Lady Lake

Biography

Named after the second album of English progrockers Gnidrolog, Lady Lake came to existence in 1973 in the town Deventer. Lady Lake consisted of Fred Rosenkamp (guitar), Toon Heisterkamp (guitar), Ronnie Breurman (bass), Hans van Bockel (guitar), Gerbert de Ruiter (sax, flute, guitar) and Peter Schoemaker (drums). At several special occasions Gerard de Braconnier (guitar) joined Lady Lake. The music they played ranged form psychedelic rock to progressive rock. In 1974 this version of Lady Lake ceased to exist.

In 1976 Rosenkamp and Leendert Korstanje (keyboards), who had played in a band called Delay, Eddy Bakker (bass) and Joop van Leeuwen (drums). They called this band Lady Lake, because this was still a well known name in the eastern part of the Netherlands. So this became Lady Lake MKII. In October 1977 they recorded an album, No pictures. They weren't really pleased with the sound on the album. During their live shows they sounded a lot heavier than on the album. Joop van Leeuwen left the band in 1979 and was replaces by Jan Dubbe, who had also played in Delay. For a short time guitar player Ernst Houwaart joined Lady Lake. They played a lot of gigs with other well known dutch progressive bands like, Earth&Fire, Finch and Solution. In 1980 Ton van Erp replaced Eddy Bakker on bass guitar and Gerard Meuleman joined as a singer. In 1982 the band broke up because they could't devote enough time to the band any more.

In 1991 Rosenkamp, Korstanje and Dubbe reunited as Lady Lake for an art manifestation in Deventer. The bass parts were played by Korstanje on bass pedals. And in 1993 there was another reunion. With the reissue of No pictures in 1997 the Lady Lake trio recorded a few new tracks and appeared live a few times.

In 2005 a brand new album is released on Musea records, SuperCleanDreamMachine.

Discography

No pictures (1977)

No pictures (1977)

No picture (1997)
No Pictures
(1997)

Tracks:
  1. Cornwall [5:40]
  2. Magic twanger [8:10]
  3. Fading trees [7:17]
  4. You make me feel so fine [5:21]
  5. No more gentle treatment [2:41]
  6. Between Bremen and Hamburg [I. Part one] [3:17]
  7. Between Bremen and Hamburg [II. Part two] [4:16]
  8. Between Bremen and Hamburg [III. Part three] [4:56]

CD bonus tracks:

  1. Must have been more than… [5:55]
  2. H.P. & H.P. [4:51]
  3. Falling stars don't scream [4:23]
  4. Do the Dubbe [4:31]
  5. 22 cm with dentures [5:44]
  6. Reshoot [5:31]

Musicians:

  • Fred Rosenkamp: Guitars
  • Joop van Leeuwen: Drums (on [1] to [8])
  • Leendert Korstanje: Keyboards
  • Eddy Bakker: Bass guitar (on [1] to [8])
  • Jan Dubbe: Drums (on [9] to [14])

Guest: Stanley Dijkhuis: vocals

Information:
Tracks 1 to 8 recorded at Mirasound, Wijhe, Holland, fall 1977. Produced by Peter van de Water
Tracks 9 to 14 recorded at Sound Enterprise Studios, Weesp Holland, 1996/97. Produced by Frans Hagenaars.

LP Q records (1977)
CD Musea-FGBG 4 (1997)

No picture (1977)

Reviews:
This quartet (Guitar, bass, drums & keyboards) performs delicate, velvety and refined Progressive rock made of elaborated and melodical developments which, thanks to the flowing guitar arpeggios and cristal sounding keyboard notes, evoke Fruupp or Caravan. For the 1997 period (As bonus tracks), the band plays an elaborated, technical and powerful Progressive rock with instrumental parts in the style of Dixy Dregs, Steve Morse, Camel.

(Musea Records)

An awfully pleasant surprise, this. Now, I'm not at all certain why Musea felt it necessary to lauch yet another imprint for this release, since re-issuing classics from the seventies, both acknowledged and unheard of, is one of the label's main orders of business, but whatever. The principal difference between this and Musea's other reissues is that it has a rather better designed and written history of the band than usual, with well laid-out graphics and an amusing text courtesy of current Lady Lake drummer Jan Dubbe. Did I say current? Why yes I did, and that's because, hearteningly enough, the band appears to exist again (now in trio form), even contributing six brand new recordings to serve as this CD's bonus tracks.

