Sunday, December 27, 2015

Stevie Wright R.I.P.

Stevie Wright from The Easybeats has passed away. There's no better fitting tribute than this dynamic live set from Germany's "Beat Beat Beat" from 1967:


Sunday, December 20, 2015

December's Picks

We're dispensing with December's picks before month's end like we do every year so that we may get on with the holidays....


1. THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR-"The Mole From The Ministry"
Recorded in 1985 by XTC members Andy Partridge, Dave Gregory and Colin Moulding (along with Dave's brother Ian on drums) their debut mini LP "25 O'Clock" was cut using vintage musical AND recording equipment at a small Christian recording studio.  The results of this "fake" band were microdots beyond any "real" so called "psychedelic" bands as this cross between "I Am The Walrus" and "We Are the Moles" will tell you.

2. BUSTER'S ALL STARS-"Sounds And Pressure"
Easily the most soulful thing Prince Buster ever did, this 1967 LP version (previously issued as a Blue Beat 45 credited to Buster All Stars but is actually Hopeton Lewis, BB 372 ) eschews his usual  groove for something far more r&b than ska or rocksteady with call and response vocals and some professionally recorded brass.

3. STATUS QUO-"Gentlemen Joe's Sidewalk Cafe"
I often forget about a lot of 60's bands.  Status Quo are among them.  They have but one brilliant LP and a handful of singles before the center partings and paisley foppery gave way to denim and 10 minute jams. This simple but catchy slice of Farfisa fueled pop more than redeems them in my book. It was also the flip side to their debut 45 "Pictures Of Matchstick Men".

4. THE SALVADORS-"Stick By Me Baby"
Having a zillion Northern soul compilation CD's and LP's and the fact that the genre is pretty played out and overrated in my opinion I suppose I can be excused for overlooking/ignoring this one which I have evidently had on a comp for eons.  It wasn't until my Philly rude girl pal Sara hipped me that the film "Northern Soul" was on Netflix streaming and I watched it and was cottoned to this up tempo stormer.  In true Northern Soul fashion an original will set you back $1,500+ according to

Merry Krimbo all of you, here's my fave Xmas track of all time from the froggy, gravely throat-ed Sonny Boy Williamson. The moral of the story, stay out of the ladies (dresser) drawer(s)....

6. THE END-"Loving Sacred Loving"
Bill Wyman's psychedelic protegees decamp from their mod/soul career in Spain back to England to cut a monster LP ("Introspection") during down time on the Stones "Satanic Majesties" album sessions with Mr. Perks twiddling the dials. This was issued as the flip to their first offering of the sessions March '68's "Shades Of Orange" (Decca F 22750).  Those of you who follow this blog will no doubt tire of me proffering this suggestion but with the way these tracks sound just imagine the '67 Stones output if they'd let Bill produce instead of A.L.O. or themselves?! The new 4 CD end box set contains no less than three versions!

This track was later given new lyrics and became "Street Fighting Man" but a cursory listen to this track and you can hear the instrumentation (especially Keith's acoustic guitar recorded through a portable cassette player) so much better than the normal finished production.

8. DENNY LAINE-"Say You Don't Mind"
Eight months after bidding The Moody Blues farewell Denny Laine released his brilliant solo debut on Deram.  "Say You Don't Mind", with it's full on Denny Cordell production is nothing short of a baroque pop masterpiece and is everything you'd expect from a '67 Deram 45 with woodwinds, string section and funky background with the bass and Denny's Spanish guitar flourishes chugging along.  It's alleged there's an entire LP worth of unreleased Denny Laine Deram era material out there. One can only hope.

9. THE UPSETTERS-"Double Wheel"
I can't decide what I like better the eye catching flashy short lived Spinning Wheel label (just 8 singles from '70-'71) or the Upsetters reggae-fied muzak instrumental of Blood Sweat & Tear's "Spinning Wheel" retooled as "Double Wheel".

10. DAVID BOWIE-"Heroes"
I recently read the amazing "Bowie In Berlin: A New Career In A New Town" by Thomas Jerome Seabrook and it sent me on a path to rediscovering my second fave Bowie period (my first being the 60's). And I had all but forgotten how I love the fuck out of this song, from it's freaky musical backing, the powerful lyrics and Bowie's emotional delivery it's all there.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Riot Squad

THE RIOT SQUAD-I Take It That We're Through/Working Man U.S. H.B.R 1966

The Riot Squad cut 7 singles in the U.K. for the Pye label in the 1960's, the last  five were produced by the legendary Joe Meek. Three of the band's 45's gained U.S. releases on three different labels, the last two were Meek productions.  Today's subject (recorded in Meek's apartment at 504 Holloway Road on March 14, 1966), is in my estimation  is the strongest of all the band's Meek produced material. It was their last U.S. 45 released in July 1966 on the always eccentric  Hanna Barbera Records label (who in between releases from their cartoons put out 45's by garage teens The Guilloteens, The Five Americans, "The Avengers Theme" by Laurie Johnson and U.K. artists like The Epics and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds among others).

"I Take It That We're Through" kicks in with some over the top bass/fuzz guitar on the intro before adding a combo organ and sax that mesh perfectly.  The vocals have the all too familiar sound technique used by Meek and remind me of several Honeycombs sides.

The tour de force continues on the B-side with "Working Man" that utilizes the sax/organ mix and a great fuzz bass/guitar lick at the end of each chorus and a gritty guitar solo worthy of Meek's previous release "Crawdaddy Simone" by The Syndicats.

The bands ever shifting line up for this 45 was: founding member Bob Evans (sax) and Nero Gladman (vocals), Terry Clifford (guitar), Butch Davis (organ), Roger Crisp (bass) and Del Roll (drums). The latter five musicians reconstituted the band in a 1965 reshuffle with Evans being the only original band member and appeared on all five of the group's Meek produced 45's. Both sides were credited to "The Riots".

The Riot Squad '66 line-up.

Both sides are available in a variety of places, notably Sequel's 2003 CD compilation "Jump".  The A-side cropped up on Sequel/Castle's 1991 CD "The Joe Meek Story: The Pye Years" and on their 2006 CD "Joe Meek Freakbeat" while it's flip wound up on their 2002 "Doin The Mod" series on "Volume 4: Ready Steady Stop!".

