There has been a spate of old 70’s bootleg recordings making it into the mainstream music outlets of late. I think it is wonderful that these great artists are finally getting the recognition that they richly deserve, and even better we get to listen to them. This recording comes from a live performance in 1974 and the sound quality is surprisingly good.

Refugee was a very apt name for this band, the members of which were indeed refugees from other musical endeavors. Lee Jackson (bass/vocals) and Brian Davison (drums) came from the pioneering band The Nice. Rounding out the band was swiss musical nomad Patrick Moraz on keyboards.

Although their partnership with Keith Emerson was over, Refugee have a heavily Emerson laden sound, no doubt contributed to by Maraz using a Mini Moog. The CD comes with an informative little booklet, my favorite part being a reproduction of a page from Melody Maker about Patrick and the Mini Moog. If you were a Prog Rock band in the 70’s the Mini Moog was the badge of honor to wear.

Refugee were a short lived band, and only managed one studio release, this bootleg covers the majority of that studio album and many of the tracks are longer and more involved than the studio version. They were short lived because of the popularity of the Moog. Without doubt the two masters were Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, with Patrick Moraz a very close third. Keith Emerson at this time was happily leading the good and destructive (on Hammond Organs) life with ELP, and so when Rick Wakeman announced that he was leaving Yes to pursue a solo career it was obvious that Patrick Moraz would be lured to Yes, and that is exactly what happened.

If you love Prog Rock you will want this one on your collection, and you can get a copy from MVD.
Simon Barrett


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