Toe Fat

Toe Fat was an English hard-rock/blues band that released a self-titled album on Parlophone in 1970, followed by a second on Regal Zonophone in 1971. The band was led by first-generation rock n’ roller Cliff Bennett and briefly included drummer Lee Kerslake and keyboardist Ken Hensley, en route to their lengthy stints in Uriah Heep.

Members: Cliff Bennett (guitar, vocals), John Konas (bass, 1969-70), Lee Kerslake (drums, 1969-70), Ken Hensley (keyboards, vocals, 1969-70), John Glascock (bass, 1970-72), Alan Kendall (guitar, 1970-72), Brian Glascock (drums, 1970-72), Mick Hawksworth (bass), Tony Fernandez (drums, 1972), Mick Clarke (guitar, 1972), Lynton Naiff (keyboards, vocals, 1972)


Bennett assembled Toe Fat in 1969 after the breakup of Cliff Bennett & His Band, which issued the R&B/beat album Cliff Bennett Branches Out in 1968 on Parlophone. His career stretched back to 1957, when he formed the rock ‘n’ roll band Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, which issued multiple 1961–66 singles on Parlophone and charted with “One Way Love” and a cover of The Beatles‘ “Got to Get You Into My Life.”

For his new band, Bennett teamed with guitarist and keyboardist Ken Hensley, who was fresh off a four-year stint with The Gods, which released the 1968/69 albums Genesis and To Samuel a Son and made a third, Orgasm, under the name Head Machine. Hensley invited the Gods’ rhythm section: bassist John Glascock and drummer Lee Kerslake.

In a quest for the most disgusting possible band name, Toe Fat was picked by Bennett over a dinner brainstorm with his manager.

1970: Toe Fat

Toe Fat released their self-titled album in May 1970 on Parlophone. It features six songs by Bennett, including “I Can’t Believe,” “The Wherefores and the Whys,” and “Working Nights.” The album also features a co-write with Rebel Rouser Frank Allen (“That’s My Love for You”) and a cover of the early Elton John b-side “Bad Side of the Moon.”

Toe Fat was produced by Jonathan Peel (not the BBC Radio 1 DJ), who also produced 1970 albums by The Greatest Show on Earth, Gravy Train, Orange Bicycle, and Panama Limited. The engineer, Peter Mew, also worked on contemporary titles by the Edgar Broughton Band, Kevin Ayers, Syd Barrett, and the Third Ear Band. Musician Mox Gowland (Mayfield’s Mule) plays harmonica and flute on select tracks. Glascock’s bass is erroneously credited to Joe Konas, a brief early member.

Hipgnosis designed the Toe Fat cover, which shows four disrobed human figures (two foreground, two afar) on a beach with giant thumbs in lieu of heads. Stateside, the album was issued on Motown-subsidiary Rare Earth with a sheep in place of the two far figures.

“Bad Side of the Moon” was issued as a single, alternately backed with “Working Nights” (Parlophone) and “Just Like Me” (Rare Earth).

Between the first and second Toe Fat albums, Hensley joined Spice, which immediately changed its name to Uriah Heep. Kerslake joined the National Head Band and reteamed with Hensley in Heep in 1971. Bennett enlisted guitarist Alan Kendall (ex-Glass Menagerie) and drummer Brian Glascock, John’s brother.


Toe Fat released their second album, Two, in November 1970 on Regal Zonophone. Bennett and Kendall co-wrote seven songs, including “Idol,” “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Midnight Sun,” and the opening track “Stick Heat.” The second number, “A New Way,” is a Kendall lone-write.

Sessions took place at EMI Studios with Peel, Pew, and assistant engineer John Barratt. Guitarist Peter Green, who’d just exited Fleetwood Mac, plays guitar (uncredited) on “A New Way.” John Glascock is once again misidentified as Konas. Mox returns as the band’s fifth wheel.

The Hipgnosis cover shows a close-up pile of fish and fruit, arranged to resemble a decomposing dinosaur.

Toe Fat released one further single, the non-album “Brand New Band” (b/w “Can’t Live Without You”), in 1972 on Parlophone.


  • Toe Fat (1970)
  • Toe Fat Two (1971)


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