on 18 June 2010
Thanks to Sunbeam Records and guitarist/singer/songwriter "Little" Brian Godding collectors are now privy to 15 tracks, 42 minutes of British pop music which portend the psychedelic sound found later when Godding was joined by fellow Ingoes bassist "Big" Brian Belshaw, Ingoes Mark II lead guitarist Jim Cregan and drummer/vocalist Kevin Westlake in Blossom Toes, a pop turned heavy psych band whose recorded legacy, 2 studio albums (chock full of bonus tracks), a double cd live set and a cd crammed with rare and unreleased tracks are available from Sunbeam as is "Worker's Playtime" recorded by Godding, Belshaw and and one time fellow Blossom Toes, Kevin Westlake as B.B. Blunder and is complemented by an albums worth of unreleased tracks on a bonus disc from the same label. The exciting part of "Before We Were Blossom Toes" is that the first five tracks of the disc were recorded with original lead guitarist/songwriter, Eddie Lynch, whose stinging guitar licks were on the cutting edge of 1964-1965 rock along with fellow British bands like The Who, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks. The riff and guitar work on the discs opening track "Fast Eddie" is typical of the completely original tracks recorded with Lynch and written by Lynch or Godding and Lynch. The final ten tracks represent The Ingoes Mark II with future Blossom Toes and later Rod Stewart guitarist/songwriter Jim Cregan. While all but two of these are cover tunes, the two originals, Godding's political "Ready Packed People" and the band (Godding, Cregan, Belshaw and drummer Colin Martin) penned "Viens Danser Le Monkiss" represent the earliest of what would become Blossoom Toes sound for their debut lp "We Are Ever So Clean," a sound driven by the intermingling guitars of Cregan and rhythm guitarist (with the Ingoes) turned lead guitarist extraordinary, Godding, on their incendiary, acid drenched follow up and swan song lp, "If Only For A Moment" by which point the band was downright explosive. "Before We Were Blossom Toes" is an important historical recording, representing the earliest recordings of what would become Blossom Toes and all the while this band, The Ingoes, escaped inclusion in Vernon Joynson's exhaustive tome on British pop/psych/prog of the 1964-1975 era, This indicates just how rare the recordings found on this cd are. Previously only French and Italian singles and a French EP, all on vinyl, have ever been released. Add to that a 12 page booklet filled with previously unseen photos and extensive sleeve notes by Godding himself and what we have here is an undiscovered absolute gold mine for 1960s British rock collectors. As with all the Sunbeam releases this mastered by Dave Blackman. It sounds exquisite despite the frailty of some sources. This disc represents what the band recorded after gaining a contract with Yardbirds manager, Giogio Gomelsky, who took the band on, but only after turning them down repeatedly. You get the best of all worlds here as you get the Lynch recordings which got the band in the door with Gomelsky, and you get the progression of the band in songwriting and in musicianship as Godding becomes Cregan's equal on guitar and Belshaw's driving bass always there to hold down the bottom end. This disc is long overdo and thanks Sunbeam Records for finishing the life of Blossom Toes at the logical (60s speaking) spot, its very inception. Five stars, all well earned. French and Italian version's of The Beatles hit "Help" are here, neither language spoken by any member of the band. Well done lads! And thank you Sunbeam. The Blossom Toes saga is complete.