AMBER
Mac meantime had hooked up again with Julian MacAllister and Amber was born. Their multi-instrument approach, mixing sitar, guitars, tablas and percussion with longish tunes and lyrics laced with imagery, soon had them compared with the likes of the Incredible String Band and similar outfits.

Ray Cooper would join them on hand drums, and Amber soon found themselves playing venues such as Implosion at the Roundhouse, the Electric Cinema, and in doing so attracted the attention of former Yardbirds and Renaissance singer Keith Relf. Keith produced some tracks for them, and considered joining them for a while. Now that would have ripped a hole in the music/space/thyme continuum, but he didn’t and the recordings were shelved.

Joe Boyd wanted them for Witchseason, contracts were perused, and then turned down (!) and Clearwater got them quite a bit of work supporting Cochise and other bands on their roster. Things were going well, with Mac even turning down an invitation to join a pre-famous America, a band managed by former Exploding Mushroom manager Dave Howson.

With plenty of work coming in, what should have been a lucrative period turned out to be hard times as the trend in the early 70s was for ‘free music’, with most gigs being benefits for almost every organisation - except musicians! Mac, with Stella and two hungry children, Sascha and Alban, had to find alternative ways to make money.