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Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Them - Now And Them (1967 uk, perfect garage r 'n' b psych, 2003 rev ola edition)



They're a group with five distinct but not disjointed personalities. This is Them as I know them.

There's Kenny McDowell, who worried about stepping into Van Morrison's place as the group's vocalist. He's a worker on stage, shouting and whispering everything from blues to Indian ragas. Blues is his game and he plays it well. Off stage he's shy, but getting over it. Charming in that delightful Irish way, he blushes when complimented and calls every girl "Luv." You just can't help but love Kenny.

Towering over him on stage is Kim Armstrong, lead guitar player extraordinaire. A year ago Jim looked like a cross between Chad Stuart and Peter Asher; now he just looks tall. New Shankar albums to blow his mind, but then so do songs like "They're Coming To Take Me Away," so how can you win? He's basically an uncomplicated guy who likes to like and is easy to like. Keep your eye on this man; he's going to develop himself into one of our top guitarists. But it won't hang him up, 'cause things just don't hang Jim up.

And there's Alan, who resembles an iceberg in that only about ten percent of him is above the surface. He keeps a lot of him inside. What's on the outside looks a lot like Omar Sharif. It's a little difficult to earn Alan's respect, as it is with all of Them, but once you get it you have a loyal friend. But cross him once and you'll never have a chance to do it again. He's one heck of a bass player, but if you ask him he'll tell you Jim is the group's best guitarist. He can seem a bit rough at times, but he's learning the meaning of gentleness. Just don't let Alan frighten you.

Ray Elliott plays sax, organ, flute, etc., and is the world's largest living leprechaun, not necessarily in captivity. He's easy to love but impossible to understand. He calls his sax a typewriter and is capable of talking for hours without making sense to anyone other than himself, but that's Ray. And you'll just have to take him as he is, 'cause there's no way he's ever going to change. But why should he; he's enjoying himself. Ray doesn't trust people, but maybe he has a reason. We'll probably never know.

Move slowly around Dave Harvey and he may be able to keep up with you. Them's drummer, he's a low keyed Englishman who looks Spanish when his moustache gets too long. He once wore a watch that said five o'clock for three months, but in Dave's world it might have been five o'clock for three months. Jazz is his bag, photography his latest interest and girls his full time interest. He doesn't stand out in a crowd, but he's glad of that since crowds bother him. Dave's simply quiet, easy going and slow, at everything.

These are Them now and now is Them. They've been through some changes, bad times and good times and learned from all of it. It's going to happen for Them now. I think you'll like Them.
by Carol Deck


Tracks
1. I'm Your Witch Doctor (John Mayall) - 2:39
2. What's The Matter Baby (Joy Byers, Clyde Otis) - 2:46
3. Truth Machine (J. Armstrong, R. Elliott, D. Harvey, K. McDowell) - 2:10
4. Square Room - 9:59
5. You're Just What I Was Looking For Today (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:57
6. Dirty Ol' Man (At The Age Of 16) (T. Lane) - 1:48
7. Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out (Jimmie Cox) - 3:35
8. Walking In The Queen's Garden - 3:06
9. I Happen To Love You (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:48
10. Come To Me - 2:24
11. Walking In The Queen's Garden (mono single mix) - 3:04
12. I Happen To Love You (mono single mix) (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 2:54
All songs by Alan Henderson, Jim Armstrong, Dave Harvey, Ray Elliott and Kenny McDowell  except otherwise noted.

Them
*Alan Henderson - Bass
*Jim Armstrong - Guitar
*Dave Harvey - Drums
*Ray Elliott - Saxophone, Organ, Flute
*Kenny McDowell - Vocals

Themology
1965-66  The Wheels - Road Block
1967  Belfast Gypsies
1970-71  Rod Demick And Herbie Armstrong - Little Willie Ramble

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Top!
Thank you very much.