The Tomcats – Running At Shadows

Thursday, 10 March 2016, 21:31 | Category : July, Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

One of my earliest highlights of producing The Strange Brew Podcast was getting the chance to do an extensive interview with July, the then recently reactivated, psychedelic legends.

The July album, released in 1968 is an essential addition to the collection any fan of late psych rock. Its track ‘Dandelion Seeds’ is still making waves to this day across the Atlantic. However what was surprising digging deeper into their story was that in 1965 and 1966 the Ealing based band, then known as The Tomcats, went over to Spain and became stars.

Tomcats_Running

In producing the podcast I found out that copies of the Spanish recordings seemed rarer than mint copies of the July album so it took all my ingenuity to grab copies. And little of what I heard, a mix of covers of local hits and the best of the British chart were worthy of much wider release. It’s therefore great to hear a new comprehensive The Tomcats collection.

A great example from the cd is ‘A Tu Vera’ originally cut locally as traditional flamenco moody ballad but turned by the band into a rocker with blistering guitar worthy of Dave Davies.

As contemporaries of The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds, The Tomcats gave ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘For Your Love’ spirited work-outs. Both are included here sounding better than ever.

Also worthy of mention are the handful of original numbers pointing the way for the band’s future direction. Singer Tom Newman’s doomy ballad ‘Running At Shadows’, which gives this collection its name, is arguably the finest track here.

For the band’s full story check out my interview and podcast with July from 2010:

http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/july-magical-days-part-1

http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/http:/thestrangebrew.co.uk/julyconnection

July’s current activities, including live shows can be found at their Facebook page.

And for a copy of the long overdue collection hop over to RPM/Cherry Red

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