“You took my hand and we were young again and magically the years just fell away.” The Zombies (2015)
Rod Argent and The Zombies are undergoing a remarkable renaissance at what is typically perceived as the twilight of a band’s career. Their latest album ‘Still Got That Hunger’ climbed the US charts whilst the group packed out live shows on both sides of the Atlantic.
Looking back Rod has a stellar back catalogue too, writing massive hits such as ‘She’s Not There’, ‘Time of the Season’ for The Zombies as well as ‘Hold Your Head Up’ for Argent. Many of the albums he helped craft are universally revered including ‘Odessey and Oracle’ and ‘Ring of Hands’.
In this new interview, transcribed by Nigel Davis from a Strange Brew podcast, Rod tells Jason Barnard about his musical journey through the songs that shaped it:
The Tomcats – Running At Shadows (Running At Shadows, Cherry Red, 2016)
July – Dandelion Seeds (Single A-side, Major Minor, 1968)
The Beatles – Get Back (Live at the The Beatles’ rooftop concert) (Anthology 3, Apple, 1996, rec 1969)
Mike Oldfield – Mike Oldfield’s Single (Theme from Tubular Bells) (Single A-side, Virgin, 1974, 2009 remix)
The Who – I’m Free (Tommy: Original Soundtrack Recording, Polydor, 1975)
Tom Newman – She Said She Said (Fine Old Tom, Virgin, 1975)
Mike Oldfield – Five Miles Out (Five Miles Out, Virgin/Epic, 1982)
Tom Newman – Raphael’s Bicycle (The Secret Life of Angels, Viral, 2014)
July – A Day To Remember (Resurrection, Neddysongs, 2013)
Rob Reed – Marimba (Single edit) (Bandcamp, 2016)
July – Can I Go Back Again (Single, Fruits de Mer, 2016)
Tom and Peter’s journey docks with the 60s beat of The Tomcats, The Beatles rooftop concert, Mike Oldfield, John Entwistle, Pete Townshend and Rod Reed. Not forgetting July, championed by Sean Lennon who called them “a great lost British psychedelic band.”
Liverpudlian Mike ‘McGear’ McCartney is a chart topping singer, songwriter and photographer. As well as being one third of comedy-poets The Scaffold he was co-founder of super-group GRIMMS and successful solo artist.
However it’s the reissue of the legendary McGough and McGear album that draws us here. Recorded in 1967 and assisted in production by his brother Paul, musicians on the record included Jimi Hendrix, Graham Nash, Dave Mason and John Mayall.
There’s a dizzying array of new music being released so here’s the best from a range of Strange Brew genres.
Octopus Syng venture further into psychedelia with their marvellous album ‘Hollow Ghost/Rochelle Salt’. Arguably a little more experimental and Floydian in places than some of their earlier releases, it’s all the better for it. That’s not to say their songwriting takes a backseat. Check out the twisted pop of ‘Woman’ and Syd Barrett-esque ‘Lady Florette’ and you’ll want to enter the Octopus Syng world
The Soft Hearted Scientists release their cracking four-part album, ‘Golden Omens’ on 8 July. The whimsical Welsh psychedelists give discerning listeners another masterclass in kitchen sink psychedelia. Favourites include the title track, low-fi stomp of ‘Zeds’, Dick Dale tribute ‘Surferella’ and the ghostly ‘From Broken Glass’. A White Album for the modern era!
Crystal Jacqueline‘s new 7 inch EP ‘Morning Dew’ shows Jacqueline’s and bandmate Icarus Peel’s strength in blasting off 60s gems. The title track adds a psych tinge to the Tim Rose favourite. A special mention goes to the Icarus Peel’s lovely psych-folk original ‘Ivy’ that holds its own amongst its lofty company on this quality 4 song package.
Lisbon’s Beautify Junkyards present the haunting single ‘Other Voices 08’ hot on the heels of their superb recent album. As usual this release has all the things that make this band so good. It has a marvellous production splicing elements of pastoral folk and electronica all through a Portuguese lens.
Former John Peel favourite Beau‘s has a new thirteen-song album “An Original Thought”. Released forty-seven years on from his first release on Dandelion it was incredibly written in two weeks. It has all of Trevor’s hallmarks that have built up a new army of fans. As usual the songs are potted with political and historical lyrical thickets containing themes about patriotism, invention and modern-day surveillance. Highlights include the title track, ‘The Patriot’, the 12-string chiming ‘The Thinking of God’ and topical ‘Something Of A Loner’