Wednesday, July 03, 2019

The (Wild) Gentlemen (CH) 1965 - 1967 / B.G.System 1968 - 1970 ( Heimatliche Klaenge Vol. 199 )

Heimatliche Klaenge - Native Sounds

199 heimatliche klaenge  The (Wild) Gentlemen (CH) 1965 - 1967 / B.G.System 1968 - 1970

The leading Swiss Beat Band from Geneva in the mid 60s. The Gentlemen were mainly releasing one rare EP, and 7" for the Swiss Columbia label in the mid 60s. They were later on recording as The Wild Gentlemen for the Swiss Pick, and Ex Libris labels. 

When in September 1964 Geneva-based band The Gentlemen gave their first covert, the band members already had a good deal of experience behind them. They had already made it to Paris' Olympia Stadium as part of the procession supporting Larry Greco, Gene Vincent and Petula Clark, and later showed themselves to be instrumentally ahead of the field, along side guitar-based band Les RELAX. In contrast to the majority of bands based in French speaklng Switzerland, The Gentlemen recognised the mood of the times: instead of persevering with cleanly executed guitar-rock, the band members let their hair grow long, and performed their own versions of Merseybeat: music with a carefree, cheerful feel and multivoiced harmonies. A certain style of sophisticated nonsense, just like that of the Beatles, had hit the musical scene at an opportune moment for The Gentlemen. The band were well known for the pranks and antics of drummer Bernard Gugelmann and it was this which would bring them their one significantly successful album. 

Thanks to professional management,  the beat musicians who made up The Gentlemen started to perform not only in France, but increasingly on die other side of the Rostigraben, that is to say in German speaking Switzerland. One of the first highpoints in the band's career came in Summer 1965, when they supported Cliff Richard and The Shadows at the Zurich indoor arena the Hallenstadion. Shortly afterwards, The Gentlemen cut two singles and an EP for the Zurich-based music store and label giants, Jecklln - the only band from French-speaking Switzerland to do so. The Album was characterised by tracks with several-part harmonies and an indisputable Beatles feel, although production-wise the overall feeling was rather amateurish.

Surrounded by hype, the Geneva-based band went professional in May 1966. Their timing was however conceivably bad, with the Swiss live music scene at an all time low and The Gentlemen's less heavy-weight style increasingly regarded as too weak. Technically experienced but really not bothered wich Soul music, which was now so popular, The Gentlemen decided to add a woodwind section. Following a change in name to <The Wild Gentlemen> and the addition of professional German gultarist Eckhard Kieslich, the group were back on track to enjoy further success with Gilly Gilly. The track was simplistic, just like Balla Balla, the Song which inspired Gilly Gilly's success. Although Gilly Gilly was a popular choise on the juke boxes, it did not make it as a hit. But then this was the year for Flower Power, psychedelia and experimentation which meant that there was little room for the well-mannered Gentlemen. In 1968 the Beat hopefuls from Geneva through in the towel.

After the breakup of The Wild Gentlemen in ca. 1967, some of the band members continued to play as the B.G. System, leaving behind some more notorious 7" and LP releases on the Box and Ex Libris etc. labels. 

Si 1965 In This WorIdlSay - Columbia SCMZ 3029
Ep 1965 In This World/I Miss Vou/Say/You NeverTry - Columbia SEGZ 2087
Si 1966 Scotch/I Feels So Good - Columbia SCMZ 3034
Si 1967 GiIlyGilly/Stay With Me - Pick 11-004
Ep 1967 GiIlyGilly/Please Don't Run Away - Pick 19.005
               Hulla Balloo Da Da Ding Dong Dang/Baby Bye Bye
Lp 1967 Gilly Gilly - Pick 93-022

01 - In This World
02 - I Miss You
03 - Say
04 - You Never Try

05 - Scotch
06 - It Feels So Good

07 - Baby Knock On To My Door (version 1 unreleased)
08 - We Don't Know (unreleased)
09 - Say (version 2 unreleased)

10 - Gilly Gilly
11 - Please, Don`t Run Away
12 - Baby, Bye Bye
13 - My Dream
14 - Here It Comes
15 - Why Can`t You Be Like Other Girls
16 - Hulla Ballo Da Da Ding Dong Dang
17 - Come On Girl
18 - Stay With Me
19 - I`m Gonna Leave You
20 - But It Hurts Too Much Inside
21 - Baby Knock On To My Door (version 2)
22 - It Was A Big Mistake
23 - Give Me Lovin

B.G. System

01 - Why Not For Me (Ex Libris 12024)
02 - Hurricane
03 - Daddy Let Me Be A Star
04 - That's Enough
05 - The Birds Are Going Awas
06 - I Can't Go On
07 - Feel Allright
08 - Black Pig Street
09 - I Get My Ticket
10 - Je Baille
11 - I Don't Wanna Be Your Man
12 - Fly Away
13 - Lorene
14 - Funny Love Affair

15 - I Never Learn (Manser MS 207)
16 - Say Good Bye

17 - Please (b-side) (Box Records 001)

18 - My Lady (& Frank Stein) (Diamonds DI 1725)
19 - Mysterious Barricades


  1. Thank you once again. You're boss!

  2. Thank you!
    For the entire series the only volumes I am missing are 139 and 142. Could you, please, re-upload? Thank you very much.


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