- Dave Draper
- Lead Vocals
- John Milton
- Jazz style Guitar
- Kevin Gardiner
- Blues style Guitar
- Richard Prior
- Bernard Prior
In 1967 I sang with a band called the Perfumed Garden, which started out as a sort of Soul and West Coast styled outfit and ended up as a rip-snorting rock and blues band.
One of the venues we played regularly was known as the Coal Hole, in the converted cellar of an old Victorian house in Lower Addiscombe Road. It was down at the Coal Hole that I met many other musicians including in particular, a talented singer-guitarist called Dave Coath and his rhythm playing sidekick, Cliff Hitchins.
More than a decade later, I bumped into Cliff Hitchens who invited me to go along and sing with his band, which rehearsed weekly at a large house in Wallington belonging to the Prior family. Two of the brothers formed the rhythm section of the band. They were Richard, who was 19 and played bass and Bernard who was 26 and played drums.
In a series of personnel changes this band eventually became Cargo, losing Cliff along the way and acquiring two excellent guitarists, John Milton, whose style was jazz-based and a little amazingly wild and avant garde at times and Kevin Gardiner, who was strictly a very fine and accomplished blues player. You couldn’t find two more opposing guitar styles to work together and they complimented each other wonderfully.
Cargo were a gigging band for several years in the early 1980s and it was at Cherry Studios, somewhere just off Cherry Orchard Road between East Croydon and Addiscombe in 1985 that we made these recordings. The Santana-styled track of Peter Green’s Black Magic Woman, lasting nearly five and a half minutes and airing the searing guitar solos of Kevin Gardiner and John Milton against the skilful backup of Richard Prior on bass and Bernard Prior on drums, is an old favourite of mine.