United Empire Loyalists – “Notes From…”

The United Empire Loyalists was a Vancouver B.C. band that originally consisted of Rick Enns (lead vocals, bass), Anton “Tom” Kolstee (lead guitar), Jeff Ridley (rhythm guitar), and Richard Cruickshank , later replaced by Glen Hendrickson(drums).

In 1968 the band recorded a lone single “No, No, No,” that was pressed in only 200 copies but sold well enough to attract a fan base and the attention of a local concert promoter who booked the band to open for The Grateful Dead. In 1968 the UEL’s were part of the Vancouver underground music scene so the release of a single was perceived as a commercial cash by the band so they abandoned their commercialization for songs that consisted of long jams and experimental sounds. With a limited fan base of only a few hundred of Vancouver teens, the band started to make waves around the west coast music scene and with some music pointers taken from their experience with the Dead, they managed to attract interest from Canada’s National Television station the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) .

In 1968, as part of the Enterprise television series , the CBC filmed an hour-long studio performance of the band. This even brought more of a cult mystique to the UEL’s and in 1990, the band was reformed to again perform for the CBC in a documentary about the Vancouver 60’s music scene. During the late 60’s and early 70’s the band went on tour through out B.C. opening for such acts as the Cream, Yardbirds, Steve Miller Band , Country Joe & The Fish Canned Heat and many more acts both local and international. They became one of B.C.’s hottest bands yet never released another single or received radio air play !

Notes From The Underground is the first compilation entirely devoted to the music of the United Empire Loyalists. The CD contains 13 songs taken from a variety of sources including some “live” club record ings from 1968, unreleased studio recordings from 1970, as well as songs that were originally featured on both CBC Television programs from 1968 and 1990. While the sound quality on some of the songs, especially the those recorded privately in 1968, is not great these are some of the only recordings that still exist of this band. Noticeable missing from this set without explanation is the band’s “commercial” single “No, No, No” but none the less all but two on this set are originals written by the band members. With liner notes detailing the history of the band written by Anton Kolstee, this CD is a fitting tribute to one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets that is finally available for the first time for all to hear.

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