The Marian Segal Band

A short history: November 1971 - June 1975

The Marian Segal Band (MSB) formed as a direct result of Jade splitting up in late 1971. Dave Waite and Marian were left to pick up the pieces after Rod Edwards left to return to his original work with Roger Hand in Edwards Hand.

Marian Segal Band gig

With no management and no record company on the horizon, Marian and Dave decided to go forward regardless and go back out on the road again. Marian wanted to have a larger, electric band and so they advertised in the music papers and found Canadian bass player Lee Oliphant, who had just arrived in England looking for work. They went out as a trio named Marian, Dave & Lee for over two years with no shortage of work, due to Jade's impact on the folk music scene. Later on, in early 1974 they auditioned for a drummer, chose Dave Morris (ex-Guys n' Dolls) and went out as a quartet, only then formally becoming The Marian Segal Band.

Marian took her band onto the folk club circuit as well as the college and University circuit, just as she had done with the trio previously. Again, there was no shortage of work - the trio had been received well after Jade and were loved by audiences. The folk clubs were mainly for traditional folk music and there were very few contemporary music clubs. At times, even with initially just an electric bass, they were ridiculed for taking electric instruments into these traditional clubs. Later, they were to shock some club runners and audiences with a drum kit, yet always won the audiences over on the strength of their songs and performance.

The MSB were pioneers of sorts. They were one of the first bands playing complete sets of contemporary songs and using electric instruments within the old-school traditional folk club environment. In time, this became the norm, but it did take the next few years for this to happen.

The MSB gig list shows just how much work the trio & quartet did over the three-and-a-half years they were in existence. They became the favourites of the new Capital Radio station and often sang through the night, live on The Sarah Ward Show, produced by Robbie Barish.

In late June 1975, after many miles of travelling, they decided to split up. The mainstream musical climate had shifted towards a louder, more aggressive music and the previous wealth of folk clubs to play in was declining. Mainstream tastes had changed significantly, the Melody Maker Folk Forum listings of clubs was thinning down quite obviously around that time and this all severely affected the previously vibrant folk music scene of the 60s and early 70s. Folk music sadly became 'unhip'.

Marian had felt that she had gone as far as she could musically with the band and was also concerned about how to keep things financially viable. Lee Oliphant went back to Canada to work as a session musician and Dave Morris also went back to session work in the UK. Dave Waite joined a theatre band in Deptford and later joined Country Fever and Marian concentrated on song writing.

Have a look at all the gigs that The Marian Segal Band played.

Read what Marianne did after the MSB.

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