|Boxer are a newly formed 4-piece rock & roll band from Great Britain wrought in the grand tradition. Its members are all highly experienced and have impeccable reputations throughout the European continent.|
|Mike Patto (Vocals & keyboard)-Mike began his
musical career in Norwich in a skiffle group that called themselves the
Skyliners. From there he went on to tour with Chuck Berry, The Moody
Blues, and the Graham Bond Organization, these associations enabling him
to befriend a good many of rock’s royalty. Continuing on, Mike joined
the band, Timebox, with Ollie Halsall. The year was 1966. Timebox later
became Patto, which was to become one of the first wave of British bands
exploring the areas of jazz-rock. The group Patto was together just
under 4 years, releasing 2 lp’s on the Deram label; Patto, Hold Your
Fire & one on Island, Roll Em, Smoke Em, Put Another Line Out.
Later, Mike joined Spooky Tooth, stayed for eight months and recorded The
Mirror lp. Upon leaving Spooky Tooth, Mike became a record
executive, joining the staff of Good Ear Records, long enough for Tony
Newman and Ollie Halsall to storm his office and ask him to join Boxer.
The results of that conversation are obvious.
Ollie Halsall (Guitar & keyboard)-Hailing from Southport, England, it wasn’t long before Ollie picked up the vibraphone at the age of 14 and joined his first band, Take Five. Shortly thereafter he moved to London, abandoned his vibraphone for the electric guitar, and in 1966 formed Timebox with Mike Patto on lead vocals. Following Timebox and then Patto’s band, Ollie worked with Jon Hiseman’s Tempest and then Kevin Ayers for whom he acted as musical director and co-producer of the Sweet Deceiver lp.
Tony Newman (Drums)—Tony Newman was a member of Sounds Incorporated, one of the best British instrumental rock groups of the early 60’s. After ‘Sounds"...Tony left to play on lp’s by such artists as Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and as Tony says, "a million other artists." After his extensive studio involvement he went on to join Jeff Beck’s new group. Leaving Beck, Tony then went on to work with Ken Russell on the Tommy film, and then with David Bowie, recording the Diamond Dogs lp, wrapping it all up with a 13-week Bowie tour of the states. Following the Bowie tour Tony returned to England in time to join the Kevin Ayers Band where he met Ollie Halsall. Both Ollie and Tony were anxious to form a new band of their own specializing in straight ahead rock & roll. The result: Boxer.
Keith Ellis (Bass)-Keith joined the Koobas in the early 60’s, a group who toured a great deal with acts such as the Beatles, Walker Brothers and Small Faces and stayed until the band broke up in 1967. He spent a year with Van Der Graaf Generator, appearing on their first album. He was a founding member of Juicy Lucy and spent two years with them before boredom set in. After not working for six months, Keith joined Bobby Whitlock and toured America. He then joined Spooky Tooth, which he didn’t enjoy; however, he met up with Patto who eventually phoned him with the offer to join Boxer.
|Below The Belt, Boxer’s debut Virgin/CBS Custom Label album has just been released and it clearly bears the stamp of four exceptional musicians, rich in experience, who have blended into a powerhouse of incredible rock energy. Boxer arrives in America at the end of April to begin their first coast-to-coast tour together on these shores. As the opening of their single, "All The Time In The World," says, with a great deal of truth: "There’s a dream on the way." Boxer is it.|
|Nitpicking: Mike did not join Timebox until late 1967, not 1966. The first two Patto albums were on Vertigo records, not Deram. Ollie obviously did not abandon his vibes for guitar -- vibes are featured prominently on Timebox and Patto recordings.|
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