Friday, January 02, 2009

Blossom Toes - If Only For A Moment (1969)


Personnel:
BRIAN BELSHAW bs A B C
BRIAN GODDING gtr, vcls A B C
JIM CREGAN gtr, vcls A B C
KEVIN WESTLAKE drms A
POLI PALMER drms, flute, vibes, harp B
BARRY REEVES drms C

ALBUMS:
1(A) WE ARE EVER SO CLEAN (Marmalade 607 001) 1967 R2
2(A) IF ONLY FOR A MOMENT (Marmalade 608 010) 1969 R2
3(A) THE PSYCHEDELIC SOUND OF BLOSSOM TOES (Toes Records BT 102) 196?

NB: (1) and (2) have had limited repressings in Germany. (3) Swedish only release. There's also a compilation, a double set Blossom Toes Collection (Decca LIKD 43) 1988, . New Day (Decal LIK 48) 1989 is actually a reissue of the B.B. Blunder album Workers Playtime as explained in the article. (1) has also been issued on CD in Japan (Polydor POCP-2190) 1995. (1) and (2) have also been reissued together with Workers Playtime as a double CD package from Germany. (3) pirated in 1980's with orange cover.

45s:
1 What On Earth - Mrs Murphy's Budgerigar/Look At Me I'm You (Marmalade 598 002) 1967
2 I'll Be Your Baby Tonight/Love Is (Marmalade 598 009) 1968
3 Postcard/Everyone's Leaving Me Now (Marmalade 598 012) 1968
4 Peace Loving Man/Up Above My Hobby Horse's Head (Marmalade 598 014) 1969
5 New Day/Love Bomb (Marmalade 598 022) 1969
NB: (5) Unissued.

This talented but largely ignored late sixties outfit was centred around Brian Godding and Brian Belshaw who first met as apprentices at the Hilger and Watts scientific instrument factory at Highbury, Islington in 1962. They formed a group called The Grave Diggers and later played in a R&B outfit, The Ingoes, who took their name from an obscure Chuck Berry number, Ingo. The Ingoes persuaded The Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky to taken them on and he arranged for them to go to Paris where they developed a strong cult following. After a short interlude in London when they recruited Jim Cregan, who had played in various R&B outfits, they returned for a second spell in Paris. During this spell The Ingoes recorded an EP for the Riviera label (cat no 231141) and a single version of Help, sung in Italian for the Italian market. Shortly after their return to London Colin Martin, The Ingoes drummer, left to be replaced by Kevin Westlake, who joined from Johnny B. Great and The Quotations who included future Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner. Around the same time, perhaps a little before this line-up change, The Ingoes became Blossom Toes.
Giorgio installed the band in a house in Fulham and they entered the studio to record their first album. Much of the backing on the album was provided by an orchestra and sessionmen. It was full of quirky, rather naive psychedelic pop songs with I'll Be Late For Me among the best. Also of note are the beautiful cello parts in Love Is, the hook-ladened Telegram Tuesday and the eerie What On Earth. It was typical 1967 music but the band's live act suffered from them being unable to produce most of the tracks on their first album live. During 1967 they also had a three week residency at Stockholm's leading psychedelic club, the Merry Hassan. (3) is a bootleg taken from a tape of one of these shows and is full of Beefheart numbers. Although disappointing overall, it did include Listen To The Silence which ended up on their next album. Late in 1967 Kevin Westlake left the band to be replaced by Poli Palmer, who had played in Deep Feeling and several other Midlands bands. A multi-instrumentalist Palmer would soon find his role restricted. Meanwhile they released a version of Dylan's I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, backed by Love Is in March 1968. Their next 45, Postcard/Everyone's Leaving Me Now, which appeared in October 1968 was much better. The 'A' side was rather catchy and the jazzy flip side featured Palmer on vocals as well as playing harpsichord and vibes. Shortly after Palmer left to join Eclection and later Family. He was replaced by Barry Reeves from the soul band Ferris Wheel.
(2), released in 1969, was much heavier than their previous efforts and relied too much on melodramatic vocals. It had a few moments of brilliance but was disappointing overall.
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight and Love Is can also be heard on the 1968 The Marmalade Record Co. Show Olympia 68 album, and King Of Confusion on Marmalade - 100 Proof, a 1969 compilation.
The 1988 Blossom Toes Collection double set is a good introduction to their music with informative sleeve-notes by John Platt.
New Day is actually a reissue of the 1971 B.B. Blunder album Workers Playtime (who comprised the creative part of Blossom Toes (Brian Godding and Brian Belshaw)). By now, although the band still had a 'progressive' sound, it was interspersed by funkier passages. Again the album comes with extensive sleeve-notes by John Platt.
Jim Cregan went on to play in Stud and then Family, before joining Cockney Rebel and later still becoming a member of Rod Stewart's backing band.


Tracks:
1-Peace Loving Man
2-Kis Of Confusion
3-Listen To The Silence
4-Love Bomb
5-Billy Boo The Gunman
6-Indian Summer
7-Just Above My Hobby Horse's Head
8-Wait A Minute

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

yparxei katholou rhythmus-arp-ensemble den brisko pouthhena.eyxaristo

psych-Spaniolos said...

Δυστυχως δεν το έχω

Kostantinos said...

Όπως και να 'χει ευχαριστώ.Είναι δύσκολο να βρεις αυτήν την μπάντα.Την ανακάλυψα τυχαία ψάχνοντας κάτι έντεχνο με βιολιά σαξόφωνα κ.τ.λ.Βρέθηκα σε ένα site με reviews kraut και την τοτε γερμανική σκηνή.Κάτι που κυκλοφορεί και είναι στο στυλ αυτό είναι οι i.d. company.Τσέκαρε το αν σου μενει χρονος.Δεν έχει σχέση με kraut συν ότι ο τύπος έχει εξαιρετική φωνή.Οσο για το μπαράκι(Φαίδρα) λέω να κάνω επίσκεψη το καλοκαίρι.Να ακούσουν κάτι καλό τα αυτιά μας.

Anonymous said...

Links dead....