Writing On The Wall - The Power Of The Picts (1969, UK, hardprogrockpsych, Green Tree CDRip, flac + cue, log, artwork)

 *** Reviewed by great fellow Adamus67 ***

Writing on the Wall were a Scottish rock band of the late 1960s and early 1970s who became a popular live act in the United Kingdom. The group originally formed  in Edinburgh in 1966 as the Jury, changing their name to Writing on the Wall in early 1968.
The band's manager, Brian Waldman, moved the group to London and let the band perform at his club, the Middle Earth.
Melody Maker felt sufficiently disturbed to comment that the band had "the reputation of being violent to frightening extremes".
However John Peel was suitably impressed that same year the band recorded two  a BBC radio session for disc jockey John Peel and made a live demo album as well  to solicit a deal.

Scottish band who in the late 60s last century enjoyed great popularity in the underground rock scene through a highly dramatic stage act. Performed regularly  concerts at the club Middle Earth, including with Ten Years After and long debuted at the legendary Marquee Club, where his performances opened the beginner bands including Wishbone Ash.  As others retreated to "be-denimed slothfulness" The Writing On The Wall became more theatrical , featuring choreographed fights, dressing up as a Caveman, a High Priest, a Monk and a Witchfinder, and the destruction of a Bubble car in support of the recently introduced breathalyser test.  The Middle Earth club launched a label with this maniacal rock band as lead off act, releasing a first single 'Child on a Crossing' / 'Lucifer Corpus',and they recorded the LP The 'Power of the Picts' in 1969, for Waldman's Middle Earth label.

The record didn't attract much notice outside of Scotland, and while acclaim for their energetic live show enabled them to keep playing for a few more years, their well of new original material dried up in the absence of more record releases.

They do another Peel session in 1971, and after more personnel changes had reduced their lineup to the one that had comprised the Jury in 1966, they recorded an unreleased LP in Edinburgh in 1972.

A final single, "Man of Renown," appeared on Pye in mid-1973, and they started work on another album in Wales in late 1973,but something mysterious happened to this band: in December 1973 their equipment was stolen, and they decided to abandon the music (or at least disband). Strange.  After that the singer Linnie Patterson   joined BEGGARS OPERA. for their 1973 album Get Your Dog Off Me (Beggars Opera being a prog rock band also from Scotland, although you should apparently only worry about their first three albums, 1970's Act One, 1971's Waters of Change, and 1972's Pathfinder) Guitarist Willy Finlayson went on to stints with the bands MEAL TICKET, BEES MAKE HONEY and his own group the HURTERS, as well as an appearance on MANFRED MANN's 'Earth band' release 'Chance' in (1980), Robert 'Smiggy' Smith joined the aptly-named BLUE, Alby Greenhalgh joined the rockabilly outfit the FLYING SAUCERS, and bassist Jake Scott formed the obscure jazz group XU-XU PLESA.

WOTW They have a strong personality, a well-defined style, which borders the darkness, the more so the cover confirms the atmosphere on the LP. Linnie Patterson has a hellishly strong rugged voice, which integrates well with the Hard Prog Psychedelic songs. Unfortunately he died in 1990. Of fundamental importance is the contribution of Bill Scott, an amazing playing on  organ Hammond, especially in the dialogues with the guitar of Willy Finlayson. The Writing On The Wall is a button machine that moves in unison, a perfect understanding that sends adrenaline in abundance and you'll find yourself unconsciously move your foot, this is an opportunity not to be missed, savor the vibrations of the dawn of the Rock is not every day,listen and you'll understand once and for all !!!

It is inconceivable that the album, which was made not in the best studio, and per certain without the great budget, listened to it so well.  Perhaps only the unique skills of working musicians owe that recorded their CD after years of defending themselves, and in most cases do not age at all. I still somehow did not manage to contemporary performers skip this cosmic level. How is this possible?

"The Power Of The Picts 'as Arcadium album' Breathe Awhile" was released in November 1969 in a released by the same label,  Middle Earth. Year 1969 was a really great year.  Probably (subsequently), not  recording  an album so much depression and exciting at the same time.

If there is music heaven or hell music is thanks to these discs as 'Power Of The Picts' man can actually be there. Ecstasy and depression. All this is on this wonderful album.

CD release on my label Repertoire Records not know why resetting the order of recordings. Thus, the first four have landed on the  end..  the five the other hand, the original LP transferred to the beginning. I even admit that it makes sense. A bit surprising because the original arrangement of the composition, where the first page of the LP is crowned 'Aries', while on the other side there not is already so strong climax. Thanks to German label CD  has gained dramatic music opens ideal because even at the beginning of 'Bogeyman' , then voltage increases, it's just my feeling, probably resulting from editing compact habit of this incredible achievement.