Hear: "I Take It That We're Through":

Hear "Working Man":

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

10 Zombies Covers

After seeing the Zombies perform  "Odessey And Oracle"   awhile back I got to thinking about 60's covers of Zombies tracks which eventually became a challenge to compile. Never one to shirk a musical challenge I set about picking ten from around the world. I could have easily just done ten U.S. 60's garage covers of Zombies songs (where it seems the Zombies rated behind The Stones and Yardbirds for "most covered British Invasion tracks") but to keep it diverse I went with bands from all over the world. Enjoy!

1. THE MINDBENDERS-"I Want Her She Wants Me" U.K. Fontana TF 780 1966
Beating The Zombies version on "Odyessey & Oracle" to a release by nearly two years The Mindbenders version differs because it's more sparse then the Zombies with lead singer Eric Stewart's voice pushed to the front of the mix and far less keyboards than the later version.

2. ROBBIE PETERS-"She Does Everything For Me" Australia Festival FK-2156 1968
Released almost a year to date of the Zombies original (released Downunder as Decca Y7355 as the flip to their final Decca era 45 "Goin' Out Of My Head") this Australian cover is a pounding, frantic freakbeat treatment ramped up 100 mph that doesn't let up.

3. THE LIVE FIVE-"I Must Move" U.S. Piccadilly 236 1967
This obscure U.S. cover by a band from Salem, Oregon starts off sounding like something entirely different, indeed the middle and the organ solo bear little resemblance to the original so it's quite unique. The band sing "I must go" by accident once instead of "I must move" in one part leading me to wonder if they'd heard Phoenix, Arizona's Phil & The Frantics re-write "I Must Go" (Rabbit 1219 1966)?  High marks for originality in NOT doing a note for note version.

4. LOS CHIJUAS-"Te Quiero (I Love You)" Mexico LP track untitled LP Musart 1389 1968
Mexico's Los Chijuas are responsible for an untitled rare as hell LP that is so obscure collectors debate whether it's from 1968 or 1969 because no one seems to know.  Among the slew of Spanish language versions of contemporary covers on the album is a cover of "I Love You".  Presumably learned from the San Jose, California band People who scored a top 20 hit with a version in the States in '68 with a Santana-esque treatment as this version owes quite a bit to their version.

5. THE MASCOTS-"Woman" Sweden Decca F 44512 1966
Along with The Who The Zombies were huge in Scandinavia, Sweden in particular where a rare as hell untitled Decca LP was issued (Decca LK 4843) in 1966 where this track first saw it's Swedish release. The Mascots version actually surpasses the original in my book because it melds the original numbers beat punchiness with some great r&b style rave ups.

6. THE WEST FIVE-"If It Don't Work Out" U.K. HMV POP 1513 1966
Rod Argent wrote "But If It Don't Work Out" with Dusty Springfield in mind and she gladly accepted cutting a version which appeared on her second British long player "Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty" released in October 1965 (Phillips RBL 1002). In March '66 the beat group The West Five issued their version on a 45 which bears closer relation to the Zombies version thanks to it's strong drums and piano accents. In fact I daresay I prefer this to the original thanks to it's stronger feeling.

7. MARTY RHONE & THE SOUL AGENTS-"What More Can I Do" Australia Spin EK-1383 1966
Next to the United States Australia held the record for largest amount of Zombies 60's covers (oddly there were just three in the U.K., two versions of "But If It Don't Work Out" and an instrumental called "Shadows" issued by The Second City Sound). This version of "What More Can I Do" sounds much like an American garage 45 thanks to it's tough guitar, lo-fi production and combo organ.  The vocals are polished and clash with the gritty but wonderful racket the band kick up.

8. THE BUCKINGHAMS-"You Make Me Feel So Good" U.S. USA 860 1966
Covered in the States by at least half a dozen other bands (The Sonics, The Gentrys, Kenny & the Kasuals to name but a few) this version was the flip of The Buckingham's November 1966 #1 U.S. hit "Kind Of A Drag".  It sticks fairly close to The Zombies original but succeeds because the musical backing, like most U.S. Zombies covers is much more raw (and I like the guitar solo much more than the original).

9. OLA & THE JANGLERS-"She's Not There" Sweden Gazel C-159 1965
Sweden's Ola & The Janglers were the first Swedish 60's band to cover the Zombies.  I'm a big fan of Ola & The Janglers but I'll have to admit this version is pretty awful.  The backing is pretty spot on but the vocals sound so incredibly twee that it makes me wonder if they were doing a piss take ala Ian Whitman's "You Turn Me On"? Worth it only for the Door-sy organ solo.

10. THE SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN-"I Want You Back Again" Australia Columbia DO-4714 1966
The flip side of "A Wondrous Place" by Australia's Southern Gentlemen benefits from some fuzz vibrato effect which thoroughly negates the normally jazzy feel that this track (which oddly was never issued in the U.K. by The Zombies but saw a 45 issue in the USA, Canada, Australia etc) but it still swings.  Sadly there's no clip on YouTube at the moment.

***The author wishes to thank Alec Palao for his excellent "Zombiemania: pictures and stories of the fabulous ZOMBIES!" 1998 publication for it's discography assistance*****************************

Monday, November 30, 2015

November's Picks

 1. THE BEATLES-"Revolution"
Shut up or tool up.  It's really quite simple.  Ranting about the state of the world on social media never changed a fucking thing.......

Jazzy yet bluesy this Jack Bruce sung (and written with help of his then wife Janet) track has always been one of my faves from the G.B.O.'s debut LP "The Sound of '65" creating an almost near Eastern feel with the repetitive harmonica vs. saxophone duel throughout beneath Bruce's zooming bassline.

3. THE KINKS-"End Of The Season"
A perfect number for Autumn changing into Winter. You can't beat the '66-'67 Kinks stuff as they were so counter culture, everyone was all peace and love and in crowd discotheques and boutiques and Ray Davies was blowing a brown ale scented raspberry at it all from his suburban enclave.

4. HAROLD JOHNSON SEXTET-"Sorry Bout That Part 1"
An old girlfriend turned me onto this track in the 90's on one of Rhino's "Cocktail Mix" CD compilations and this boss little sax driven jazzy instrumental was one of my favorites on it. Released as a single in 1966 on the Los Angeles H.M.E. label I have yet to come across a copy!

Sacked Hollies bassist Eric Haydock must have surprised a lot of people when he promptly put together Haydock's Rockhouse, a sophisticated mod r&b combo who as the name implies played "rockhouse" as personified by the likes of Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames. This jazzy number with cool sax and a vibe solo graced the flip of their debut 45, a cover of Sam Cooke's "Cupid".

