Paladin - Charge!

Paladin - Charge!
Authored By John Nicholson

Paladin were a really interesting early progressive rock band who sold very few records - and as a result they’re quite collectible, selling for up to £200 ($300) - 

They were founded 1970 by classically trained multi-instrumentalist Peter Solley and jazz drummer Keith Webb who had both been in Terry Reid's band that had opened for the Rolling Stones on their 1969 American tour. 

The other members of the band were Derek Foley (guitar and vocals) who previously played in Grisby Dyke; Lou Stonebridge (keyboards and vocals) from Glass Menagerie, which had released five progressive rock and psychedelic rock singles; and Peter Beckett (bass guitar, vocals) who came from Liverpool-based Winston G and The Wicked, and later in the final incarnation of World of Oz. All obscure bands playing obscure proggy music.

They were one of the first bands to feature two keyboard players and their overall sound was a stew of rock and jazz with tinges of blues and Latin touches. Very much a product of the era where genre labels had yet to be defined, so you could pretty much do anything and it be called ‘rock.’

They were signed to Bronze in 1971 who had Uriah Heep on their books and were looking for some more keyboard driven prog to sign.  Their self-titled first album was released in the Spring of 1971 and contemporary reviews were positive but promotion for it non-existent. It appears the label didn’t really get behind it. 

However, the following year they record Charge! With Geoff Emerick, famous for his work with the Beatles, of course. The cover was created by Roger Dean, one of 14 album covers he designed that year alone. But wonderful though the cover is, it sold even more poorly than the first and the band split up later in 1972. It remains a must-have for anyone interested in early prog rock. 

Peter Solley would later play in a variety of bands and acted as a producer. He played with Eric Clapton, Whitesnake and Procol Harum, playing keyboards opposite Gary Brooker, and did production work for Peter Frampton. Keith Webb played in several different bands and ended up in Spain. Lou Stonebridge went to McGuinness Flint and later to the David Byron Band (ex-Uriah Heep). Derek Foley went on to play with Graham Bond. Peter Beckett moved to the United States and founded the band Player who had a huge No. 1 hit called "Baby Come Back" which he co-wrote. So eventually, there was some deserved success for someone from Paladin.

Scroll To Top