 The new tracks are excellent instrumental pieces for guitar/keyboards/drums, with the keys usually taking the bass line. Like the 1977 material, the mode is a vaguely Camel-esque one, with beautiful acoustic guitar, exploratory electric leads, wistful melodies and sudden shifts into power-drive. Two of No Pictures' songs are marred slightly by blah vocals, but only for short durations. The great bulk of the action here is instrumental, and damn good. Having taken their name from Gnidrolog's storied Lady Lake LP, this quintet now has the opportunity to have its own album recognized beyond the collector circles' lucky enough to have heard their very scarce (1200 copies were pressed) LP. Recommended.

(New Sonic Architecture)

Lady Lake, from The Netherlands, present a pastoral, melodic, yet complex progressive rock album. Acoustic guitar is the backbone to their sound, and recalls early Genesis around 'Selling England By The Pound'. This ostensible light background is offset by plenty of psychedelic guitar sequences, which are quite striking in this setting. Moog and Fender Rhodes play a major role as well. Vocals are fortunately sparse and ultimately unnecessary. The music never sits still too long, always on the move, while surprisingly being able to maintain its melodic core. My vote for best track would be 'Fading Trees' though 'Magic Twanger' is a close second. 'Mirage' era Camel is probably the most obvious influence overall. More obscure references would include Hoelderlin ('Clowns and Clouds'), M.L. Bongers Project and Ivory (Germany).

As mentioned prior, the CD also contains newly recorded material from 1997 that was originally composed from 1979-1982. Not surprisingly, the music has a similar compositional quality to the original 'No Pictures' album. Of course, the guitar here is more '90s pig squeal' and less '70s psychedelic' which is a pity. The aural landscape is more broad brush, with less finely pointed detail. But still a fine effort, and shows the band hasn't lost touch with their ambitious progressive background. Camel clearly remains their main influence on these tracks.

(Unencumbered music reviews)

Supercleandreammachine (2005)

Supercleandreammachine (2005)
SuperCleanDreamMachine
(2005)
Tracks:
  1. The untold want [14:05]
    I) Children's playground
    II) Be still! Mum's the word
    III) Grow up! For heaven's sake
    IV) Mystery spot
    V) The untold want
    VI) Seen from a train
    VII) Die Maienfelder Furrga
    VIII) A coign of true felicity
    IX) I don't mind if I do
    X) Too far! Too late! Already bolder proggers were at the gate!
    XI) Children's playsong
    XII) Stumped
  2. Doo dah damage [7:17]
  3. Wet sounds [5:05]
  4. Ford theatre [11:02]
  5. No-one will ever know - Fare thee well [6:05]
  6. The chief [5:50]
  7. Radio reminiscence [4:44]
  8. Children's playground revisited [0:36]

Musicians:

  • Leendert Korstanje: Keyboards
  • Fred Rosenkamp: Guitars
  • Jan Dubbe: Drums

Information:
CD Musea Records FGBG 4603 AR (2005)

Reviews:
LADY LAKE is a Dutch band formed at the beginning of the Seventies, and whose name was inspired by the title of an album by GNIDROLOG. Generally speaking, the whole Canterbury school seems to be the source of inspiration for the band, CAMEL and CARAVAN coming first. Its sole album "No Pictures" had already been re-issued in 1997 on the Musiphyle label. On this occasion, LADY LAKE had reformed in order to record the bonus tracks included on the CD. And some eight years later, the Musea label eventually releases the second album of the trio: "SuperCleanDreamMachine" (2005). With an excellent clear and deep sound, these eight new compositions invite us to a delightful moment of vintage Progressive rock. One may think of the glorious compatriots of FOCUS, but also CAMEL and GENTLE GIANT at times. LADY LAKE makes itself different from most of the bands of this genre as they manage to combine a surprising melodic sophistication and a certain power, owing to a skilful blend of acoustic and electric sequences. "SuperCleanDreamMachine" is full of energy, full of refined and evocative melodies, unveiling true poetical atmospheres. LADY LAKE's music is certainly the best that can be heard in this vein !

