Group Members: Ken Baker (Kbds, gtr, vocs), Pat Martin (bass gtr, vocs), Trevor Mee (gtr), Pete Perryer (drums). Richard Colborne (gtr), Dave McGreggor (bass gtr).
The Late (formerly The Senders, The Pink Bears and The Late Edition) originated from Send, Surrey, circa 1963. The band were managed by Pat Martin’s father (Pat snr). They started out in the early sixties beat boom as The Pink Bears before evolving into The Late Edition in 1967. At this point, the band were playing cover versions of chart hits to audiences, but it was Pat Martin snr who insisted that the band needed to start on composing their own material.
In late 1967, The Late (as they were now known) recorded three songs of their own at Graham Clark studios in Walton-on-Thames. Graham Clark was a racing driver who shared a passion for pop music and built his own recording studio for local bands. Mike Read (see entry) also used this studio around this time.
After some initial, but sparse interest from Planetary Nom publishing, the band were managed by Bob Potter which allowed the band plenty of recording time in his own facilities in Mytchett, Surrey. This recording studio housed some of Joe Meek’s own recording equipment having sold it to Bob Potter before his own untimely death in 1967.
The Late commenced recording various self-penned songs, but also acquired a residency at a club in Copenhagen called the Carousel Club. The band would play three 45-minute sets each weeknight and five at weekends. Eventually, the band started to lose interest in constantly playing cover versions (which their manager, Bob Potter favoured) and fractions appeared between the band and their management back home. Having been influenced quite heavily by Crosby, Stills and Nash, the band were insisting that they concentrate on writing, recording and playing their own new brand of music. This came to a head with Potter who lost interest in the band when the bookings (and money) started to disappear and thus ended their relationship. The band’s fortunes continued, finding work as Billy J. Kramer’s backing band, but after nine months of playing covers (and Kramer’s old hits) again, The Late decided to abandon their live work and concentrate on pursuing a record deal again.
Transatlantic showed real interest although they initially supplied the band with material for them to cover rather than allowing them to record their own songs. Transatlantic eventually gave way to their own songs and by 1971, eight years after forming as The Senders, the band were finally enjoying the fruits of their labours with an LP entitled Uphill All The Way and were now known as Unicorn.
Pat Martin, Ken Baker and Pete Perryer went on to work with David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and Kate Bush.
Note: This Unicorn is un-related to Unicorn (see entry).
For further information: http://www.unicornmusic.net/
All recorded and photographic material kindly supplied by P. Martin. 2013.
All recorded and photographic material copyright P. Martin. 2013.
Special thanks to: Pat Martin, David Wells.