6. JOE SIMON-"I See Your Face"
The beauty of the r&b genre is that it's a bottomless pit with new tracks to discover every day.  Enter this slightly obscure 1961 single on the Hush label with cool jazzy flute and a mid tempo slow burn that seems to at times sound like "Pretty Girls Everywhere".

7. DONOVAN-"Do You Hear Me Now"
I had never heard this track until I discovered it on the BBC "Psychedelia Britannia" documentary last month. So much of Donovan's denim folkie period is easily lumped together as truth be told it gets a bit tedious but this one has quite a bit of "umph" and it's short! From his "Universal Soldier" E.P.

This is one of the unreleased '66 Moodies tracks produced by Denny Cordell that was unearthed for the deluxe reissue of the "Magnificent Moodies" album. Sung by their "new" bassist Rod Clark (formerly of The Monotones) it really reminds me of The Four Pennies on a few of their rocking tracks. Sadly within a few months Rod was gone and so was Denny Laine.

9. THE ACTION-"Things You Cannot See"
The Action's "Brain"/"Rolled Gold" albums will always be a guilty pleasure of mine.  Sure their 5 singles are incredible but there's something about tracks like this one that never fail to disappoint me no matter how half baked (pun intended or not, your choice) they sound and give pause for thought what they would have accomplished had they been given a second chance and been signed by a major label again.

10. SCOTT WALKER-"The Lights Of Cincinnati"
I had long overlooked this number in favor of most of what I perceived as his stronger LP tracks and always thought this was too schmaltzy (indeed it turns out I owned a 45 of it for what must be a good 20 years or so and only just came across it). But times and tastes change and maybe I'm getting old and sentimental (deffo the the former) but I dig this.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

GRAHAM BOND: Live At The BBC And Other Stories

My head nearly exploded this past Summer when it was announced that there would be a three CD Graham Bond live BBC CD set on it's way. Fans and owners of the 2013 4 CD Graham Bond Organization "Wade In The Water" set will be amused to note that in addition to the seven versions of "Wade In' The Water" on that collection they will now be in possession of a further four versions with this compilation should they, like me, purchase this! I was expecting more Graham Bond Organization material on this collection. Half of this set is either Bond's previous G.B.O. band The Don Rendell Quartet (and a few guest appearances on alto saxophone with other less known combos) or his post G.B.O. bands Bond & Brown and The Graham Bond Initiation (neither of whom ever did much for me musically). The quality for the most part is quite decent with a few notable exceptions but the cover photo of the G.B.O. in action and no indication of who performed what when I pre-ordered it from Amazon made it seem a bit, shall we say, deceptive.

The first CD kicks off with The Graham Bond Quartet April 1963 session hosted by the always amusing George Melly. The line up consists of Bond (Hammond/Vocals), John McLaughlin (guitar), Jack Bruce (double bass), Ginger Baker (drums) and guest vocalist Bobby Breen from the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra (who had previously spurned Bruce and Baker for being too "loud"). The first number is an incredible version of "Bluesology". Equally stunning and also of note are "I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town" and Bond's original "Spanish Blues".  All of which swing in no small part to the powerhouse Bruce/Baker rhythm section.

The Graham Bond Quartet briefly backed our hero Duffy Power on a single "I Saw Her Standing There" (the second Lennon/McCartney cover ever issued a few months after Kenny Lynch's "Misery"). An undated 1963 session with the Quartet backing Power is contained with four tracks (including the previously mentioned Fab Four cover). The playing is incredible as expected but at times Power sounds a bit ragged at times but redeems himself with a version of "Summertime".

The September 1962 BBC session of Bond blowing alto with the Don Rendell Quintet (along with future GBO sax man Dick Heckstall-Smith) is an excellent time capsule that reminds one of the mod vs trad jazz argument that is now all but forgotten. It starts out with a great intro by host Steve Race who says:
"When people with narrow tastes complete about modern jazz, particularly about experimental modern jazz they tend to forget that it's roots lie firmly in the older forms. If they can't hear the connection that's a fault in their listening not in the music itself. For a session of modern jazz that knows it's ancestry we present the Don Rendell Quintet."
The session swings kicking off with a version of Cannonball Adderley's "Things Are Getting Better" .  Not content to be a jazz covers band they perform quite a few originals in the session including pianist John Burch's "Troika" and "Kazeef", leader Rendell's compositions ""Persian Party" and "Richmond Festival" and a Bond original "Elsie And Ena" (titled "Bring Back The Burch" on their LP "Roarin").

The second disc starts off with a January 1966 session Graham Bond Organization session featuring Bond (vocals/organ), Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone) , Mike Falana (trumpet) and Ginger Baker.  There's a colorful introduction by George Melly who introduces the band by describing what they're wearing! It was this line up which cut my favorite version of "Wade In The Water" (which was released as a single in the US) which starts the session. Also included are a Bond original called "Only Sixteen" (creepy with later allegations that Bond would sexually abuse his wife's teenage daughter) and a version of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" that grooves.

The Bond & Brown 1972 session (featuring Bond's wife Diane on lead vocals on one track and Pete Brown on another) is excellent quality. Again, musically not my thing (as is the case with most post '67 Bond material).

There's an odd little piece from '62 recorded in Bond's front room of him and Dick Heckstall-Smith noodling around on their saxes called (unsurprisingly) "Improvisation". For G.B.O. completists only.

There's a raw as hell 9:40 live version of "What'd I Say" from either 1966 or 1967 with the short lived final  G.B.O. line up of Bond/Heckstall-Smith and drummer Jon Hiseman with some raunchy lyrics. It's actually quite good both musically and quality wise though a bit too long.

A 4 song Graham Bond Quartet session with Duffy Power from July 1963's "Pop Go the Beatles" is incredible, but the source quality is a bit sub par.  It sounds as though it was recorded from a mic placed near a radio speaker but regardless it's incredible with Power's performance surpassing the other session on Disc One. Power sings "I Got A Woman" and "I Saw Her Standing There" while the band play two instrumentals, a Bond "Green Onions" inspired instro original called "Cabbage Greens" and "Spanish Blues".

Seven tracks by the Graham Bond Initiation from January 1970 and  March 1970 respectively introduced by John Peel make up the third disc. Again not my thing but the quality is excellent. the version of "Walkin' In The Park/I Want You" is actually quite good though a bit on the long side for my liking.

