Astral III – The Invaders
Uitenhage. Now who would have thought anything great would come out of there. But something did and that was Johnny Burke and his mates who formed the group the Invaders. Starting out as the Astronauts in the early 1960s, they had a few line-up changes as well as a name change and soon were setting the South African music scene alight with songs such as ‘June’, ‘Ice Cream And Suckers’ and ‘Shockwave’. In 1968 they scored a number 16 hit on the Springbok Radio top 20 with ‘Chapel Of Dreams’.
Three years later came another chart entry with ‘There’s A Light There’s A Way’ which was backed by ‘Astral II’, a song also worth checking out, but it doesn’t have the clout of ‘Astral III’. From the first chords of mark III of the ‘Astral’ songs you are hit by searing guitars, pounding drums, dense Hammond organ and soaring vocals. The song is full on and in your face, not dissimilar to early heavy metal offerings from Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. A little over 2 minutes into the song, there is a blistering minute long guitar solo from Joey Moses that Jimi Hendrix would have been proud of.
It is not surprising that this track found its way onto the first Retro Fresh ‘Astral Daze’ compilation. It is one of the great rare tracks from those heady days when South African musicians were just beginning to ROCK!!!
Where to find it:
Astral Daze – Various Artists, RetroFresh (2005), FRESHCD148
There’s A Light There’s A Way – The Invaders, MVN (1971), RetroFresh (2010), FRESHCD173