Heaven was an English brass-rock band that played the 1969 and 1970 Isle of Wight festivals. In 1971, they made the double-album Brass Rock 1, released on CBS in a lavish six-fold sleeve. It features the talents of trombonist David Horler (Michael Gibbs, Garuda, Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination & Brass, Kenny Wheeler Big Band) and trumpeter Butch Hudson (Mike Batt Orchestra, Gordon Giltrap).

Members: Malcolm Vic “Nobby” Glover (drums, 1968-71), Dave Gautrey (trumpet, flugelhorn, 1968-71), Ray King (baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, vocals, 1968-71), Brian Kemp (bass, vocals, 1968-70), Andy Scarisbrick (guitar, vocals, 1968-70), Ray “Ollie” Holloway (tenor saxophone, flute, 1968-70), Mick Cooper (keyboards, 1968-70), Terry Scott (vocals, 1970-72), John Gordon (bass, 1970-71), Barry Paul (guitar, 1970, 1971-72), Eddie Harnett (guitar, 1970-71), David Horler (keyboards, trombone, 1970-71), Butch Hudson (trumpet, flugelhorn, 1970-71), Derek Somerville (saxophone, flute, trombone, 1970-71), Norman Leppard (saxophone, flute, 1971-72), Martin Drover (trumpet, 1971-?), John Bennett (trombone, 1971-?), Mickey Feat (bass, 1971), Ronnie Thomas (bass, 1971-72), Micky Finn (guitar, 1971-72), Brian Johnston (keyboards, 1971-72), Pete Phipps (drums, 1971-72), Keith Boyce (drums, 1972)

Heaven Mk I

Heaven formed in Gosport in the summer of 1968 as an offshoot of local soulsters the Universal Trash Band. The original lineup consisted of guitarist/singer Andy Scarisbrick, bassist Brian Kemp, organist Mick Cooper, saxophonist Ray Holloway, multi-reedist Ray King, trumpeter Dave Gautrey, and drummer Malcolm “Nobby” Glover.

The band, whose members ranged in age from 17 to 23, were managed by Ricky Martin. (His prior client, Coconut Mushroom, recorded for The Beatles‘ Apple label but never made it to vinyl. Their vocalist, Colin Carter, later fronted Flash, formed by guitarist Peter Banks after he left Yes.)

In September 1968, Heaven hit the south sea club and college circuit with a set comprised primarily of US West Coast psych rock (Love, Moby Grape, Strawberry Alarm Clock). On stage, Cooper drew attention in his trademark monk’s cowl.

Heaven frequently played Southampton University and the Portsmouth venues Kimbells and The Parlour. Three months after forming, they shared a bill with Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera at the Highbury Technical College Dance. Other double-bills that fall included shows with Skip Bifferty, Status Quo, and a holiday engagement at the South Parade Pier with Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Idle Race. In January, Heaven was voted the second best Portsmouth band in the Portsmouth  News readers poll.

During the first half of 1969, Heaven played double-bills in Southampton with Amen Corner and The Move and traveled out of town for shows at the Van Dyke Club, Plymouth (with Jethro Tull); Keynes College, Bristol (with East of Eden); Sussex University (with Free); and Reading University (with Deep Purple and Juicy Lucy).

In August 1969, they played the second annual Isle of Wight festival, a three-day event at Woodside Bay on the Channel island with performances by the Battered Ornaments, Blodwyn Pig, Blonde on Blonde, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Edgar Broughton Band, Joe Cocker, Aynsley Dunbar, Eclection, FamilyFat Mattress, Gypsy, Marsha Hunt, Marsupilami, Mighty Baby, The Moody Blues, The Nice, Pentangle, The Pretty Things, the Third Ear Band, and The Who. Heaven played the opening slot on day one (Friday the 29th), before the arrival of most of the festival’s 150,000 attendees.

Days later, Heaven entered Spark Records studio on Denmark Street, London, to make their first recording. They cut nine psychedelic songs, drawing from their recent stockpile of originals, include four by Kemp (“Bastard Child,” “You Will Be Free,” “The Gardener,” “Old Mad Walter”), two by Scarisbrick (“Our Plan for You,” “White Dove”), one Kemp/Gautrey co-write (“The Invisible City of Kartesh”), and a Donovan cover (“Wear Your Love Like Heaven”).

Spark supplied Heaven with one song of unidentified origin, “The Day That Judy Came to Stay,” believed to have chart potential. However, the Spark tapes got placed in the vaults.

In late 1969, Heaven came to a halt when Scarisbrick, Kemp, Cooper, and Holloway left the band.

