T2 was an English hard-rock/psych trio from London that released the album It’ll All Work Out in Boomland on Decca in 1970.
The band evolved out of Bulldog Breed, in which bassist Bernie Jinks played on the album Made In England prior to the arrival of guitarist Keith Cross and drummer/vocalist Pete Dunton.
In 1972, Cross cut the album Bored Civilians with guitarist/vocalist Peter Ross. Recordings for a second T2 album surfaced decades after the fact on CDs issued by archivists Essex and Acme.
Members: Pete Dunton (vocals, drums), Bernie Jinks (bass, 1970-71), Keith Cross (guitar, 1970), John Weir (bass, ?-1972), Andy Bown (guitar, ?-1972), Mike Foster (bass, 1975-present), Alex Friedman (guitar), Gordon Crump (keyboards), Ray Lee (guitar)
T2 launched at the start of 1970 when Jinks and Cross, both formerly of Bulldog Breed, formed a power trio with Dunton, an earlier bandmate of Jinks.
The partnership of Jinks and Dunton began in 1967, when they formed the psych-rock band Neon Pearl during a stay in Germany. Once they got back to London, they made a long-vaulted album, then reconfigured as Please, a group that underwent three incarnations.
The second formation of Please (late 1968–early 1969) produced an album’s worth of material with guitarist Rod Harrison and (ex-Flies) singer Robin Hunt. When Dunton traded places with Gun drummer Louie Farrell, Please changed its name to Bulldog Breed and released the album Made In England and the accompanying single “Portcullis Gate” in late 1969 on Deram Nova.
By the time of that album’s release, Harrison cleared out for 17-year-old guitar prodigy Keith Cross. (Harrison later resurfaced in Asgærd.) Jinks soon left Bulldog Breed and reteamed with Dunton in a third formation of Please, which recorded another album that also got vaulted.
At the end of 1969, Jinks and Dunton grouped with Cross in a new trio, Morning. Once they learned the name was taken, they renamed their act T2 after the WWII oil tanker. Their initial manager, John Morphew, secured them a £10,000 advance from Decca.
It’ll All Work Out in Boomland
T2 released It’ll All Work Out in Boomland in July 1970 on Decca. Side one begins with the thunderous riff of “In Circles” and proceeds through the pastoral textures of “J.L.T.” An eight-minute reinvention of “No More White Horses,” originally cut by Please, concludes the side. The 21-minute epic “Morning” consumes side two. Dunton composed all four numbers.
T2 produced and arranged the album with assistance from Peter Johnson, who also worked with the folk trio Whistler. It’ll All Work Out in Boomland has four engineers: Mike Butcher (Black Sabbath, Egg, Flash, Gnidrolog), Robin Black (Jethro Tull, Supertramp, Blodwyn Pig, Red Dirt), Roger Quested (Chicken Shack, Audience, Trees, Trapeze), and tea-boy-turned-studio-tech John Burns, who later produced albums by Genesis, Atlantis, Dog Soldier, and Refugee.
Designer Peter Thaine did the cover illustration. It depicts a meadow with colorful tall grass and leafless trees. A fishermen sails the lake in a custom-cut canoe while a jazz-handed figure scurries foreground. Two plum-domed gazebos peek out from the blue-sky backdrop. Thaine also did albums visuals for 1969/70 titles by Ralph McTell, Tea and Symphony, and Jody Grind (Far Canal).
T2 demoed material for a second album that never came to fruition. Acetates from these sessions were later rescued for the album T.2., released by UK archivists Essex Records in 1997. It features seven Dunton originals, including two hard rock numbers (“Highway,” “CD”) and two pastoral pieces (“Timothy Monday,” “The Minstrel“). Side two consists of the acidic jam “Fantasy” and the 14-minute epic “T2.”
In 1998, post-psych specialists Belle Antique (Japan) issued the album on CD as Fantasy. The disc appeared again in 2000 on Acme, a UK specialty label that also unearthed recordings by Neon Pearl and Please. In 2011, Acme reissued the T.2. album under a third title, 1970.
As 1970 spilled into 1971, Cross and Jinks left T2. Dunton replaced them with guitarist Andrew Bown and bassist John Weir. This lineup, which toured into the following year, recorded an album’s worth of Dunton originals but couldn’t secure a major label release.
In 2012, Acme released 1971-72, consisting of nine songs from the Bown/Weir period, including “The Clown,” “The Gambler,” “Into the Red,” and the 14-minute epic “PDQ.”
In 1990, Deram Japan reissued It’ll All Work Out in Boomland on CD for the first time as part of the region’s Glory of British Rock series, which also included titles by Black Cat Bones, Zakarrias, ARC, Spriguns, The Parlour Band, Room, Gnidrolog (Lady Lake), and Bread Love and Dreams.
The renewed interest in T2 prompted three new CDs between 1992 and 1994, all released on the German label World Wide Records:
- Second Bite — High-tech re-recordings of then-unreleased material from the second and third albums (“Highway,” “Questions and Answers”) plus newer tracks like “Losing Your Way” and the 22-minute “Age 2 Age.”
- Waiting for the Band — Live versions of old favorites and four new studio tracks, performed by Dunton with younger musician Ray Lee (guitar) and Mike Foster (bass).
- On the Frontline — New songs and a re-recording of “Fantasy,” produced at Brookfield Studios by the Lee/Foster lineup.
World Wide Records also reissued It’ll All Work Out in Boomland with “Questions and Answers,” “CD,” and “In Circles” added to the track list.
Cross teamed with guitarist/vocalist Peter Ross for the 1971 single “Can You Believe It” (b/w “Blind Willie Johnson”), followed by the 1972 album Bored Civilians, both released on Decca.
Dunton cut the psychedelic rock single “Taking Time” (b/w “Still Confused”), produced by Dave Edmunds and released in 1973 on RCA.