First of all, one thing stands out listening to 'The Power Of The Picts'. At times, the team proposed a solution that only a few months later, the group proposed a Deep Purple album 'In Rock'.

Example? Just listen to the final extended composition 'Aries'. The damming, aggressive, played with the speed of light sounds of the Hammond and Linnie Paterson's amazing vocals. The only thing missing characteristic scream  piercing ,  Ian Gillan and we have the final part of the  'Child In Time' famous quintet. I do not think it's irrelevant, because 'In Rock', in particular, is located there 'Child In Time' is considered a groundbreaking work for rock music.

And as for plate contents ''Writing On The Wall'', the band offered a journey through the darkest recesses of the human soul. I sometimes such hyperbole. The first song on the CD 'Bogeyman'  deceptively begins a kind of folk chants to the accompaniment of an accordion. This idyllic mood is suddenly disturbed by the entry team, which introduces an atmosphere of anxiety march. Heavy rhythm is supported by klawinet. However, the culmination of each stanza is completely insane screaming vocalist.

The second composition in the introduction quotes - almost perfect on this album - "Mars" from Gustav Holst's suite 'The Planets'. But then the narrative is released and is already playing with a disturbing own vocal recitation of the background music, which is disturbed inputs dynamic band.

I could as long slog such truisms, but it does not make any sense. That's why I give only the essence.
In these seemingly very complex compositions dominate the senses piercing Hammond organ sounds. Sharp and sophisticated in its own way an electric guitar parts and heavy and really excellent rhythm section,that inspiration musicians makes these simple in terms of structures songs interesting, so even for a moment did not weary.

However, a separate issue is the voice of Linnie Paterson. No doubt inspired by Arthur Brown. Vocalist sings as if genuinely depended on it his life. Even in the quieter passages are his vocal interpretations are full of passion. Linnie Paterson usually, not saving the throat. I love the these full of horror shrieks and shouts.
If I had to point out their favorite tunes with the equal and consistent plate would point simply electrifying 'It Came On A Sunday'. Great song with a simple and extremely melodic bassline strong guitar parts enclosed and Hammond organ filling the background. Here is a great instrumental interlude, in which the two lead instruments with each type of dialogue. Above each sound rises and this indescribable aura of danger. For me, this is a sensational song. In no recording of the quintet, never left tone, I always played the max.

However, the absolute apogee of the already mentioned 'Aries' which is interpreted by American recording group The Zodiac from the album 'Cosmic Sounds'. In the version of the Writing On The Wall was not only a whole expanded from the original, but also gained more heavier, darker shape.

Whole is full of despair and crushing melodic recitations singer of the band interludes sounding like armageddon Hammond organ in the lead role. Playing on them Bill Scott was probably ten pairs of hands. It is impossible to describe what he was doing. By contrast, in the middle of the foreground is an electric guitar improvisation by offering a  soothing background as the rhythm section. However, this is only a prelude to the ecstatic finale full of fear, screaming voice, and re-piercing  throughout the stabbing, Hammond organ sounds is killer... this is one of the most moving songs in rock history. I always have chills all over my body when I listen to.
Thank you so much Adam for that effort

1 It Came On Sunday
2 Mrs. Coopers Pie
3 Ladybird
4 Aries
5 Bogeyman
6 Shadow Of Man
7 Taskers Successor
8 Hill Of Dreams
9 Virginia Water
Bonus Tracks
10 Child On Crossing
11 Lucifer's Corpus

Writing On The Wall:
Bass – Jake Scott
Drums – Jimmy Hush
Guitar – Willy Finlayson
Keyboards – Bill Scott
Vocals – Linnie Paterson

Writing On The Wall - Ladybird (UK 1969)

 [Rip and Scans by gigic2255]

Link:   378 mb/file



  1. I don't have this edition, it would be great if it could be re-upped at some point. Many thanks!

    1. Hi Dan! Sorry, i have this: https://www.discogs.com/Writing-On-The-Wall-The-Power-Of-The-Picts/release/4877710 - sound the same

  2. new link: https://bordeldorock.blogspot.com/2023/06/writing-on-wall-power-of-picts-cd-1969.html

  3. Is there a way to get files from advertising page in your link? At least two of the WOTW links are this way as above. I posted much Wishbone Ash and want to hear this band they sound so cool in costume to see live!


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