In memory of my dear old brother - Horringer Court 1982

The Pussyfoot

The Pussyfoot
The Pussyfoot by vocalist Terry Barfield

Tintern Abbey by Don Smith

Tintern Abbey by Don Smith
Tintern Abbey by Don Smith

The Carnaby

The Carnaby
By Andy Andrews

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Unheard Tintern Abbey - from acetates - Donald Smith original guitarist

Thanks to Tintern Abbey's original guitarist, Don Smith, I am able to bring you previously unheard songs by the band, including the illusive 'Snowman', an unknown track 'Tanya', and the original demo for their only single bearing the track 'Black Jack'.

Don Smith, Tintern Abbeys' original guitarist who featured on their sole single, began his relatively short musical  career with a band called the "Turnkeys" In Richmond in the mid 60s. After he had been playing guitar for less than two years, by chance they scored a part (2 music tracks) in a black & white film (The Little Ones/1965) when they were  overheard rehearsing by the daughter of Director Jim Connolly.

 It was During 1966/7, at the height of the Kings Road scene during many visits to clubs in the area, that the original  line up of Tintern Abbey was formed by Don Smith after meeting David MacTavish at the Overseas Visitors Club in  EarlsCourt London.  Smith brought John Dalton into the band after a meeting in the Cromwellian Club in South Kensington and  Mactavish brought Stuart Mackay into the band after a meeting at the dole office, and it was this grouping of musicians  who formed the quintessentially psychedelic Tintern Abbey.

With the help of a girlfriend of David Mactavish, the band gained financing and much promotion courtesy of Nigel Samuels  (International Times), and an acetate demo was cut  on the 29th July 1967 (Paid for by a friend of Mactavish,not Samuels)  at R.G.Jones OAK studios, featuring Busy Bee/Bumblebee (Beeside) and Black Jack, which was turned down in favour of  Vacuum Cleaner for the Deram release.  After their single release, the band began work (with John Pantry  engineering), on 'Snowman'.  Demo acetates were cut, but the John Pantry-engineered IBC master-tape still survives  (presently with bassist Stuart MacKay).  It was during this time that Don believes the balance within the group went  adrift, with him taking uppers, time keeping (Late arrivals to rehearsals etc) lead to disputes and Don was effectively  "invited" to leave the band, and so it was that the classic Tintern Abbey came to an end.  The bands history here onwards  is well documented elsewhere.  Don moved to Turkey for a year where he played with a popular Turkish group.  Upon  returning to England, he gained employment with ITV as a sound engineer for three years and then as a freelance boom  operator in the film business and ceased to play guitar professionally

Interestingly, apart from one  promo gig in Holland, this Tintern Abbey played no UK gigs.

Original Tintern Abbey demo, 29th July 1967 featuring 
Black Jack / Busy Bee




This particular track was about a Chinese girl who liked to hang out in Trafalgar Square(Nelson/the tall man) chatting up tourists.

IBC acetate:  Vacuum Cleaner / Busy Bee (Uncompressed)

Prerelease 33.3 rpm acetate recording dated 4th November 1967.

Vacuum Cleaner:


Page Full of Hits one sided acetate - Busy Bee (33.3 rpm)

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Mellow Candle singles on SNB and Deram

This band released 2 singles, their first being on Simon Napier's SNB label in 1968, the other a spin off from their only LP on Deram in 1972 (to follow).

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Behind the scenes of Gentle Influence - Jeff Arundell

It is with immense pleasure that I am able to bring you a history of Gentle Influence, a highly underrated Oxford band from 1969-70. This is all thanks to the band's bassist, Jeff Arundell who kindly put together the following commentary and photographs.

Following the break-up of the Newlanders, a very successful Witney (Oxfordshire) soul band, we formed The George Street Ideal to support our very talented vocalist, Martin Hester. We ‘found’ a new drummer, George Schwyzer, and the other members were Simon (Sam) Needler on Hammond Organ and Marc Pawley on guitar who also began to write songs together. We started to do a few gigs locally with some success and rehearsed in my parents’ house in the village of Shipton-under-Wychwood.

A wealthy Faringdon-based businessman, Rodney Harnett, approached us, said he would promote us, and eventually he became our Business Manager. We made a few demo’s and he managed to get some interest from John Schroeder, a legendary A&R man at Pye records. John introduced the song ‘Never Trust in Tomorrow’ and got Pye to sign us. However, one of the conditions was that we changed our name to Gentle Influence. They particularly loved Martin’s soulful ‘black’ sounding vocals. Sam and Marc wrote the B-side. We recorded the single in the famous basement studios of Pye Records in ATV House just off Marble Arch in London.

We were all semi-pro at the time and Rodney, with ambitious ideas, persuaded us to go fully professional and move to London. Gentle Influence was planned to be Pye’s answer to the new rave group ‘Love Affair’. Although ‘Never Trust’ got a lot of radio airplay on its release, and it was a Radio Luxemburg ‘Hit Pick’, it failed to sell enough and didn’t chart. Meanwhile we were rehearsing hard and doing a few gigs in and around London. One was the legendary open air Oxfam concert at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1969 with a host of famous 60’s bands such as Love Affair, Status Quo, Grapefruit and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds.

It was very disappointing and rather worrying as we had all given up our jobs and had moved to London in expectation of great success. Rodney persuaded John Schroeder for Pye to fund and release a follow-up, ‘Always be a Part of My Living’ but this single also ‘bombed’. By the end of 1969, Rodney ended his management contract and we returned to Oxfordshire, got new jobs and resumed a semi-pro career for Gentle Influence. We were busier with gigs than we had ever been before, playing all over the southern part of UK!

