Vasco da Gama Logo 2007


brown or red blob Scapegoat / Max Quad

brown or red blob Buffoon / Asghaard

brown or red blob AFTERMATH

brown or red blob Millionaire Penguin

brown or red blob Barracuda

brown or red blob Bloody Fasto

Millionaire Penguin

sex and drugs and revolving gourds

Penguin Illustration Millionaire Penguin was born when Warren Jung and P.F. Robertson started making noises with a cheap bass and a home-made electric guitar. Phil Robertson recalls : "with the advent of a reel to reel, Stylophone and a cassette recorder (and a real musician in the shape of Colin Young) we became a bit more capable. Having only acoustic guitars we found ourselves going folky. Jam sessions with Graham "Drydale" Drid on mandolin, Michael Bantick on bass and Russ Holden on vocals/harmonium were arranged. We set about learning songs by the then popular Steeleye Span, Eagles and Lindisfarne. I had acquired a five-string banjo and was failing to come to terms with it."
One evening during rehearsals chez Drydale, an old plastic 'Beatles' snare was unearthed and together with the banjo skin a makeshift drum kit was assembled. This chance find nudged the penguins away from their folky inclinations and set them on course for a new musical directions - one that required mains electricity. GorWhiteThe next stage in the development of the band can be blamed on Gordon Whitelock, elder brother of the infamous Dan Deadnettle. Gor White (left) was lead singer and kazoo player with Collingham supergroup Bloody Fasto. The Fasto had arranged a gig with Greasy Dunc and the Dagoes and another band from Harrogate who were well equipped and who had agreed to let anyone else use their gear for a gig at Bardsey Village Hall. It was at Gor's insistence that Penguin were added to the bill.
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penguin illustration "So there we were - acoustic, three Lindisfarne songs under our belt and two weeks to the date. We set about learning some Eno and Roxy Music songs, things we could do in the time allowed. Unfortunately I had to grovel to Professor Goldie Nugget Nug to borrow his 'Top Twenty' electric guitar on an ad hoc basis. I think he was trying to wangle his way into my position in the band but we stood firm. He had the axe and a pretend American accent but I had the talent and Russ had the name (from a cartoon strip which cropped up in his rough book at school)"
The Penguin stole the show and realised that perhaps they could make a decent living out of playing this homespun brand of Blues Folk Rock Jazz, a fusion which had never been fused so bizarrely. Phil Robertson traded in his green shield stamps and bought a 12 string and swapped the banjo for a Fender Telecaster copy. Russ Holden got a PA and brought along his mate Paul Vure from Park Lane on yet another guitar "(and a bloody good Marshall amp/stack for the bass)".
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Penguin began to gather a reputation on the Wath circuit but played only occasional concerts during the next two years, fearing that over-exposure might prove detrimental - they had already witnessed the staggering decline in the critical standing of bands like The Dave Norman Social Club Band, which many commentators believed was the result of over familiarity with a limited repertoire (House of the Rising Sun, Alright Now and the Clive Dunn standard "Grandad")
If printed black T shirts had been available at the time the back may have looked a bit like this:-

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Robertson : "Colin was a phenomenal guitarist, grade 8 classical at 12, and could actually find the time to be in two bands, the other being Barracuda with his mates Pete Honeyman, Steve Kay, Derek Kay (no relation) and Ivor Waterhouse.
We got 'rolled and bunned' off stage at the Shinkins Shindig, refusing to play "Smoke on the Water'. I went home but the others stayed and played a successful second half which was a bit of a bastard, as far as I was concerned. Best shows were Linton for the laughs (but not for Lord Byrom and the fire-hose), Tockwith where Colin Young leapt off stage during 'Remake, Remodel' and the second Crown date with Russ and Gor White's mock fight during 'Heartbreak Hotel'."
The split was inevitable and finally happened in early 1976 due to musical differences and various levels of competence…Phil Robertson resurfaced as Sam Granite and some of the Penguins went on to become Big Dog…but that's another tale.
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