Thursday, 17 March 2011

Blue Eyed (and British) Soul

Since the arrival of pop music as a teen fascination in the fifties there has always been a passionate following of all things american, whether as fans through record collecting and club followings or by our bands copying their US, mainly black, contemporaries.  The influence of the US on the new teen culture from the beginning was immense.  Many of the major artists to evolve out of this origin paid suitable tribute to their roots.  The Rolling Stones (The Valentinos' "It's All Over Now" among many); The Beatles covering three Motown tracks on "With The Beatles" along with issuing "Twist and Shout" are only two high profile examples of bands who acknowledged the debt owed to those orginators.  Others would not only imitate but produce sounds informed by the soul and blues genres -   the Animals, the Yardbirds being good examples but the list is long and varied.

Later, in the mid to late 70's the pub-rock and Uni gigging circuits saw a rise in the bands who stated their claim to the Soul genre.  The US soul mainstream was going disco and therefore a British strand of the form was welcome. The influences are easy to see but the results are also imbued with a "British feel" for want of a better description.  I have written about a number of my favourites of these both here and on The Lost Record Covers Club but my list features:-

Kokomo (with origins in Arrival and the Grease Band) - recommended - "Kokomo"
The Average White Band - "Show Your Hand"
Pacific Eardrum - "Beyond Panic"
Cado Belle - "Cado Belle"
The Rhead Brothers - "Dedicate"
Supercharge - "Local Lads Make Good"
Moon - "Too Close For Comfort"
GT Moore and The Reggae Guitars - "I'm Still Waiting"
Upp - "This Way Upp"
Sandy McLelland and The Backline - "Sandy McLelland And The Backline"

All of these produced albums during the 70's but only AWB made the big time - and then you might say that was a result of going to the States and working with the originators of the sounds.  These bands all had a live following which, may not have translated into record sales, always produced on the night.  It was a great period for this type of sound and very much part of my musical taste at the time and ever since.

Here's some of my favourites -

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Happy Edison

From Pick 'n' Mixed
"Have you heard my latest..."

Edison shows off a new version of his invention (pity he isn't a bit happier about it)