Kingdom Come were a British band of the 1970s, that played psychedelic, experimental progressive rock music. They were fronted by Arthur Brown, who gave them his theatrical style and voice. The combination ensured that the band was a hit on Britain's festival circuit, but lack of record sales, indifference from music critics, and poor record label promotion (especially in the US) led to its eventual demise in 1974. The band was later marketed as Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come in the United States due to name conflicts with an unrelated band with the same name.
After the collapse of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 1970, when keyboardist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer left to eventually form Atomic Rooster, Brown worked with a varied group of musicians on projects called Strangelands, Puddletown Express, and (briefly) the Captain Beefheart-influenced Rustic Hinge, before finding the musicians who would make up Kingdom Come. Chief among these was guitarist Andy Dalby, who was the only consistent member after Brown himself.
Apart from Brown and Dalby, the band included (at one time or another) Victor Peraino (keyboards), Julian Paul Brown (no relation, keyboards), Michael Harris (keyboards), Phil Shutt (bass, later known as Phil Curtis), Desmond Fisher (bass), and Martin Steer (drums). "Ace Bentley," credited with drums on the final Kingdom Come album, was actually the Bentley Rhythm Ace, an early drum machine manufactured by the Ace Tone company of Japan (Ace Tone later evolved into the Roland Corporation).
Brown stated in an interview with an English music magazine that the three albums were intended to present a thematic progression. The first focused on the state of humankind in the present, the second on the human animal itself and the dichotomy between the body and mind, and the third focused on cosmic and spiritual matters.
Kingdom Come were one of the first bands to use synthesizers, notably the VCS3, an early British synth used by Pink Floyd and Brian Eno among others at the time. The Mellotron and Theremin also figured prominently in the group's repertoire, especially after the addition of Victor Peraino in the band's line-up. On the final album, Journey, recorded in November 1972, there was no drummer either on the record or on tour; all the drum sounds were from the Bentley Rhythm Ace, operated either by Victor Peraino or by Brown himself. Journey was the first album on which a drum machine produced all the percussion.
A number of factors contributed to the end of Kingdom Come, including mediocre album sales, critical disdain, the revolving door membership of the band, and Brown's frustration with the music business in general. The band dissolved rather than officially breaking up, with Brown citing a desire to play simpler music and opt for a simpler lifestyle in general in later interviews.
- Galactic Zoo Dossier (1971)
- Kingdom Come (1972)
- Journey (1973)
- Jam (1994, recorded in 1970)
- Marshall, Polly. The God Of Hellfire, the Crazy Life and Times of Arthur Brown. SAF Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-77-2.
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Image from Discogs