Heaven Mk II

In early 1970, King, Gautrey, and Glover reassembled Heaven with three members of unrecorded Portsmouth popsters Paper: guitarist Barry Paul, bassist John Gordo, and singer Terry Scott Jr. Inspired by the recent Frank Zappa release Hot Rats, Heaven incorporated jazz-rock into their style.

On February 5, Heaven played a benefit concert for the Cardiff Arts Centre Project at the Sofia Gardens Pavilion. Pink Floyd headlined the event, which also featured performances by Black Sabbath, Quintessence, Tea and Symphony, Daddy Longlegs, Ron Geesin, and singer-songwriter Gary Farr. The next day, they played a Southampton student’s charity with Farr, the Bonzo Dog Band, and Hardin & York.

Festival compere Rikki Farr (Gary’s brother) took over as Heaven’s manager and secured them a slot at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. By then, Paul cleared out for guitarist and songwriter Eddie Harnett, a late-period member of Merseyside beatsters The Mojos, best known for their 1964 hit “Everything’s Al’right.”

Heaven expanded to a nine-piece with the addition of trombonist/keyboardist Dave Horler, trumpeter Butch Hudson, and trombonist/reedist Derek Somerville.

Horler played on the 1969 Polydor jazz release Bones Galore. Most recently, he appeared on Deram jazz titles by Paul Gonsalves and Michael Gibbs.

Hudson guested on the 1969 album A Step Further by Savoy Brown and played on Ascension Heights, the only proper solo album by original Yardbirds guitarist Top Topham. In 1970, he played on the Philips free jazz release Open Music by Bob Downes.

Horler and Hudson both appear on Echoes Surround Me, the 1970 second album by singer Gerry McClelland, released on the Christian label Pilgrim Music. Their presence gave Heaven a brassier sound akin to the big band jazz-rock of Colosseum, IF, the Keef Hartley Band, and the American groups Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, and Ten Wheel Drive.

Heaven played on the fifth day (Sunday, August 30) of the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, which also featured performances by Black Widow, Cactus, Chicago, The Doors, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Family, Free, Gracious, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Lighthouse, Miles Davis, Procol Harum, Sly & the Family Stone, Supertramp, Taste, Ten Years After, Terry Reid, The Voices of East Harlem, and The Who.

During Heaven’s set, a giant helium balloon escaped from its ties and landed in front of the stage, obscuring the band to parts of the audience. Soon after that event, Heaven signed to CBS Records.

Brass Rock 1

In June 1971, Heaven released the double-album Brass Rock 1 in the UK, Italy, and Oceania. Harnett composed four numbers (“Things I Should’ve Been,” “Never Say Die,” “Come Back,” “Got to Get Away”) and co-wrote “This Time Tomorrow” with Scott. Gordon contributed the side two sweeper “Song for Chaos.” Side three consists of three group-written numbers: “Morning Coffee,” “Number One (Last Request),” and the bluesy “Number Two (Down at the Mission).” Rikki Farr wrote the folksy penultimate number “Dawning.”

Farr produced Brass Rock 1 with CBS staffer Mike FitzHenry, who worked on 1969–71 label titles by Andwella’s Dream, Amory Kane, Gun, Ray Russell, and Skin Alley. FitzHenry subsequently engineered the two Matching Mole albums. This would be Farr’s only production credit apart from What Do You Want From Live, the 1978 live double-album by American shock-rockers The Tubes.

Original copies of Brass Rock 1 are housed in a 12-sided foldout sleeve that, when extended, forms a cross. The outer-spread shows group and member pics surrounded in black with white credits (italicized). The inner-spread shows the band standing at the foot of a totem pole under an orange sky.

Cover designer John Hays (Argent, Soft Machine) conceived the package — one of the most elaborate in CBS’s history — with photographer Keith MacMillan (aka Keef), who did numerous covers for Vertigo and RCA/Neon acts, including Beggars Opera, Warhorse, Hannibal, Rod Stewart, Tonton Macoute, Raw Material (Time Is…), Spring (Spring), Manfred Mann Chapter Three (Volume Two), and Colosseum (Valentyne Suite).

CBS issued no singles from the album, reserving their promotional budget for full-page ads in the music papers. However, the label issued a promo 7″, also titled Brass Rock 1, that contains two sides of biographical information on the band and its deal with CBS.

Days after Brass Rock 1 hit the shelves, Heaven appeared on the last installment (7/8/71) of the BBC2 music series Disco 2, the precursor of The Old Grey Whistle Test

“Things I Should’ve Been” appears on the 1971 Japanese promo comp Epic Special Album with cuts by Al Stewart, Michel Polnareff, Skid Row, Soft Machine, and fellow brass-rockers Chase.