The final disc is an odd selection of rarities and fodder.  The opening track "Things Are Getting Better" comes from an incredibly rare 1962 E.P. "Jazz And Twist" (Vaux VA 8) by the Brian Dee Trio featuring Bond blowing some excellent alto sax. The fodder comes in the form of an instrumental called "Blew Through" that somehow wound up Philamore Lincoln's 1970 U.S. only LP "The North Wind Blew South" (Epic BN 26497) . It's not bad but it reminds me too much of incidental music by the "Saturday Night Live" house band at times! A 1962 jam session from Club 43 in Manchester provides five tracks of Bond again on alto with Ken Wray & The Joe Palin Trio.  The quality and the playing are all fairly decent with again another version of "Things are Getting Better" along with "Work Song", "Sack O' Woe" etc.

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Timebox

TIMEBOX-Beggin'/Woman That's Waiting U.S. Deram 45-85031 1968

Most of you out there are no doubt familar with this record, quite a dance floor filler for the past 25+ years.  It's not often that a British record trumps the American original but I feel this version easily betters it's predecessor, though I quite enjoy the original Four Seasons version too. I DO NOT, and I cannot stress this enough, like the "remixed" version that cropped up a few years ago in this un-original age of sampling, remixing, overdubbing and whatever other colorful terms they use for "thievery because of lack of talent". It takes talent to record a record, any moron can remix it and throw beats and do whatever it takes to give it the "now" sound. Okay, rant over.

Timebox were a British five piece who recorded two singles for Piccadilly before moving onto Deram in for five more. They were at the time of this singles release: Mike Patto (ex-Bo Street Runners)-lead vocals, Ollie Halsall-vibes/guitar/vocals, Clive Griffiths-bass, Chris Holmes-keyboards and future Rutle John Halsey-drums (in fact today's item in question was the first single he drummed on). Like many British bands in the mid 60's live they were a soul/r&b band who knew how to occasionally get "freaky" on record, as this record proved.

The pre-psych "mod/soul" era Timebox

May 1968's "Beggin'" was as close as Britain's Timebox ever got to being a success on their home turf (it climbed to #38).  It was however quite big in Europe and gathered releases in a multitude of countries, including two different issues in the United States.  Deram's U.S. branch must have expected big things from it as I swear this is the only non-hit Deram U.S. release I've ever seen more copies of. Regardless of it's hot potential it's a brilliant slice of British blue eyed soul (something Deram was quite famous for if you've been reading our blog).  From it's vibes, to Patto's soulful vocals the whole thing just grooves so well, imminently danceable stuff!  The flip side is altogether different though, but it's still great. It also happens to be from my other favorite genre Deram is known for: British psychedelia. "A Woman That's Waiting" bears more than passing resemblances to "I Am The Walrus" from it's sawing string section and plodding beat and even it's regal trumpets, but before it can become and act of overt plagiarism Halsall's vibes kick in a jazzy little break that takes it back to swirling strings and Patto's blue eyed soul vocals.  Easily one of my favorite Deram releases of all time. Both sides were produced by former "Ready! Steady! Go!" host Michael Aldred.

Post mod/suits era Timebox

Both sides were included on the essential CD "The Deram Anthology" which is fortunately still in print.

TRIVIA NOTE: Interestingly "A Woman That's Waiting" was first issued as a B- side to the French only version of The Rascal's "Come On Up" (Deram DR 41826) in April 1968.

MANY thanks to this Mike Patto website:

where these Timebox photos were culled from. Below are two groovy live clips of Timebox performing live on French TV!

Hear "A Woman That's Waiting":

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides: The Barron Knights Do Pete Townshend

THE BARRON KNIGHTS-Lazy Fat People/In The Night  Dutch Columbia DB 8161 1967

Long before Randy Newman raised the world's hackles with a track called "Short People", one Pete Townshend provided a well known U.K. comedy/cabaret/rock n' roll quintet called the Barron Knights with an unreleased track of his doing who released it as a single in March 1967....This of course was not a unique instance as The Pudding would release an unheard of track of his called "Magic Bus" (Decca F12603) the following month (and a whole year before the Who's version) and Oscar had launched his "Join My Gang" the previous year.

"Lazy Fat People" is a firmly tongue and (in?) cheek number about...well...lazy fat people.  It's jaunty and a bit "odd" in the same way "Whiskey Man" or "Boris The Spider" were.  It's vocal delivery seems to anticipate Queen but the rapidly ascending harmonies add to the whole satirical feel to the number by giving it an almost acapella feel.  Lyrically I'm sure people were and possibly are offended by it but I'll take that with a grain of salt as I quite enjoy it.  The B-side is another pointless exercise in, well a pointless B-side.

    Pete demo-ing, perhaps "Lazy Fat People"?

Strangely I don't think this number has ever been reissued, but someday someone needs to do a "Songs of Pete Townshend" CD comp the same way they've done with The Bee Gee's and David Bowie!

Hear Pete's demo of "Lazy Fat people":

Hear The Barron Knight's "Lazy Fat People":

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides: The Bunch

THE BUNCH-Don't Come Back To Me/You Can't Do This U.K. CBS 2740 1967

The Bunch began their career as a soulful, moddy U.K. seven piece with a powerful horn section before morphing into psych pop thanks to a slew of John Pantry compositions on their last two 45's of four singles for the CBS label.

Today's subject concerns their mod/soul/r&b period.  We previously wrote about their debut 45 way back in 2008, this was their second released in May 1967.  "Don't Come Back To Me" starts out with a soulful intro before breaking into great ska rhythm on organ and horns.  The ska/soul balance is maintained throughout the number and works thanks to the strong horn section and the catchy call and response chorus.


On the B-side "You Can't Do This" is even stronger in my estimation. Again it's propelled by their massive horn section but this time it's beneath a poppy but soulful groove which works.  It reminds me a lot of bands that were cutting similar sounds at the time on Deram like The Quik and The Eyes of Blue in that there's a heavy blue eyed soul vibe going but the vocalists aren't desperately trying to convince the listeners that they're a black American r&b singer.

"Don't Come Back" sadly has yet to be comped but "You Can't Do This" was resurrected for Past and Presents "New Ruble" series and appears on "New Rubble Volume 4: Utopia Daydream" and is also available for download on iTunes.

