After the split of Colosseum in October 1971 Jon Hiseman formed Tempest in the summer of 1972. Tempest lasted for two years until June 1974.

Tempest Mark 1 (June 1972 to June 1973) consisted of

Hiseman and Clarke had, of course, played together in Colosseum.

Paul Williams had played bass with Zoot Money's Big Roll Band (on two Columbia - that's EMI's Columbia - LPs It Should've Been Me and Zoot! Live At Klooks Kleek) and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (on parts of the live A Diary Of A Band and the single Suspicions). He came more to the attention of the record buying public as the singer of Juicy Lucy on their second LP Lie Back And Enjoy It (Vertigo) and the next two Get A Whiff Of This and Pieces.

Allan Holdsworth played on Nucleus' album Belladonna before his time with Tempest, but other than that I have no more information; maybe later...

The band made one album Tempest (Bronze ILPS 9220). It was recorded at Air London Recording Studios in November 1972 and produced by Jon Hiseman. The album was released in January 1973.

Track listing:
  1. Gorgon (Hiseman/Clarke/Holdsworth)
  2. Foyers Of Fun (Hiseman/Clarke/Holdsworth)
  3. Dark House (Hiseman/Clarke/Holdsworth)
  4. Brothers (Hiseman/Holdsworth)
  5. Up And On (Edwards/Holdsworth)
  6. Grey And Black (Clarke/Bottomley)
  7. Strangeher (Hiseman/Clarke)
  8. Upon Tomorrow (Clempson/Hiseman)

I enjoy the first Tempest album quite a lot. The music continues where Colosseum ended and has a lot of similarities with Jack Bruce's work especially on Dark House. This is, I believe, thanks to Hiseman's composing. The music is a bit more rock oriented than Colosseum was. The rhythm section Clarke & Hiseman provides a solid ground for the soloists to work on.

Paul Williams left in June 1973, and his later adventures includes playing the music of blues legend Robert Johnson. He was followed a month later by Holdsworth, who joined Soft Machine, and later Gong, UK, Jean-Luc Pontyand also played with drummer John Stevens among other things.

Tempest Mark 2 (June 1973 to June 1974) consisted of

Ollie Halsall had joined on guitar, keyboards and vocals. Halsall had worked with Timebox which developed into Patto, and also recorded with Scaffold and Brian Eno.

The band's music has been claimed to be more jazz influenced on the second album Living In Fear (Bronze ILPS 9267). For me at least the music is not so different from Tempest, though it has clearly moved a step away from Colosseum. Like the first it was recorded at Air London in October and November 1973.

Track listing:
  1. Funeral Empire (Halsall)
  2. Paperback Writer (Lennon/McCartney)
  3. Star Gazer (Clarke/Bottomley)
  4. Dance To My Tune (Clarke/Bottomley)
  5. Living In Fear (Halsall)
  6. Yeah Yeah Yeah (Halsall/Hiseman)
  7. Waiting For A Miracle (Halsall)
  8. Turn Around (Clarke/Bottomley)

Tempest's both albums on Sequel's 2-on-1 CD
(Sequel NEX CD 159)

The second album is dominated by Halsall's vocals and guitar. The rhythm section continues as on the first album to build complex rhythms for Halsall to use as a trampolene for his improvisations. Another fine album.

The band was popular on the continent and toured there a lot. I think they came to Finland as well, but in those days I lived too far from the concert venues of Helsinki. After the split Hiseman organised a new Colosseum II in 1975, Clarke went to play with Natural Gas, Uriah Heep, Mountain and Rainbow. Halsall went on to play with Kevin Ayers, Boxer and John Otway.

There is at least one BBC concert recording of the band, which hopefully is some day released on CD. PLEASE? It exists on bootleg.

Updated November 9th, 2000