Week of April 13, 2003


Tony Duhig - guitar
John Field - flute, keyboards
Chris Jackson - drums
Alan James - bass
Tom Newman - vocals

July (Major Minor MMLP/SMLP 29) 1968 
Also issued in USA/Canada on Epic (BN-26416) and in Brazil (Musidisc Hi Fi 2.177).
Reissued on CD in original sleeve (Aftermath AFT 1004) 199? and by Acme on vinyl in the original sleeve, with the 45 cuts as a freebie bonus 45. Also of interest is Dandelion Seeds (Bam-Caruso KIRI 097) 1987, a reissue of their album; and The Second Of July (Essex 1015) 1996 (LP) / (Essex 1008CD) 1995 (CD), which consists of all their previously unissued recordings from 1967.

My Clown/Dandelion Seeds (Major Minor MM 568) 1968
Hello, Who's There/The Way (Major Minor MM 580) 1968

They started out as a skiffle act from Ealing, called The Playboys and then became an R&B combo, The Tomcats. John (Speedy) Keen (later with Thunderclap Newman) was in them for a while. In 1966, The Tomcats went to Spain with a new line-up (the future July one). As Los Tomcats, they got in the charts with four EPs, one of which was all in Spanish! They returned to the UK in 1968, still basing themselves in Ealing. 

July recorded what has become one of the most sought-after British psychedelic sixties albums. Twenty-five years on time has not been kind to all the tracks (e.g. 'Jolly Mary') but overall it's well worth purchasing for its eerie brand of psychedelia (on 'Dandelion Seeds' and 'My Clown') and some fine psychedelic guitar work ('Crying Is For Writers'). More accessible are the Bam-Caruso reissue, which was put out in a different sleeve, and the Aftermath CD reissue. Both also include the second 45, which wasn't on the first album. Duhig and Field went on to be in Jade Warrior and Tom Newman later released solo albums on Virgin and Decca. He also set up Branson's Manor Studios and engineered 'Tubular Bells' I and II. Duhig was also later in Assagai. Alan James went on to play for Cat Stevens, Duffy Power, Neil Innes and Kevin Coyne. They were managed by Spencer Davis.

Compilation appearances have included: Friendly Man and My Clown on Psychedelic Dream; Friendly Man and I See on British Psychedelic Trip, Vol. 2 (LP) and Great British Psychedelic Trip, Vol. 3 (CD); My Clown on It's Only A Passing Phase (LP); The Way on Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers, Vol. 1 (CD). 

(Vernon Joynson / Anuj Goyal/Marcelo Lilienheim)

Taken from The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson
ISBN 1 899855 04 1

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