Hear "Don't Come Back To Me":

Hear "You Can't Do This":

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Classic 60's British Labels : President

Whilst in conversation on F.B. with my old former NYC based DJ pal Layla Boschetti about the President label I decided it would be interesting to come up with ten cool 45's on this U.K. outlet of cool.  I could have just as easily picked ten Equals singles on the label but decided that would be too easy. President ran in the U.K. from 1966 all the way to 2006 and had records issued in Germany, Italy, the USA, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.  They were extremely diverse for a small label running the gamut of psychedelia, ska/reggae, soul/r&b, blues, M.O.R. pop and even American garage! For the sake of brevity I stuck with U.K. issues only.

1. THE EXPLOSIVE-"Cities Make The Country Colder" PT 244 1969
This number starts out with a great little Small Faces '66 style instrumental bit with Steve Cropper style guitar licks and funky organ before fading out through what sounds like an old transistor radio (if you remember those?) and bouncing back into a hook laden, melodic, catchy poppy ditty not unlike The Move and goes out the same way it came in.

2. HAT AND TIE-"Finding It Rough" PT 122 1967
Hat & Tie were not really a band but a studio project consisting of future Nirvana guy Patrick Campbell Lyons and producer Chris Thomas.  It's an amazing track with this buzzing, incessant, fuzz guitar lick that repeats over and over through most of the track and was first unearthed back in 1991 on "Circus Days Volume 3". Interestingly the Everly Brothers later covered the track on their LP "The Everly Brothers Sing".

This 45 became much coveted because of it's trippy apocalyptic flip side "Armageddon" and the A-side was dismissed (unfairly) by Nigel Lees in "Record Collectors"  continuing article series "The Ultimate UK Psych A To Z" piece way back when.  I find it as equally amazing as it's flip if not better.  It has a wonderful intro that would do Joe Meek proud with spacey effects and neat keyboards (that also bring to mind Barry Grey instrumentals), subtle fuzz guitar and some cool harmony vocals (described as one YouTube comment as "The Association on crystal meth").  The Mellotron adds a very Rick Wright Pink Floyd '67 feel that seems to have inspired a Dukes of Stratosphear tune which I can't quite place.

4. LITTLE GRANTS & EDDIE-"Rock Steady '67" PT 172 1967
We talked about Little Grants & Eddie's first 45 an earlier post and this was their 2nd and last 45 continuing the "Music Youth of 1967" feel. The track name checks Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker by the toaster who sings "Now '67 was the year of the ska" with a funky rocksteady beat with a cool mix of horns and strings.  The jury is still out on who was involved, hopefully some of you might now?

5. THE RENEGADES-"Thirteen Women" PT 106 1966
Ripping up Bill Halley's 1954 track this based British band (who made their mark in Finland and Italy) put it through the paces with some raw vocals, gritty fuzz guitar and and punctuated by a shrill/spooky organ lick.  One of President's rarest and most in demand 45's a copy recently went for $300+ on E-Bay.

6. RHUBARB RHUBARB-"Money Lender" PT 229 1968
I haven't a clue who these guys were but both sides of this 45 (the flip side was titled "Rainmaker") have lyrics that could be construed as "biblical".  "Moneylender" has a funky effect on the guitar and a catchy chorus that lead this track into a genre firmly known as "freakbeat".

7. THE LEAGUE-"Hey Conductor" PT167 1967
This 1967 flip of their sole 45 "Nothing On" (which is a decent track too) sounds like it was recorded at least two or three years prior as it's a mid tempo beat number with a steady groove and some Hollies inspired high notes that recall  their hit "We're Through". Originally released and cut in the States by Sonny Flaherty and the Mark V in August of '67 (Phillips 40479). Again I'm clueless on anything about these guys, this track was produced by former Riot Squad lead singer Graham Bonney (who co-wrote the a-side "Nothing On").

8. THE LLOYD ALEXANDER REAL ESTATE-"I'm Gonna Live Again" PT 157 1967
My all time fave British 60's record NOT recorded by the Action or the Small Faces was this B-side of a cover of Chuck Jackson's "What You Gonna Do".  It's a powerful mix of soul/r&b/ska and freakbeat with an "I'll Be Doggone" style riff behind some ska "vocal percussion" ala "Guns Of Navarone". MONSTER!

9. JOHNNY WYATT-"This Thing Called Love" PT 109 1966
This monster soul number complete with vibes, amphetamine beat and female vocals was originally issued in the States in August 1966 on the Bronco label where it was produced by Barry White (who co-wrote it as well). It's also, understandably, a monster Northern soul 45.

10. MOUSE & THE TRAPS-"Beg Borrow And Steal" PT 174 1968
President issued this monster U.S. garage classic (originally issued in the States on the Fraternity label the year before) on the flip of the tepid "L.O.V.E Love".  I'm not going to waste your time writing about it as it's pretty well known and if you haven't I won't spoil it by yakking, have a listen.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cool Foreign Picture Sleeves Part 53: The Small Faces

THE SMALL FACES-Itchycoo Park/I'm Only Dreaming/ Here Come The Nice/Talk To You Portugal Stateside PSE 512 1968

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides: Oscar (aka Paul Nicholas) Does Bowie

OSCAR-Over The Wall We Go/Every Day Of My Life U.K. Reaction 591002 1967

Oscar (born Paul Oscar Beuselinck) has a C.V. full of names.  He performed as Paul Dean (and was briefly a member of The Savages, Screaming Lord Sutch's backing band) and cut a single backed by The Thoughts (of "All Night Stand" fame for Decca) and a solo 45 as Paul Dean before becoming "Oscar" and later changed his name to Paul Nicholas where he would star in "Tommy", "Jesus Christ Superstar" etc and make the dreadful "Heaven Of the 7th Floor" disco record.

Signed to Robert Stigwood's Reaction label in 1966  he cut his first release with them as Paul Dean ("She Can Build A Mountain" b/w "A Day Gone By", both of which he wrote) as Reaction 590002 which was the labels second release following several variations of their debut 45 The Who's  "Substitute" ( 591001 with three differing B-sides!).  Stigwood was acquainted with Oscar's father Oscar Beuselinck Sr. a rather flamboyant, eccentric, allegedly acid tongued solicitor to the stars who it is said represented either Stigwood or Lambert & Stamp (depending on which book you read!). This was Oscar's third single for the label after the dynamic John "Speedy" Keen (later of Thunderclap Newman) penned "Club Of Lights" (591003) and Pete Townshend's "Join My Gang" (591006).

