Colosseum 2 was the brainchild of Jon Hiseman, one of the world's best and most respected drummers. Hiseman had been a founding member of the original Colosseum in the late sixties, as well as Tempest with Allan Holdsworth, Mark Clarke, Ollie Halsall and Paul Williams in the early seventies. Hiseman formed Colosseum 2, leaning much more to jazz/rock/fusion than the original Colosseum, with guitarist Gary Moore, keyboard player Don Airey, bassist Neil Murray and vocalist Mike Starrs. They released their excellent debut album, " Strange New Flesh" in 1976. Starrs left after this album, ( he would later surface in Lucifer's Friend and Target ), leaving vocal duties to seasoned pro Gary Moore ( who, incidentally, turned 48 years old on April 4th ). Bassist John Mole joined the band for the final two albums ( their third and final offering, called " War Dance", was also released in 1977 ). Hiseman has subsequently been involved with many different musicians and bands, including Paraphernalia, his wife, Barbara Thompson's, fusion outfit. He reformed the original Colosseum in the mid nineties.
(If you have more info on this
Biography by Steven McDonald
Several years after the
dissolution of Colosseum, Jon
Hiseman recruited Gary Moore and
Don Airey to form Colosseum II.
The mandate this time, however,
was not the jazz- and
blues-inflected rock of the
original band, but a full-tilt
journey into hyperkinetic jazz
fusion that stretched the
players about as far as they
could go. The band proceeded to
play and record with a passion
for three years or so, before
running out of steam. The first
album featured vocalist Mike
Starrs, who moved on to metal
band Lucifer's Friend when the
combination failed to work out.
Also departing was bassist Neil
Murray, who was replaced by John
Mole. Andrew Lloyd Webber used
the band for Variations, a
composition for his brother,
Julian Lloyd Webber. With three
highly regarded albums to their
credit, Colosseum II called it a
day. Hiseman went on to do
session work and to play with
the United Jazz & Rock Ensemble.
Sanctuary released an expanded
version of their debut (Strange
New Flesh: Upgraded) in October
If you have any contribution to
make to this band or something
email me - Japie Marais.
Click on the link and type your
comment on this band: