Gary Derrick talks about the birth of Odin of London

It all started in 1971, whilst watching the Royal Variety Performance on TV. I saw Donny Osmond performing, I thought I could do that. I bought a guitar, and tuition book from a friends mums catalogue, at the cost £20, paying weekly for it.

Soon I found other people to play with, playing The Beatles and Shadows songs. As time went by, we found that we had 3 guitar players and a drummer, but no bass guitar. As I was the only one who at the time had any money, I bought a bass guitar.

We then had a band. It was called Tarot. On a band outing to the Reading Festival 1978, feeling we should have been playing there by now. It was time to quit. As Tarot fell apart. I set about a new project.

A chance meeting with an old school friend Steve Connolly (the drummer from the school band) Steve knew a guitarist, who in turn knew a singer and keyboard player. We gigged for a while doing covers and a few original songs.  Derek the keyboard player liked writing tunes and I liked writing lyrics, so we set about writing a set. As time went on all the songs were originals. 

The guitarist decided to leave, (His wife did not like the idea of groupies, chance would be a fine thing.) So we had to find a replacement. Colin Tench turned up with a twin neck guitar, and John just played and impressed. We decided to keep both. Odin became a 6 piece. This gave us the chance to do more harmony guitar parts. John had been quite successful in other bands. Playing with the likes of Geno Washington, Black Widow, And some others that I can’t bring to mind. So he was great to play with, having been a pro musician. 

 The singer and drummer then became unreliable, so, had to be replaced. Cliff came to audition with some other drummers. Cliff turned up early, (he does not like being late) He started to set his kit up in the corridor, while we tried out another guy. We went out to get him, and he had put his kit away again. He said “ That guy must have got the job” We convinced him to audition anyway, we are glad we did. 

Lastly, Luke, we found from an advert in Melody Maker. His voice sounded like he had given everything all night, but it was like that all the time. The latest incarnation of Odin was complete.

We continued to play the London pub circuit and a couple of colleges. We recorded as often as time and money would allow. The songs that we played ended up on the albumThe London Tapes” 

Although Derek and myself wrote most of the tunes, we always used kick a song around until it worked. We found that if everyone had input, we got the best that we could from a song. The rest, as they say, is history……

1. Alcatraz 06:34
2. Raven 02:56
3. Eagles 04:53
4. Change 02:40
5. Dead of Night 04:51
6. Catherine 07:28
7. Alcatraz (feat. Tony Butler) 06:42
8. Gentle Friend (feat. John Culley) 03:40

The poster was hand-drawn by Anne Tench.

Odin of Lonon
Derek Sanderson  Keyboards and tunes.
Cliff Deighton, Drums 
John Culley, Guitar 
Colin Tench, Guitar 
Carl (Luke) Lucas. Vocals
Gary Derrick Bass Guitar and lyrics.

The London Tapes” is available worldwide through all quality digital retailers.

Colin Tench’s Living Legacy

A year passes and we aren’t sure where the time has gone. Memories are made and tucked away for another day. Sadness for the loss of a friend, a brilliantly talented musician and incredible human turns to action to give him the legacy that he deserves. Colin Tench, WE SALUTE YOU!

One year ago we lost Colin Tench, he had just completed his final work minor Masterpiece, and a masterpiece of musical artistry it is. The news of his passing was devastating to not only the management and staff of Melodic Revolution Records (MRR) but to the musicians on the label who were his musical family. So many of them had worked with Colin over the years; and his energy and exuberance for music and life had been infectious, inspiring several projects in his wake. For a time we stood in silence, but now we must come from under our mourning shroud to unveil the legacy of music he has left us and to celebrate a life well-lived.

Photos provided by Sonia Mota

During the past year members of the Tench FamilyAmanda and Jim Tench, Colin’s brother and sister-in-law would have the very difficult task as executors of Colin’s estate. They contacted MRR and asked if we would work with them in keeping Colin’s legacy alive by selling and promoting all of his releases and donating the net proceeds from the sales of his work to two charities of the estate’s choice. Without hesitation, MRR became involved in this monumental task to immortalize Colin’s work in musical history. MRRhad been fortunate to work with Colin during his lifetime on various projects and releases; this project became a labor of love for the label.

His music will continue to be available via all digital outlets worldwide, with physical distribution via Melodic Revolution Records, Amazon, CD Baby and an all New Bandcampstore that features the work of Colin Tench in all his various incarnations: BunChakeze, Odin of London, Corvus Stone, Colin Tench Project, Andy John Bradford’s Oceans5, as well as his work with Transmission Rails, Andres Guazzelli, The Minstrel’s Ghost and Murky Red. Our goal is to keep Colin’s legacy alive and well for generations of new fans to enjoy his wonderful music. The new Bandcamp store “The Music and Projects of Colin Tench” will give people a chance to discover the many different artists that Colinhad worked with over the years. “The Music and Projects of Colin Tench” Bandcamp store will open On December 27th a year to the date of Colin’s passing. Colin was only 63 when he passed away peacefully due to natural causes; some candles burn with great intensity for only a short time and leave us with eternal light.

In a statement from Colin’s Brother Jim Tench
As a young boy, my brother Colin had a fascination for insects and other small creatures which escalated later in his adult life to include a love and respect for wildlife, especially large mammals. He was very passionate about scuba diving and enjoyed swimming with, and filming, aquatic wonders too. His heart was very much in preserving, and not destroying, this amazing planet we live on. Music was also very dear to his heart and he became very disappointed in the post 70’s manufactured sound – he believed music should be an expression of your soul and not a path to fill three minutes of radio space and fifteen minutes of fame.

Prog Rock gave Colin hope that there were like-minded people, all around the world that would be able to come together via the internet and keep this incredible music genre alive. Colin gave 100% of his time for many years to try to achieve this – I think we can all agree he succeeded.

Myself, Colin’s younger brother David, and our mum Joan felt that it would be Colin’s wishes to donate all net profits from the sale of his music to benefit two charities dear to his heart. As Colin subscribed to and donated to, the World Wildlife Fund (and visited many of their sanctuaries around the world) we felt this would be a natural choice. The second charity is the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation that helps fund young musicians who need financial support to purchase their own instruments so they can explore and develop their musical talents. We believe this to be an incredible legacy left behind by Colin and one that he would be very proud to be a part of. Jackie Aris has also been very much involved in this process, having shared their lives together for 29 years she truly knew his passions and causes in life. We thank Jackie from the bottom of our hearts for donating the funds to ship Colin’s CDs to MRR for circulation.
Thank you to MRR for their dedication and support to make this possible, and to every single one of Colin’s friends, musician buddies and fans around the world.
Jim Tench

Colin Tench Biography
Colin Tench Bandcamp Store
World Wildlife Fund
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation
Nick Katona
[email protected]