For his third Reaction release as Oscar he cut a previously unreleased David Bowie number called "Over The Wall We Go" that was released in January 1967 (this would be the first time an artist covered a track written under the name of "David Bowie" actually). It's an odd little ditty that's one third pub singalong, one third campy pop song and one third of a lost stage/film musical number not out of place in some Dick Van Dyke playing a Brit" bit. There are some catchy and hysterical lines in it like "My name it is Henry now some say I'm thick. I spent half me life in and out of nick my mom sends me presents to keep me in style soggy old cakes and hundreds of files.  Yeah I sussed all them files I'm a clever young man now I look stupid with manicured hands".  The lyrics were inspired by a series of prison break outs and provides a rather "gay" (in both uses of the word) picture of prison life with loads of double entendre and cheeky chappiness about it with full orchestration and horns full of pomp and circumstance complete with a silly chorus "Over the wall we go all coppers are 'nanas" . There are varying opinions of Bowie's "cameo" as various prisoner voices on this record but to my ears listen to inmate's Double 3425 and 3426 during the "roll call" sequence in the middle and see if you think that it sounds like him.  It has been reported that Oscar performed the number on comedian Ken Dodd's TV show "Doddy's Music Box" but clips have failed to materialize thus far (no doubt "wiped" like so many other 60's British television programs).

Promo sheet c/o Mark at

The flip side "Every Day Of My Life" is an overwrought orchestral/piano backed number more suited to Engelbert Humperdinck or more to the point, the garbage, which is where it belongs.  Despite the plug on TV as mentioned above it died a death. It was relaunched  in 1978 on Stigwood's RSO label by one "Ivor Bird", but if this was a re-release of the Oscar version I cannot say for certain as I have not heard it, like Bowie's "cameo" there are varying opinions.  Oscar would cut one more 45 on Reaction, a cover of The Bee Gee's "Holiday" (Reaction 591016) in September of 1967 before refocusing his career on acting before striking gold with the awful "Heaven On The Seventh Floor" in the U.S. (#6) ten years later (it tanked in Britain at #40).

"Over The Wall We Go" was legitimately reissued on the 2006 Castle CD compilation "Oh! You Pretty Things The Songs of David Bowie".

Hear "Over The Wall We Go":

Hear David Bowie's 1966 demo for "Over The Wall We Go":

Hear "Every Day Of My Life":

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October's Picks

1. SYMARIP-"Skinhead Moonstomp"
"I want all you skinheads to get up on your feet, put your braces together and boots on your feet and gimme some of that old moonstomping".

We here at Anorak Thing are wetting ourselves with glee with word that in November there will be a 4 CD/50 song box set of 60's Graham Bond Organization BBC recordings (pre-order here). I've always been a huge G.B.O. fan and this bluesy duet between Graham and Jack Bruce backed by Ginger Baker's solid back beat and Dick Heckstall Smith's jazzy sax is nothing short of brilliant. One of the highlight's of their classic "Sound of '65" LP.

"I want you to meet me, down at 6th Street..." So begins the Kelly Brothers hard to find 1965 45 (Simms 247 1966) but incredible call and response mid tempo soul burner with some great licks. In my estimation it's one of their strongest.  Of course it's hard to find for under $50 because someone deemed it "Northern soul" way back and well you know that goes.

4.CHRISTOPHER COLT-"Virgin Sunrise"
"Turn down the road on a carpet of leaves, hands in pockets and breath like smoke, noise of the waking is living around me like a day in the past when the world awoke....." 
No better song about an Autumn morning has ever been written than this one off obscure 1968 Decca single by one Christopher Colt, whom I know absolutely f*ck all about.

5. DAVID BOWIE-"Do Anything You Say"
Backed by some pounding ivories, off kilter guitar, faint organ and frat rock meets Motown backing vocals the newly minted David Bowie gives it his all on his second 45 under the new moniker for what would two of three releases under Tony Hatch on the Pye label .  Released on April Fool's Day 1966  $1,500-$2,000 will secure you an original copy these days, that is if it turns up.

6. PUSSY CAT-"La La Lu"
Gallic girl wonder Pussy Cat (real name Evelyne Courtois) had a brief career in the mid 60's covering material by The Moody Blues, Hollies, Small Faces etc.  She also did an equal number of French compositions like this amazing little ditty from her 1966 E.P. that's eminently dance-able.  Recently RPM put out a decent CD compilation of her material "Boof!-The Complete Pussycat 1966-1969" which is pretty nifty if only for this and the before mentioned host of French language versions of British 60's cuts. Dig the French TV version recorded when I was a few days old below:

7. THE SMALL FACES-"Coming Home Baby (Live On The Joe Loss Show)"
Decca have just released a 5 CD Small Faces box set "The Decca Years 1965-1967".  I sat this one out as nearly all of the tracks were previously issued on the 2 CD deluxe editions of their two Decca LP's or the decades old BBC CD, that is save four tracks recorded live for the Joe Loss Show.  I'm glad I didn't make that eccentric leap as the quality is pretty sub par to the rest of their BBC tracks.  That said this smoking instrumental version of Mel Torme's "Coming Home Baby" highlights some nifty organ/guitar work which leads me to wonder did they come up with the arrangement themselves or nick it from somebody else as it certainly bears to resemblance to either the Kai Winding or Herbie Mann instro versions I'm familiar with.

8. THE REAL DON STEELE-"Tina Delgado Is Alive"
My old pal Larry Grogan of Funky 16 Corners/Iron Leg blog fame recently posted this out of sight instrumental from the late 1960's L.A. DJ Don Steele on his most recent Iron Leg podcast (download it here) that is out of this freaking world with some over the top fuzz guitar, funky Hollyweird session backing and Steele shouting "Tina Delgado is alive!" beneath a pulsing go-go organ grove.

From Eric Burdon & The Animals first "psychedelic" album, 1967's "Winds Of Change", this is a mellow but powerful piece of music as various instruments come in bit by bit and turn it into a an opus. The strings always get me and the delay effect on the drums is subtly trippy.

