PSYCHEDELIC SCHLEMIELS (WHCD017)

1. Elastic Band - West Coast Consortium

2. Broken Man - Peanut Rubble

3. Sweet Wine - So On & So Forth

4. Try Me On For Size - Those Fadin' Colours

5. When My Train Comes In - Urban

6. Brave New Sights - The Phoenix

7. I (Who Have Nothing) - Herbal Remedy

8. Willow Tree - Peanut Rubble

9. Blue Skies & Green Green Grass - The Object

10. I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone - So On & So Forth

11. Ginny Stop - West Coast Consortium

12. Live For The Sun - The Phoenix

13. Blow Up - Those Fadin' Colours

14. Wax Candle - Harverson Apricot

15. You're My Cream - Thor

16. Just A Dream - Peanut Rubble

17. Floating On A Dream - Alfie Shepherd

18. In The Sunset - Barnaby Rudge

19. I Don't Deserve A Girl Like You - The Carnaby

20. Two People - Sounds Around

 

The British psychedelic scene has been so heavily anthologised over the years that many cult acts are now as familiar as the era's major players. But while London-based bands like Tintern Abbey and Dantalian's Chariot have belatedly received the attention that they deserve, the local group scenes that thrived up and down the country during the late Sixties remain a mystery to even the keenest collector. The first volume of a new series, Psychedelic Schlemiels explores the secret garden of sweet floral Albion with no less than twenty unreleased acetates and private tapes recorded by mostly unsigned provincial groups, the majority of whom weren't even household names in their own households. With vital contributions from such local heroes as Peanut Rubble, So On & So Forth and Herbal Remedy, and featuring previously unreleased demos by major label acts the Carnaby, Sounds Aroundand West Coast Consortium, Psychedelic Schlemiels offers a fascinating window on a hitherto lost world of small-town suburban psychedelia.

"Among the twenty "psychedelic clumsies' collected here, Buckinghamshire trio Peanut Rubble's three tracks rise easily to the top of the heap, with hard-trucking R&B blunderbuss riff action. From the land of preposterous nomenclature (via Swansea), Harverson Apricot light up their "Wax Candle', all mod-flavoured rockadoodledoo; Urban's "When My Train Comes In' is a fine showing by the future writer of the Rupert The Bear theme. An excellent booklet, meanwhile, details the mutant effect of LSD, Carnaby Street and amplification on a generation of working-class school-leavers. A remarkable work of salvage." (Uncut, ****)

"There are gems among these twenty acetates and private tapes somehow retrieved from dusty attics across the UK by the bods at Wooden Hill. The sound quality is pretty good, all things considered, and the booklet's great. The chief compromising factor (and, of course, the source of much charm) is the involvement of local mod heroes from Swansea and other small-town suburban garage bands that "weren't even household names in their own households". It won't be for everyone, but what the heck. We can't help loving Bucks power trio Peanut Rubble for their satin trousers and the teenage belief that they sounded like the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Phoenix's brilliant "Live For The Sun' reckons that "your discontent embarrasses the vastness of existence". Herbal Remedy's swirly tour bus alone must have blown at least a couple of minds in Welwyn Garden City in 1967. Alfie Shepherd recorded an entire concept album in his bedroom in York with his mum's carpet sweeper as a mikestand: maybe one day we'll hear the rest of it." (Record Collector)

"To paraphrase a well-known confectionary advert: "Mr Ambassador, with all these obscure acetates, you are really spoiling us!" As a listening experience it's a much different affair than a collection of properly produced 45s, of course. This is like being at somebody's rehearsal, and that's half the fun. Lovers of Tenth Planet's vinyl Syde Tryps series and the Story of Oak Records collection will want to jump on this as well. David Wells has done a nice job of putting together some disparate recordings whose only common denominator beyond a general time frame of the late 1960s is their total obscurity. That is except for West Coast Consortium, whose two early home demos included here, "Elastic Band' and "Ginny Stop', will be a big draw for popsike fans. I adore (darlings!) the Carnaby's "I Don't Deserve A Girl Like You' from early 1967, seemingly some months after they were supposed to have split. It certainly sounds like the "Jump And Dance' crew however. The delightfully named power trio Peanut Rubble give us three cuts and the addition of lost Barnaby Rudge track "In The Sunset' is a real treat, not least because, as an abandoned B-side for a projected single, it stands out production-wise. It's a very nice 65 minutes' worth of intriguing and generally worthwhile music and I heartily recommend it. Wells' liners are as informative as you would expect." (Shindig!)

"With this flavourful collection of 20 previously unreleased acetates and tapes drawn from the various shires of England, Wooden Hill kicks off its promising new series dedicated to the exploration of what compiler David Wells calls "the lost world of small-town suburban psychedelia." A handful of these recordings were done in proper London studios, but most were recorded in more humble circumstances, some in provincially located facilities with names like County Recording Service, others in garages, sheds, and, in a few cases, bedrooms. From the heavier end of the musical spectrum come Lancashire's So On and So Forth, who steer '(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone' into decidedly lysergic territory. Also memorable are Herbal Remedy's dramatic rendition of the Shirley Bassey hit 'I (Who Have Nothing)', which one imagines must have wowed the crowds in Hertfordshire back in the day, and 'Broken Man', from Buckinghamshire power trio Peanut Rubble. Berkshire's Thor, however, steal the show with 'You're My Cream', a ridiculously catchy, Move-style rocker which may well wind up in the set list of a band or two in coming years . Among the other interesting finds is Those Fadin' Colours' very Stonesy audition recording of 'Blow Up', a Keith West-penned number originally intended for the soundtrack of the Antonioni movie. West Coast Consortium, the 'highest profile' act here, are represented by two demos, 'Elastic Band' and 'Ginny Stop', psych-pop gems both. Also noteworthy are Harverson Apricot's tuneful, Who-like 'Wax Candle' and Barnaby Rudge's gorgeous 'In the Sunset', by far the most lavish production in this set. For many, Alfie Shepherd's 'Floating On A Dream will prove a particularly exciting discovery. It's taken from an entirely-self performed bedroom demo of a proposed concept album based on Wind in the Willows that Shepherd had written for his group, Angel Pavement. The arrangement could hardly be simpler, just guitar, bass and Shepherd's £10 toy harmonium, but the track's ethereal charm ensures it a place in the British psych canon. As with any Wooden Hill release, the booklet for Psychedelic Schlemiels features thorough annotation and loads of photos." (Ugly Things)

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