Ticket “Awake”

Ticket’s Awake is one of the best classic rock/psych albums from a surprisingly fertile late 60s/early 70s New Zealand scene.  Ticket’s roots trace back to several late 60s blues rock and pop groups: the Challenge, the Blues Revival and the Jamestown Union. Despite hitting the top 20 with the funky rural rocker “Country High” and recording two albums, Ticket’s popularity never broke out of the Aussie/New Zealand territories.

Awake’s contents were made up of several single sides issued in 1971 and some new studio material that date from 1972.  Hendrix, Cream and Traffic are the primary influences heard on Awake but Ticket’s funky rhythm section, rural overtones and complex song structures make them a distinct entity. The vocals of Trevor Tombleson are a fine mixture of Steve Winwood soul and Jack Bruce grit.  This vocal style is showcased on the group’s 8 minute psych gem “Dream Chant,” which is arguably the group’s finest moment on plastic.  “Broken Wings” and “Angel On My Mind” are strong Hendrix influenced originals with excellent guitar work courtesy of Eddie Hansen.   Hansen takes the spotlight on “Highway of Love” and “Reign Away,” both of which feature funky guitar licks and impressive soloing.  Two and a half minutes into “Reign Away” Hansen unleashes a devastating feedback drenched psych solo that is worth the price of admission alone.  Most of the tracks exceed the 5 minute mark but the group never succumb to aimless jamming – this band was as tight as a drum and knew exactly where to take the song.  A “must own” if early Mighty Baby, Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience or Traffic are your cup of tea – every track is a winner.

Aztec Music reissued this classic Kiwi acid rock album on cd in 2010.  It’s a bit pricey ($25 – $30) but well worth the money as an original vinyl copy of Awake will set you back $200 – $300.

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“Reign Away”

:D Reissue | 2010 | Aztec | buy ]
:) Original | 1972 | Atlantic | search ebay ]

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  • Wow! Stunning! This is amazingly fresh. Gonna keep my eyes open for a copy of this. Good stuff!

  • Len Liechti

    Phew, that’s a stonker, J. Singer reminds me of David Clayton-Thomas from BS&T but there’s certainly a bit of Bruce in there too. Guitarist is phenomenal, and with an unusually clean sound that really rings with that bit of added reverb. Rhythm section is as tight as a camel’s arse in a sandstorm – love the one-note bass line, less is certainly more here. The whole thing reminds me of Living Color, the 80’s black funk-metal outfit whos also specialised in ultra-tight funky rhythms fronted by fluid rock guitar.

  • Len Liechti

    Had to hunt around the Net quite a bit to find any more info on Ticket, whom I’ve never heard of before and who certainly aren’t known in these parts. There’s a reasonable feature at http://www.sergent.com.au/music/ticket.html .

  • Jason

    I posted another track from this album because if someone’s going to buy it they need to hear a few more songs before shelling out 25-30 bucks – it’s a pricey import from Australia but a great disc.

  • LOVE THIS! Definitely on my “to-buy” list now! Thanks for the review, Jason!

  • Kjohn

    This is so very cool and so very good!
    A good reminder of why I search for old obscure bands rather than obvious new ones. Sh*t Dream Chant is about 6 songs in one with every style done well and tight.

  • Michael Downs

    Haven’t dropped in for a bit and have a full day’s playlist as a result. Dream Chant is known to surfers round the world due to its’ inclusion on “Morning of the Earth” soundtrack. Bar none the greatest psychedelic surf film ever.

  • I picked up a copy of this here in NZ,as soon as it was re-released, having been familiar with a couple of their songs from my childhood. They recently reformed to play a one off gig here in Christchurch but I missed it. Bugger!

  • Mike Ridd

    I have a nice original issue of Awake that I need to sell Cover is VG Album is VG / VG- very light scuff marks but plays beautifully Im asking $120 for this 1972 NZ rarity cheers Mike

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