10. MARK MURPHY-"Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)"
Mark Murphy R.I.P. With an arrangement straight off of a late period Walker Brothers disc (or a Scott Walker solo one) comes the title track to Mark's rare as hell U.K. only Immediate album from 1966. Commercially a flop and at times a bit supper club jazz it's still an amazing record that was too "pop" for the jazzbos and too "jazz" for the pop world.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Georgie Fame:The Whole World's Shaking

There are few box sets that have generated the level of excitement for me that Polydor/Unversal's new 5 CD box set "The Whole World's Shaking: Georgie Fame Complete Records 1963-1966".  All of Fame's material recorded for the Columbia label is included: his four LP's ("Rhythm & Blues At The Flamingo", "Fame At Last", "Sweet things" and "Sound Venture") plus all the singles (A's & B's) and E.P. tracks, a host of demos, live BBC session tunes, alternate versions and previously unreleased live songs and both sides of a German language 45. Completists will note that sadly owing to music rights issues it is not entirely complete as it's missing both singles the band cut in 1963 for the ska label R&B and records backing other artists at that same time (Ronnie Gordon's excellent "Shake Some Time" also on the R&B label and Perry Ford and the Sapphires "Baby Baby" on Decca from the previous year) .

Other than some ludicrously expensive Japanese remastered CD's most of this material has not seen the legitimate light of day on CD outside a German box set ("The In Crowd")  in the late 90's, the stalwart "20 Beat Classics" CD and the excellent BGP CD comp from a few years ago "Mod Classics 1964-1966". Here all of Fame's U.K. Columbia albums are faithfully reproduced in little CD album jackets and all of them sound incredible.  It still boggles the mind that some of these have not been reissued ever.  The long players offer a gamut of Fame's 60's Columbia career in a perfect encapsulation. Their legendary 1964 long playing debut  "Rhythm And Blues At The Flamingo" finds the band in their most interesting period readily mixing soul, jazz, blues, r&b and even ska.  By "Fame At Last" (released the same year) the emphasis seemed to shift more into jazz/r&b/soul. The third album, 1966's "Sweet Things" veers predominantly into soul territory and is my favorite period of 60's G.F. material (we wrote a bit about that period over here). Shortly after it's release The Blue Flames would be dissolved following the wishes of manager Rik Gunnell paving the way for Fame's jazz aspirations to come true with the follow up (also released in '66) "Sound Venture". An all out jazz affair (exception being a cover of "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag"), it was recorded with The Harry South Big Band featuring a virtual who's who of British jazz musicians.  The singles and E.P. cuts tacked on as bonus tracks on each LP disc are equally amazing.  Many, like the four cuts from his 1964 ska E.P. "Blue Beat" or my fave G.F. B-side "Telegram" have never been reissued before.

There are quite a few surprises even for G.F. anorak's like me. The bonus tracks on the "Rhythm & Blues At The Flamingo" disc contain three tracks from that LP's "live" session ("Parker's Mood", "Money" and "Molasses") the latter of which I had never heard before, the two others cropping up on a dodgy CD reissue on the bootleg label Rockin' Beat.  The disc also features the entire 6 song set from a 1964 BBC session they shared with The Rolling Stones  hosted by Long John Baldry and 4 tunes from the excellent oft circulated (ahem) "bootleg" from 1964 "Live at The Blue Moon, Putney". Why that entire gig was not added was not explained but I assume that was since a few of the tracks already appear in other forms here (and that some of those from the Putney gig bear some defects) we are left with just four:  "Sister Sadie", "Pig Foots", "Funky Mama" and "Signifying Monkey", all of which for anyone not familiar with the set easily surpass their live debut album.

Disc five "Bend A Little: Demos, Rarities & Outtakes" is where my head really exploded. There's 5 whopping demo cuts from an IBC session cut in 1964 that are mind blowing and were new to me.  I think they showcase Fame's organ playing better than anything else and two of the tracks ("Kidney Stew" and "Lonely Avenue") were never re-recorded anywhere else. There's a version of "Moanin'" that is incredibly faithful to the Lambert, Hendricks & Ross version and features an incredible organ solo by Fame and an equally stunning trumpet solo by Eddie "Tan Tan" Thorton and a sax solo (presumably by Peter Coe). Why this cut was never released at the time is a mystery . Presumably it was too "jazzy" for the band's 1964 long player "Fame At Last"? A rousing studio version of Louis Jordan's "Saturday Night Fish Fry" sees it's first release here with  Fame tackling it's catchy, fast delivered vocals and the band follow suit. A host of the other tracks ("Jelly Jelly Jelly", a cover of Earl Van Dyke's "Soul Stomp", the brilliant Tony Colton penned "Red Number Nine", Prince Buster's "Blackhead Chinaman", "This Is Always" and "Tan Tan's tune") all previously saw the light of day on the earlier mentioned German box set "The In Crowd" but gain their first wider release here.  One of my other favorites is the instrumental "Incense, which sees it's very first release here. In the liner notes Georgie Fame claims to have composed it though it's credited to "Fallon/Miller" (a vocal version was issued on U.K. Sue by The Anglos and Wynder K Frog cut a superior version on their debut album "Sunshine Super Frog").

In addition to the five discs there is a small hardbound book chronicling the whole story by journalist Chris Welch chock full of photos and loads input and quotes from the man himself on a host of the tracks contained within. There is also a small sleeve containing five 5 X 7 '64-'66 photos and an odd ball large size poster of Georgie in conversation with Mick Jagger.  I'm not really a poster guy in my old age but I think I would have rather had a blow up of a photo of Fame behind the Hammond at the Flamingo or a repro trade ad for an LP or 45 instead of a pic of the bored looking duo in conversation in what looks like a squat!  That said high marks to compiler Dean Rudland for putting together THE definitive Georgie Fame product of a lifetime.

"I'd LOVE to hear about your new record......but oh
will you look at the time I got to go..."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Great Obscure U.K. 60's Sides: Winston G.

WINSTON G.-Riding With The Milkman/Bye Bye Baby U.K. Decca F 12623 1967

Winston G. (also known as Winston Gawke and Winston Gork) cut 5 singles in 1965-1967. Two were on Parlophone (including his lackluster debut "Please Don't Say" b/w "Like A Baby" with backing by the Graham Bond Organization) and the remaining three on Decca.  Today's subject was his last (and in my opinion his best) before we went on to join a band called The Fox (the one on CBS of  "Mr. Carpenter"/"Seek And You Find" not the ones on Fontana).

Winston G. himself

"Riding With The Milkman" is sort of a psych pop track in a genre some would like to call "toy town psych". It starts out a bit twee and airy fairy but the wiggy phlanged bit and harpsichord help turn it into a rocking number reminiscent of something on the Small Faces first Immediate LP in bits.