Heaven Mk III

Soon after the release of Brass Rock 1, Farr replaced King, Horler, and Somerville with reedist Norman Leppard (ex-One), trumpeter Martin Drover (Keef Hartley Band), and trombonist John Bennett (Gass). This lineup did a string of summer shows in Munich and Frankfurt, Germany. In late 1971, Gordon and Harnett left Heaven. The further depatures of Nobby and Gautrey left the band with no original members.

In 1972, Scott retained Leppard for a third Heaven, which also included guitarist Mickey Waller (ex-Mickey Finn & the Blue Men), bassist Ronnie Thomas (ex-Leaf Hound), keyboardist Brian Johnstone (ex-The Senate, Electric Banana), and drummer Pete Phipps. They toured Europe with the Jeff Beck Group and issued one CBS single: Waller’s “Hangin’ On” (b/w the group-composed “Funny Lines”), co-produced by Farr and Martin Clarke.

During a stint in St. Tropez, where Phipps cleared out for drummer Keith Boyce (formerly with Long John Baldery), Scott decided to stay in France. He signed to the French CBS branch as a solo artist while Finn, Thomas, and Boyce returned to London and formed a new band, the Heavy Metal Kids, with singer Gary Holton.

After Heaven

Terry Scott Jr. re-teamed with Johnstone in the Spamm Band, which cut a 1976 album on French CBS. His solo album, Survivor, appeared on that label in 1979. Two years later, he reunited with Waller for the single “Whisky Bar (999 Years),” credited as the Scott | Finn Band. Scott also sang on the 1982 self-titled synthpop album by Paris France Transit, released on the French Vogue label.

John Gordon briefly resurfaced in 1974 with rustic-rockers Highway. He later backed ex-Animals organist Alan Price.

Brian Johnstone played with Finn and Thomas in Leggs, the backing band of chanson singer-songwriter Nino Ferrer. In 1975, Johnstone played on Say It Ain’t So, the second album by singer/actor Murray Head. He followed the Spamm Band with a stint in Streetwalkers and later played on Roger Chapman‘s mid-’80s solo albums.

David Horler played on the 1976 release Garuda, performed with trumpeter Henry Lowther and percussionist Frank Ricotti. He also played on ’70s albums by Kenny Wheeler, Brian Protheroe (I/You), and the Manhattan Transfer.

Martin Drover played on ’70s albums by Maynard Ferguson, Bryan Ferry, Gordon Giltrap, Andy Fairweather Low, Hudson-Ford, Sonny Worthing, and the Real Thing.

Pete Phipps joined the backing band of Gary Glitter, which recorded separately as the Glitter Band. He then joined the post-punk band Random Hold and played on their 1979–82 output. During the ’80s, he played on albums by Mike Rutherford, Eurythmics, XTC (Mummer, The Big Express), and a solo single by Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwell.

Barry Paul joined the Heavy Metal Kids (after Waller left the band) for their 1977 third album Kitsch. After an early ’80s stint with Savoy Brown, he formed Caesar with Boyce and guitarist Bob Weston (Ashkan, Fleetwood Mac).

Brian Kemp surfaced in new wavers Mark Andrews and The Gents, led by Joe Jackson‘s pre-fame colleague in Arms and Legs. They released the album Big Boy on A&M in 1980.

Kemp died in a roadside accident in 1992. His death prompted Cooper, Holloway, Scarisbrick, Glover, and Somerville to reunited Heaven for a one-off tribute performance.

Reissues and Archives

Brass Rock 1 first appeared on CD in 1996 on the short-lived German label Golden Classic Rebirth. This and a subsequent pressing on Green Tree Records (Germany, 2005) add the 1972 single as bonus tracks. The album has also been reissued as a CD on Esoteric Recordings (UK, 2008) and as a double-LP on Tapestry Records (Liechtenstein, 2013), both without bonus tracks.

In 2019, Sony Records Int’l (Japan) reissued the album as a double CD, complete with bonus tracks, as part of that region’s Sony Music Progressive Rock Paper Sleeve Collection series, which also includes titles by Heaven’s UK contemporaries Centipede, Dando Shaft, Fair Weather, Fresh Maggots, and US brass-rockers The Flock, plus the Italian bands Area and Arti e Mestieri.

The 1969 Spark recordings have never been issued on any physical format, though they can be heard online at the British Music Archive website.


  • Brass Rock 1 (2LP, 1971)
  • “Hangin’ On” / “Funny Lines” (1972)


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