(Musea Records)

A few months ago I witnessed a gig from Lady Lake during a Dutch Triple Concert with Knight Area and Plackband. I knew this band from their album "Pictures" from the Seventies but I was really stunned about new music! The members told me that I had to wait a few months until Musea had released their new album, more than 25 years after their debut LP. This night, after my late shift, I decided to listen to it and then to write this review. Well, I have very good news for you because Lady Lake has delivered a wonderful, very melodic album that will appeal to many progheads. The focus is on the guitar, Fred Rosenkamp has a very melodic and varied style (jazzy, rock, symphonic) with obvious hints from Andy Latimer. The music from Lady Lake often reminds me of Camel (and at some moments Focus), especially the changing climates from mellow to compelling and bombastic featuring sensitive and howling guitar, this man knows how to carry us away to progrock heaven! His interplay with the keyboards from Leender Korstanje (beautiful Hammond organ, piano and some fine Mellotron) is warm, delicate and sometimes very moving and drummer Jan Dubbe does a good job. I use to call this 24- carat symphonic rock, HOLLAND IS BACK ON THE TRACK!!

(Erik Neuteboom, Progarchives)

Maybe they're not quite the champions in minimalist release lists, but only two releases over a period of nearly thirty years must be good for an honorary spot at least. Even though the band is known as heavily Camel-inspired (despite taking their monicker from a Gnidrolog release), the album opens very much acoustic, with mostly just guitar. Not until some minutes have passed does the music take on a heavier form, with electric guitar building up against the rhythm. This is also the time to show off other influences, such as Focus (especially Jan Akkerman), whilst a hint of other contemporaries of old days such as Alquin or Supersister wafts by. And then there's the Santana bit (which I seem to not see mentioned very often).

In order to make instrumental music interesting, the different numbers have to be balanced in a way quite different from that of vocal music. This is where most go wrong, or at least so in my opinion, leading to a degree of boredom that is too b to ignore. This is a point at which Lady Lake score considerably better than your average (or mine, for that matter). The music is tranquil at moments, than picking up speed or strength. It is finding the balance in doing so which for a large part determines the degree to which instrumental music satisfies. Don't get me wrong, Lady Lake still falls short in creating the type versatility that really gets my attention, and for which, granted, vocals are needed almost always. And, during the second half of the album this starts taking its toll, especially on the melodic sections, which all feature more or less the same guitar sound, making me long for the frequent bits in between, bringing on the variation I miss at other moments.

As mentioned: instrumental music is not exactly my most revered branch. Lady Lake in this erea definitely perform at better than par. Their music is versatile and maintains a degree of originality, despite its many clear influences. This results in an album that should be enjoyed by those into the instrumental sides of such bands as Camel, Alquin and Santana.

(Roberto Lambooy, The axiom of choice)

Unearthed (2006)

Unearthed
Unearthed
(2006)

Tracks:

  1. Sunburst In Bognor [5:46]
  2. The Hulk [5:32]
  3. The Time [3:24]
  4. 22 cm ii [10:07]
  5. I Only Wanted A Girlfriend (But I Got Married) [3:43]
  6. Jimmy Wakes Up [6:54]
  7. Lochum [5:58]
  8. Must Have Been More Than [5:31]
  9. Magic Twanger (Demo 1975) [3:06]
  10. Magic Twanger (Live in Uden 1998) [11:59]

Musicians:

  • Leendert Korstanje: Keyboards
  • Fred Rosenkamp: Guitars
  • Jan Dubbe: Drums

Information:
The music was recorded between 1979 and 1981.

CD Musea Records (2006)

Reviews:
Mainly comprised of tracks that were recorded “live in studio” between 1979 and 1981 (with the exception of one that was recorded in 1998 and one other in 1975), this is the third album ever released by this band, when it should really have been the second. After the release of the highly acclaimed No Pictures (1977), the band continued working in studio, but ended never releasing the second album at that time. After the coming back in 2005 with the “sophomore” Supercleandreammachine, which was also very well received by the prog community, Musea has decided, along with the band, to recover the studio tapes of the recordings for the never released second album, and finally they are available for the proghead ears…

While the sound in this recording is not reaching the quality of a full produced album, as a result of being taken from the bands recording tapes of live essays, still it provides a good listen, and is neither too raw nor too poor (in fact it is rather good considering the conditions, and the period when it was recorded). Having taken their name from a Gnidrolog album, Lady Lake never sounded close enough to that band. In fact, they have always had much more in common to bands such as Camel, fellow Dutch Focus, Caravan and some other Canterbury outfits. Compared to their debut album, the tracks in this album, perhaps driven by the fact that they were recorded “live”, sound more lively. The pace is a tad faster when compared to their other works, and the focus is more set on the virtuoso guitar playing and the creation of keyboard sound tapestries.

For fans of the real instrumental 70’s progressive symphonic rock, this is a real discovery. An album that perfectly fits the sound of the era when it was first created, and a lost treasure that has now been unveiled.

(Prognosis)