Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Londoners &The Knack (1965-67)

British Garage Beat band from Ilford, later based in London, originally know as The Londoners  who spent most of their time in Germany. Topper Clay left the band in Spring 1967 to join New York Public Library. He was followed by Brian Morris in 1968, after which Paul Gurvitz formed The Gun. 

The Ilford-spawned quartet the Knack (not to be confused with the American band of that name) existed for three years, and cut a half-dozen singles for English Decca and Pye Records' Piccadilly subsidiary. They never managed to get a chart placement, despite a valiant attempt at a cover of a Kinks song ("Who'll Be the Next in Line") with Larry Page producing for their debut. From those relatively tough, punk-ish influences, the group evolved into more of a mod-ish outfit by 1966, when they'd jumped to Piccadilly, with some serious interest in folk-rock -- they made a specialty out of covering Lovin' Spoonful tracks such as "Younger Girl" and "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind," the latter with some cool fuzzed out guitar from Adrian Gurvitz. The Knack even tried the German gambit that had worked to sustain various English outfits that couldn't get a hearing at home, but somehow they never managed to catch on playing a market that seemingly embraced (at least for a short time) every English-speaking band that went there. Guitarist/singer Adrian Gurvitz (then known as Adrian Gurvitz-Curtis); his brother, bassist/singer Paul Gurvitz; and drummer Louis Farrell parted with Tim Mycroft and formed the much harder rocking trio Gun. That band scored a number-eight British hit with "Race With the Devil," while Mycroft became a member of Sounds Nice, who cut sides for Parlophone Records in the late '60s.

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