At this time the BBC got in touch and asked us to record some live tracks for their daily Radio shows. Apparently the UK Musicians Union were becoming upset that there was too much airplay given to American records and curiously insisted that a certain percentage of music played should be recorded ‘live’ by the BBC. They hoped this would boost the involvement of UK professional musicians? So we started a very productive period of traveling up to BBC studios in Maida Vale, London most Sundays to record 6 live covers of popular songs in 6 hours. One track was then played each day of the following week to boost the percentage of recorded ‘live’ music on the BBC radio stations.

Eventually in 1970, the group ‘folded’ and we all went in completely different directions. I lost track of George, Martin took a welding job in Witney (a great waste as he was truly a much better singer than many who have achieved great fame and fortune), Sam took over the management of his family’s Sportswear and Skiwear Chain, Marc returned to work for Readers Digest in Swindon and I started my own business as a Used Car Dealer.

Above:  A Flyer with photograph taken on the Victoria & Albert Bandstand in Hyde Park, London

Above:   A Car Sticker promotional item

 Above:  1.       The group on a houseboat on the River Thames, Kew, London 1970
      2.       The group assembled on a farm gate: Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire December 1969

 Above:  1.       George Schwyzer – drummer 1970 2.       Simon (Sam) Needler & Marc Pawley 1970

Left.  Jeff Arundell – Bassist
Right. Martin Hester – Vocals

Many thanks to Jeff Arundell for all of the above.  Image copyright remains that of Jeff Arundell.

The B side to their second single can be heard HERE

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The World is a Trapezium - Motives - Tom Winter 1967

It with great gratitude to Tom Winter and the Motives that I bring you what is most probably the rarest single (well EP really) from the psychedelic era.

Recorded at Telstar Studios in Weert, Holland, as a demo to promote the band, this EP contains 4 tracks revealing the band's quality musicianship and extraordinary song-writing of Tom Winter.

You can read more at Sweet Floral Albion

I Can Hear Colours

Ice Woman

Baby of the May

God Save Our Gracious Cream

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Sorrows - Ypotron / No No - 8 inch acetate

One of a kind, the Sorrows really letting their hair down, in this acetate from the film Ypotron (Operation Y from 1966 - Italy).

No No was released in Italy only, Ypotron only on film.

The Carnaby - Jump and Dance - acetate

There is a slight jump right at the beginning unfortunately (plays without problem on my Project deck however)..  Nevertheless, a delightful prerelease of this essential English beat single, dated 29th October 1965. 

You can hear the released version here, which was signed by all the band members.

Kippington Lodge - In My Life acetate

The flip side to the stunning 'I can see your face'. I believe that this acetate plays the same (more or less) as the released version.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Pussyfoot - Dee Dee Do Your Dance - Test Pressing

The third single release by The Pussyfoot, released 24th November 1967.

This is a test pressing kindly passed on to me by the original band's vocalist Terry Barfield, to whom I am eternally grateful in continuing to unfold the band's history.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Such Sweet Sorrow - Windmill acetate?

This acetate plays a remarkably different version of Windmill's 'Such Sweet Sorrow'.  Indeed, in my estimation, this is a far sturdier rendition of the composition, with a more suitable tempo, balance of instruments and stronger vocals.  My guess is that it is indeed Windmill, but an early cut from 1969.

You can hear the released version here

...and the acetate version below:-

I was fortunate in being able to talk to DJ John Cull about the band's vocalist Dick Scott (deceased):

"Dick was very closely involved with Ken Howard and Alan Blakely of Dave Dee fame so I would be surprised if he had released a song by someone else for his first single.

Dick was a great guy, but could be a little cruel to the guys in his band. He came from Street in Somerset and I got on very well for him.
They used to do two of three sets a night at the Star Palast in Kiel and I would do a disco before and after and during the breaks.
I've attached a couple of photos - me - then and now. The Star Palast photo was during one of the breaks in Dick's show."
John presents a programme on Brooklands Radio every Friday morning 9:30 to noon www.brooklandsradio.co.uk

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Santa Lucia - Clive Whitelock & Dave Bowden 1968

Today I bring you a rerecording of 'Santa Lucia' performed by Clive Whitelock, jointly written in 1968 along with Respect lead singer Dave Bowden.  Dave and Clive appear below in this 1968 photograph sitting outside  a pub in the estate they grew up in in the High Wycombe area of London.

Clive, a renowned songwriter, singer and poet can be found here at occasionallydavid

The IBC acetate recording of Santa Lucia can be heard Respect 1969-unreleased-acetate

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Velvet Frogs- Momento Mori - OAK acetate B side

Here for the first time is the B side to the Frogs' second OAK studio sessions in 1968 which saw their 'Momento Mori', or 'Wasted Ground' which featured on 'Psychedelic Schlemiels 4' last year.

Simon Dupree - Like the Sun, Like the Fire acetate 16.8.1967

Mistitled as 'Like the Fire, Like the Sun', a metal acetate of the B side to
'Kites', and by far a better composition all round.

Monday, 28 February 2011

The Soundcasters - Pre-Pussyfoot 1965-6

Prior to forming the Pussyfoot in 1966, the original members rehearsed and performed locally as 'The Soundcasters', dating back to their school days. As you can see, their success as 'The Pussyfoot' is in part down to the Hubert Pink, the Archdeacon of Hampstead. Three schoolboy band members were choirboys when Hubert Pink was Rector of Hackney and lent them a church room to practise in. Thus began the Soundcasters and eventually Pussyfoot.

Many thanks once more to Pussyfoot member Terry Barfield for the following news cuttings and photographs of the Soundcasters circa 1965/6.