Tear Gas

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A Glasgow, Scotland progressive rock band formed in the late 60s, Tear Gas initially comprised Eddie Campbell (keyboards), Zal Cleminson (guitar), Chris Glen (bass, vocals), Gilson Lavis (drums) and Andi…
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A Glasgow, Scotland progressive rock band formed in the late 60s, Tear Gas initially comprised Eddie Campbell (keyboards), Zal Cleminson (guitar), Chris Glen (bass, vocals), Gilson Lavis (drums) and Andi Mulvey (vocals). Mulvey had previously sung with local beat group the Poets. After changing from their original name, Mustard, they chose Tear Gas as a variation on the same theme. However, Mulvey was soon replaced by keyboard player and vocalist David Batchelor, and Lavis (who later played with Squeeze) by Richard Monro from Ritchie Blackmore’s Mandrake Root. It was this line-up who made their recorded debut with 1970’s Piggy Go Getter, an album typical of the time with its extended guitar and keyboard passages. However, they were more playful than some - ‘We were a really loud band. In fact we used to open with Jethro Tull’s ‘Love Story’, which started very softly and the crowd would drift towards the front. Then we’d turn the volume up and blow everyone out of the hall.’ Later in 1970 Hugh McKenna replaced Batchelor while his cousin Ted McKenna (ex-Dream Police) took over from Monro on drums. Itinerant musician Ronnie Leahy also contributed keyboards in Batchelor’s absence, though the group were by now living in penury six to a room in Shepherd’s Bush, London. A second album was recorded for release on Regal Zonophone Records but again met with a lacklustre response from the critics. Despite regular touring in an effort to establish themselves, it was not until they teamed up with Alex Harvey in August 1972 to become the Sensational Alex Harvey Band that they saw any real success.