Goliath was an English jazz-rock/soul band from Manchester that released a self-titled album on CBS in 1970.

Members: Linda Rothwell (vocals), Malcolm Grundy (guitar), Joseph Rosbotham (woodwinds), John Williamson (bass), Eric Eastman (drums, percussion)


Goliath evolved from the unrecorded Mancunian act Petrus Booncamp, which featured guitarist–bassist John Williamson and singers Linda Rothwell and Roy Robinson. Linda sang beforehand in The Lemon Line, which cut a 1967 orchestral pop single on Decca. Petrus Booncamp gigged in Germany before Robinson departed for Norwegian hard-rockers Titanic.

Williamson and Rothwell returned to Manchester and formed Goliath with guitarist Malcolm Grundy, drummer–vibraphonist Eric Eastman, and saxophonist–flutist Joseph Rosbotham. The new band purveyed a jazz-inflected soul-rock style akin to fellow female-fronted acts Room, Dada, and Delivery.


Goliath was released in 1970 on CBS (UK/Aus.) Eight of the nine songs are originals, including “Men”, “Prism,” “No More Trash,” and “Festival of Light.” Side one climaxes with the 10-minute “Hunters Song.” The frenetic opener, “Port and Lemon Lady,” was issued on 7″ (b/w “I Heard About a Friend“). The album’s one cover, “Maajun (A Taste of Tangier),” was written by folk artist Davy Graham.

Goliath was engineered at CBS Studio, London, by Mike FitzHenry (Gun, Andwella’s Dream, Skin Alley, Heaven, Matching Mole, Ray Russell Quartet). The cover features a bent, discarded cigarette, shot foreground to resemble a giant, ruptured saxophone.

Musically, the songs are characterized by staccato fretboard runs, angular rhythmic patterns, and the frontal presence of Rosbotham’s spicy woodwinds and Rothwell’s husky vocals. Though it would be their only album, Goliath’s signature style was subsequently echoed in the bands Catapilla and Fusion Orchestra.

Later Activity

Williamson resurfaced in Titanic for their 1975 fourth album Ballad of a Rock ‘N Roll Loser. In the 1990s, he cut two albums with blues-rockers The Skeleton Crew (not the 1980s-era combo of Fred Frith and Tom Cora). Linda Rothwell cut a pair of 1972–73 singles on the Chapter 1 label. She later moved stateside and became a fitness instructor.

Goliath first reappeared in 2004 on the Spanish pirate label Estrella Rockera. In 2012, the title was officially reissued by UK archivists Aurora (CD) and Sweet Dandelion (vinyl).



1 thought on “Goliath

  1. Musically, Goliath were fueled with spiky sax charts, hyperactive snare rolls, shredder-intense fret-board runs, and the powerhouse voice of Linda Rothwell.

    Comparisons are easily made to contemporary female-fronted jazz-rock/blues-rock bands like Delivery and Room, but the maturity of counterpoint and clarity of instrumentation on Goliath’s sole album places the Mancunian act several years ahead of the curve. In retrospect, Rothwell and Co. could be viewed as the stylistic antecedent to the likewise contrapuntal, femme-belted Fusion Orchestra.

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