- African Drums (M & T McCullagh) [3.30]
- Chinese Junkman * (M McCullagh) [3.00]
- Come Let Me Love You * (R Mellor) [4.00]
- The Train (R Black) [4.12]
- Please Help Me Girl (T McCullagh) [2.20]
- Fame And Fortune * (M McCullagh) [3.25]
- Dancin' Tonite * (R Mellor) [4.12]
- Buccaneer * (M McCullagh) [4.45]
- And I'm Lonely * (R Mellor) [3.30]
- Man On The Moon * (R Black) [3.20] not the Ballyhoo song
- The Right Time (And The Right Place) (R Mellor) [3.28]
- All In The Game (T McCullagh) [4.52]
Villa Muddy Water * only released as a single
- Mike McCully: Drums, percussion, vocals
- Tully McCully: Vocals, bass, electric and acoustic guitars
- Rupert Mellor: Piano, synthesizer, clavichord, Hammond organ, mellotron, harmonica,
- Richard Black: Lead guitar, vocals
1977, Nitty Gritty Records, NGC 1018
* These tracks are available to buy as MP3 downloads from Rhythm Records.
I used to watch these guys in the late 70s at the Canterbury Inn (Fairmead Hotel)
in Cape Town and heard wonderful renditions of classic rock songs such as
Chicago's 'I'm A Man' (with a lo-o-ong percussion solo), Barry Ryan's 'Eloise',
Grand Funk's 'Feeling Alright' (or was it Traffic's version?)
and of course their own brilliant 1977 hit single 'Buccaneer'.
'Villa Muddy Water' was the follow-up single to 'Chinese Junkman' in
late 1977/ early 1978. There was a video produced for 'Villa Muddy Water' and screened
on SABC-TV, but I can't remember ever seeing it.
McCully Workshop re-recorded some of their classic songs for the digital age in 1998
at Tully's Spaced-Out Sound studios in Cape Town.
'Buccaneer' and 'Chinese Junkman' can be found on the
Buccaneer compilation CD.
Tully McCully is one of the bastions of South African rock. His name appears on nearly every classic rock album produced South of the Limpopo as either producer or musician or both. Add this to the fact that 'Workshop Revisited' also includes one of the greatest South African rock songs in the shape of 'Buccaneer', then you know that you are dealing with an important album.
One could wax lyrical about how great a song 'Buccaneer' is, (which it
certainly is), but the big question is what about the rest of the album?
Well it's a wonderful mixed bag of rock, blues, disco and ballads, all
executed in a stylish and professional manner that one has come to expect from any product bearing the name McCully. It also goes without saying that the guitar work is from the top drawer. There are some fine vocal performances, especially on the opening track 'African Drums' where the high pitched demonic screech is perfected.
'Dancin' Tonite' despite emulating the American's inability to spell
'tonight' is a solid disco number that would have had many a booty being shook in the nightclubs of the south, although I did stop short of changing into a white suit (possibly as the falsetto vocals did not appear on this song).
The blues come courtesy of the fine instrumental track 'The Train' and 'And I'm Lonely' which includes some brilliant piano work. 'Man on the Moon' is not the Ballyhoo song, but is a lighthearted, reggae-tinged song that puts the air in carefree, while mentions of Captain Hook and Fu Manchu in 'Fame and Fortune' cleverly create a link between the 2 singles 'Buccaneer' and 'Chinese Junkman' while being a worthy single contender itself.
Such was the impact of 'Buccaneer' on the South African music scene that I still feel hard done by when I remember a school concert where the Standard 4's got to mime to this classic while me and the rest of the standard 3's had to settle for miming to 'Up Up and Away in my Beautiful Balloon'. If only I had been born a year earlier. However, I can still enjoy this classic which is surrounded by songs of sufficient quality to make it only stand out a little bit.
-- John Samson, SA Rock Digest, 15 April 2001