And speaking of Small Faces influences.....the flip side "By Bye Baby" begins with a distorted power chord (and some thrashy guitar ala the S.F.'s first Decca album) and turns into a full on Steve Marriott styled r&b belter chugging along with some great hooks and a gritty little guitar solo that would give "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" a run for it's money.

Interestingly BOTH sides have finally seen the light of day and are available for download from iTunes. CD wise "Riding With The Milkman" is on Psychic Circle's mix "Fairy Tales Can Come True Volume 3: Let's Ride" and "Bye Bye Baby" is on their CD compilation "With The Sun In My Eyes".

Hear "Riding With The Milkman":

Hear "Bye Bye Baby":

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Zombies "Odessey And Oracle" Live 10/11/15

Pic courtesy of Joe Oshman
I have avoided "Zombies" gigs for the past decade or however long they've been dragging their "Zombies greatest hits/Blunstone solo/Argent's greatest hits" tired Casino/Cabaret act around because quite honestly it all sounded hokey (more on that in a bit) . When I first read that they would be performing their famous "Odessey (sic) And Oracle" LP in it's entirety and in it's original running order I was still skeptical. That changed when I read that remaining original members Chris White and High Grundy would be joining them for the gig (guitarist Paul Atkinson sadly having passed away in 2004) and took a chance on a ticket. My friend Joe and I duly set off to see them at the spacious Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA (after much lubrication of the British ale sort at Glenside's Union Jack's pub).

Much like Paul Weller gigs back in the 90's I ran into a host of people I knew from the past two or three decades and nearly all of them were apprehensive about the first set and hopeful about the second set of ""Odessey...".  I won't spend too much time bitterly slagging off the showbizzy first set.  They did 13 tunes, 6 of them were Zombies numbers with some nice surprises like "I Love You" , their opener (the whole set can be viewed here) and one of my faves, the jazzy "I Want You Back Again". It should have been amazing. Blunstone's voice pulled it off, Argent played his incredible electric piano but it was absolutely ruined by their guitarists using his 80's L.A. metal hair band effect on what should have been some jazzy arpeggios. In fact had they found someone not so interested in being Stevie Ray Vaughn they might have stood a chance.  Then came time to plug the new LP with long winded reminiscing by Blunstone (and Argent), I nipped off for a piss (which I waited in line for), came back then headed back out again to the bar for the two of the most expensive cans of Becks I'd ever had and they were still not finished the tales and their two tracks from the new album!!  Thankfully the trip down Argent lane only consisted of "Hold You Head Up" which thrilled a few sweatpants clad audience members (one of whom stood the entire time with his fists raised in the air, glad he was digging it, I wasn't). That went on even longer.  "Tell Her No" and then intermission time.

After 30 minutes they took the stage with Chris White looking much like my Uncle Ernie wearing one of my pinstripe jackets (and who, unlike his band mates, is immediately recognizable) complete with his trademark 60's racoon tail on his bass strap and Hugh Grundy, augmented by a young lady (who it transpires is Mrs. Chris White) joining the first set's bassist Jim Rodford on backing vocals, the previously annoying guitarist (who fortunately did not use his grungy little effects pedal) and a young man with gravity defying hair who I was told is Brian Wilson's band leader on keyboards and additional backing vocals. Before it was co-opted by every vinyl devouring hipster or slacker hack rock n' roll journo "Odessey And Oracle" was (and still is in an odd little way) a pretty special LP for me. Without sounding incredibly maudlin or a tad too personal hearing it live made me realize how much it impacted me throughout nearly all of my adult life. I heard it for the very first time from a woman in the apartment of this Johnny Fever DJ she was working for on Friday August 22, 1986. I know the date by heart as I had just buried my friend Scott "Rudie" Rosinski earlier that day. It was sort of the soundtrack to my first very intense relationship (strangely the woman seated in front of me was wearing the same perfume that said girlfriend wore making "Care Of Cell 44" a surreal experience) . In the Summer of 1987 a gang of young mods and 60's enthuiasts (myself included) trooped down to the "has been central " known as Club Bene in South Amboy, NJ to see "The Zombies". Luckily before most of us paid our admission fee we'd discovered they were a group of charlatans not much older than us (further evidenced by a friend who bought a ticket and said the set included such Zombies classics as "Nights In White Satin"). Not the first time the Zombies were rooked by impostors, but hopefully the last. The LP played on various psychedelic "journeys" (no trip complete without it) in the 80's and early 90's where the lysergic debate would ensue ever ytime: were the Zombies nice boys playing cod psychedelia or were they secretly acid eating heads? I once listened to the LP on a Walkman with a single white earpiece (pre-ear buds) running beneath my gas mask during a gas drill in the Army in 1990 which made "Butchers Tale Western Front 1914" even creepier. Though my wife and I did not have a "wedding song" it was mutually decided that it was for all intents and purposes "This Will Be Our Year"  would do the trick for us (and still does) and the first song lyrics that our daughter ever sang was from "A Rose For Emily" ("Emily can't you see") when she was not yet three to our cat Emily.

Portuguese E.P. 1968

With all that personal clobber and cobwebs out of the way to say it was a magical experience would be the gravest of understatements.  They took the stage with an announcement that there would be little dialogue in between songs and that they would just bang on (pity as I would not have minded some long winded intros about the album's creation etc) and proceeded into the majestic "Care Of Cell 44". They sounded as close to the original LP as possible, in no small part thanks to Rod's compact Mellotron (and his assisting younger hired help) and the extra backing vocalists made it work.  It was of course sheer magic to hear Messrs. Blunstone, White and Argent singing together spot on together and since there are more than just three part harmonies on the LP the extra vocal help made it like hearing the album.  It's hard to imagine the gig without Chris White.  His vocals and understated bass playing would have been sorely out of place. He got probably the longest standing ovation of all the members onstage and looked incredibly humbled and a tad misty eyed by the response.  The vocals on the acapella ending part of "Maybe After He's Gone" made the hairs on my arms stand on end while the piano/Mellotron mix on "Brief Candles" created an ethereal
dreamscape beneath their choral precision.  For me one of the highlights of the night was Chris White singing "Butcher's Tale Western Front 1914" on an empty stage with just Rod Argent playing an antique pump organ (see a snippet I filmed below)!

There were so many brilliant moments throughout the whole set that I couldn't possibly write about them all here but rest assured if this Zombies line up rolls through your town and you dig the LP the way I do you should do what you must to come up with the dough to check it out.  You shan't be disappointed.