Thursday, 23 September 2010

THE SENATE'S DUNDEE CONNECTION

In the late 60's, The Senate were one of the finest soul bands to come out of the UK. The outfit was made up of some Glaswegians, a Fifer and a couple of Dundonians - namely, Robbie McIntosh and Mike Fraser.
Robbie joined The Senate in '67, toured extensively and recorded a couple of live albums with them. The band had such a good reputation, they were often chosen to back top r&b singers from the USA when they were on tour in Europe. One such name was Ben E King, who, as a consequence of working with the band, ended up writing & producing a single specifically for The Senate. It was called "Can't Stop" and was released in '67.
The 2 live albums were
The Senate - "Sock It To You One More Time"
Garnet Mimms - "Live" (as his backing band)
Mike Fraser, who was keyboard player in local bands The Syndicate and The Vikings in the mid 60's, teamed up with The Senate in late '67. When he was with them, the band were based in Italy for a while and they made a further 2 albums - not particularly Senate-like material however. For contractual reasons, they had to do 2 sessions of pop song covers - not the sort of thing they were known for, but the albums were released in Italy.
Despite sharing the bill with popular acts such as The Spencer Davis Group, The Senate split around late '68.
To follow the path Robbie took after The Senate, you can read yesterdays item.
Mike Fraser went on to join Mal & The Primitives, and has since worked with many international artists - such as, Chuck Berry, David Sanborn, Garnet Mimms, Duane Eddy, Ben E King, Amii Stewart, AWB, and soundtrack genius, Ennio Morricone. Wow...hows about that then!
Mike decided to live in Rome, and is still there working in the music biz today.
The top photo is Robbie & Mike at Glasgow railway station in 1968, making their way down to London.
The other 2 are The Senate in action in Italy in 1968. Robbie on drums, Mike on keyboard.
But that's not all - there was a 3rd mysterious Dundee guy in The Senate. When the band's singer/guitarist, Alex Ligertwood, left, in came Dundonian Jim McAra to replace him. It was only for a short stint though, and unfortunately, I don't have any info on Jim as to what he did after that, other than later on, he was in Mafia back in Dundee.
To give you an idea what The Senate sounded like on their own, here below is the opening track from their live album. A track titled "Sock It To 'Em JB" - where James Brown meets James Bond!
Big thanks to Mac and Mike Fraser


video

1 comment:

  1. Great bit of information there and love the images, so crisp given their age. Was good to read about the Dundee fella based in Rome. I love these kind of stories,keep em coming!

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