Episode 9: ENO and Rik Kenton in Roxy Music “We are going to discover America soon” 1972 Trent Poly

One Friday night in November 1972 a pioneering rock phenomenon came to Nottingham, providing a new exciting and revolutionary sound. The band played at Nottingham Trent Polytechnic [now Trent University]. It was part of a sell-out tour, which is amazing for a band so much in its infancy.

Island Records, their label. approached me to promote a concert but BBC rules wouldn’t allow it, so the Poly had the privilege to host a band that was to become ground breaking both visually and musically: ROXY MUSIC.

Ashley Franklin’s and my rock show, ‘Extravaganza’ was due to be broadcast the following day, and Island Records put up Eno for the live interview. He arrived with the band’s new bass guitarist, Rik Kenton from Nottingham. 

During the interview we discuss their delayed forthcoming tour of the USA, during which they hope to conquer America and how, despite such a confident performance last night, they have actually ‘died deaths’ on stage due to their highly complex sound equipment failing.  

Rik tells us how he used to play in his school band, The Houndogs who supported Herman’s Hermits and The Animals.  

They both explain how they ended up in Roxy Music. For Rik he was asked by producer Pete Sinfield to join on bass when Graham Simpson left. Later exhibit Rik’s single on Island, ‘Bungalow Love.’ Errata: Rik Kenton did play bass on Virginia Plain      

Eno had experimented with multiple tape recorders and developed what he called his ‘Long Delay Echo Unit’. Both he and Andy Mackay were experimenting with electronic music. After meeting up again at a music festival where Eno was performing binary poetry, Andy, who no longer wanted to work on that side of things for Roxy, suggested they take on Eno.

Eno also has praise for journalist Richard Williams, formerly of the Nottingham Evening Post and working for Melody Maker at the time and John Peel for championing their early music.

They say that their first album was over-produced and that they want their second to be more raw, or as Ferry said ‘to have a fish and chip shop’ ambience.  Our show Extravaganza began 50 years ago anniversary, on 2nd November 2021. We end this edition with an appeal for ideas on how we could mark it.