

THE BISHOPS: despite the death of guitarist Zenon De Fleur, The Bishops will be releasing a new single "Mr Jones" on April 27 and playing the following dates: Chelmsford Triad Leisure Centre May 2, Leeds Fan Club 3, Hull College Of Education 4, Durham University 5, Cleethorpes Winter Gardens 7, Sheffield Limit 8, Stirling University 10, Aberdeen University 11, Edinburgh Herriot Watt University 12, St Andrews University 13, Chester Arts Centre 14, Portsmouth Polytechnic 17, Dudley JBs 26.
 

 

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