Bakery

Bakery was an Australian post-psychedelic rock band from Perth that released two singles and performed on the 1971 Astor release Rock Mass for Love. In 1972, they released the lauded hard-rock album Momento.

Members: Peter Walker (guitar), Mal Logan (keyboards, 1970), Hank Davis (drums, 1970-72), John Worrall (vocals, flute, 1970-72), Eddie McDonald (bass, 1970-72), Rex Bullen (keyboards, 1971), Tom Davidson (vocals, 1971), Mark Verschuer (vocals, 1971-73), Peter Ewing (organ, vocals, 1972), Steve Hogg (bass, vocals, 1972-73), Phil Lawson (bass, 1973), Jackie Orszáczky (bass, 1973-75), Barry Leef (vocals, 1973-75)


Background

Bakery formed in early 1970 in Perth, where local singer John Worrall teamed with (ex-Jelly Roll Bakers) guitarist Peter Walker and three New Zealand transplants: keyboardist Mal Logan, bassist Eddie McDonald, and drummer Hank Davis.

Logan hailed from Auckland garage rockers The Rebels, which cut two singes and the 1969 album Madrigal on Impact Records>. McDonald and Davis graduated from Wellington beatsters The Avengers, which cut multiple singles and two 1968–69 studio albums (Electric Recording, Medallion) on His Master’s Voice> (no connection to the contemporary Brisbane outfit that issued two 1969 singles on Columbia>).

As ‘The Bakery’ (a possible reference to Walker’s prior band) they landed their first deal with RCA Victor. Worrall left for the Columbia one-off Ssarb (“Bubulunga”) and settled in Perth popsters Fatty Lumpkin. Bakery hired singer Tom Davidson.


1971 Singles

In February 1971, The Bakery released their first single: “Leave Scruffy Alone,” a Davidson original backed with “Bloodsucker,” a Deep Purple cover. The single peaked at No. 8 during a twelve-week stay on the local chart in Perth, where “Bloodsucker” received more airplay.

Bakery signed with Astor Records, a Melbourne-base label with domestic rights to classic UK Pye titles by The Kinks, Donovan, The Searchers, Status Quo, and Petula Clark. Logan jumped ship to blues-rocker Carson. Bakery hired keyboardist Rex Bullen, a onetime member of Canberra beatsters The Bitter Lemons with future journalist Paul Lyneham.

In July 1971, Bakery released their second single: “No Dying In the Dark,” an organ-swirling riff-rocker backed with “Trust In the Lord,” both group-written numbers. “No Dying In the Dark” reached No. 16 in Perth.


Rock Mass for Love

In August 1971, Astor issued Rock Mass for Love, the first album attributed to Bakery.

The album consists of a twelve-track mass, recorded live before 6,000 people on March 21, 1971, at St. George’s Cathedral in Perth.

It opens with the recent b-side (full title: “Entry Song ‘Trust In the Lord’”). Tom Davidson also wrote the closing track (“Blessing and Last Song ‘Do You Really Care?’”) and co-wrote “Consider the Heavens (Based on Psalm 8)” with Rex Bullen. Apart from a Hollies cover (“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”), the remaining compositions are credited to jazz bandleader Bruce Devenish, who shares drum duties with Bakery’s Hank Davis.

Malcolm Devenish engineered Rock Mass for Love, which features Bakery bassist Eddy McDonald and a three-piece horn section. The album jump-started the local trend of religious rock, predating the first Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar. In North America, Rock Mass for Love appeared on MCA (US) and Decca (Canada).

After the album’s release, Davidson cleared for ex-Barrelhouse singer Mark Verschuer.


Momento 

Bakery released their proper album, Momento, in August 1972 on Astor.

Guitarist–harpist Peter Walker wrote the interlude “Pete for Jennie” and the first half of Side B: “S.S. Bounce” and “The Gift.”

Singer Mark Verschuer wrote the remainder of Side B and the two epics of Side A: “Holocaust” and “”Living With a Memory.”

Walker shares backing vocals with Rex Bullen, who plays piano and Hammond organ.

A1. “Holocaust” (9:24)
A2. “Pete for Jennie” (1:30)
A3. “Living With a Memory” (8:52)
B1. “S.S. Bounce” (4:19)
B2. “The Gift” (7:59)
B3. “When I’m Feeling” (2:19)
B4. “Faith to Sing a Song” (7:25
)

Sessions took place in November 1971 at TCS Studios in Richmond, Victoria, where Walker produced Momento in the presence of returning engineer Malcolm Devenish, who also worked on the 1972 Spin Records release Of All the Wounded People… by the folk duo Carrl & Janie Myriad.

Momento is housed in a gatefold sleeve with a blue-scale spread that shows headphones around a photo-adorned box (front) with the cord attached to a cutout picture of Walker’s head (back). The monochrome inner-spread shows a vintage reel-to-reel machine with placed head cutouts of Walker (left reel) and Verschuer (right).


Later Activity

After Momento, keyboardist Paul Ewing replaced Rex Bullen, who joined original Bakery singer John Worrall in Fatty Lumpkin. Meanwhile, Eddie McDonald cleared for bassist Steve Hogg, a veteran of multiple acts (Juke, King Biscuit Company, Nostra Damus).

With the departure of Verschuer, Bakery continued as a four-piece: Walker, Davis, Ewing, and Hogg. This lineup focused on the East Coast, where they built a live following. In January 1973, they performed at the second Sunbury Pop Festival, a three-day event (Jan. 27–29) at George Duncan’s farm in Diggers Rest with MC Paul Hogan and sets by Blackfeather, Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Carson, Coloured Balls, Band of Light, Coloured Balls, Flying Circus, MacKenzie Theory, Mississippi, Sid Rumpo, Spectrum, and fifties Aussie rock ‘n’ roll icon Johnny O’Keefe. 

Bakery’s performance of “Living with a Memory” (12:12) is the closing track on Mushroom Records’ inaugural release, The Great Australian Rock Festival Sunbury 1973, a three-record document of the event.

In February, Bakery hired Kiwi singer Barry Leef, formerly of Wellington pop-psychsters The Simple Image. By August, Hogg cleared for bassist Jackie Orszaczky, formerly of Hungarian jazz-rockers Syrius. Meanwhile, Frank Zappa noticed Leef’s vocal prowress during the summer 1973 Australian tour by the Mothers of Invention (their first visit to the country). Zapp invited Leef to join the Mothers in the US, but contracual issues prevented this.

Bakery continued as a live act until February 1975, when they split with no further recordings.


After Bakery

Peter Walker produced late-seventies albums by Benjamin Hugg, Cold Chisel, Jeff St. John, Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, Mike McClellan, and Stiletto. He also played in the Barry Leef Band, which cut the 1975–76 singles “Last Song” (b/w “Three Minute Hero”) and “To Be Back Home” (b/w “What Do You Want?”) on Festival–Infinity.

Orszaczky teamed with Blackfeather guitarist John Robinson on the 1975 jazz-rock album Beramiada and joined the backing band of American-born Australian soul-pop singer Marcia Hines.


Discography:

  • Momento (1971)
  • Rock Mass for Love (1971)

Sources:

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