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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel (1964-66 uk, fantastic mod beat psych)

The Creation was Kenny Pickett, Robert Garner, Jack Jones and Eddie Phillips. Their origins go back to 1963, as Jimmy Virgo & The Blue Jacks who included Jack Jones in their first line up. When singer Jimmy Virgo left, a Kenny Lee took over and they became Kenny Lee & The Mark Four. Kenny Lee became Kenny Pickett and they recruited Eddie Phillips and dropped the prefix to be known simply as, The Mark Four. 

The band signed to Mercury Records in 1964 and released two singles featuring four different cover versions. Rock around the clock b/w Slow down and Try it baby b/w Crazy country hop. They signed to Decca and released their first self-penned single. Hurt me if you will and I'm leaving, the first songs to be written by the Pickett/Phillips partnership. 

There then came a couple of line up changes as original members of Jimmy Virgo & the Blue Jacks fell by the wayside and the band released their final single in February 1996. Work all day (sleep all night) b/w Going down fast was released on Fontana and were two more originals which began to hint at their future direction. 

The Mark Four soon located to London and found a manager, Tony Stratton-Smith who suggested the three piece add bassist Bob Garner to complete the line up.  A producer was found in the form of Shel Talmy who had worked with the Who and Kinks in the past and was impressed with what he saw and signed them to his own Planet label.  Within a week of signing they were recording a single under a new name, The Creation which Phillips had found in a book of Russian poetry. 

The debut single Making Time c/w Try And Stop Me was released in June 1966 and over 30 years later in1997 it pisses on any current release from our Britpop brigade for sheer authenticity. The production, the sharp sound and more importantly the soul was immense. In less than three gripping minutes, The Creation were taking bold steps with the pop format to create their own distinctive near psychedelic sound. Fusing 60's beat and pop harmonies that were the tastes of the times they added a distinctive, nasty electric noise that must have sent shockwaves through most people used to the more refined bands of that era. During the song Phillips plays guitar with a violin bow producing a wall of sound that must have blown away all the shoddy sixties bands desperately copying the Beatles early clean cut days. Only The Who were creating such venomous pop at this time. 

The group appeared on the cult 60's TV music show Ready Steady Go and Making Time made it to Number 49 in the charts. The next single went a bit further and took the band to Number 36 in the charts. Painter Man c/w Biff Bang Pow were two altogether poppier songs but equally as enticing as the previous single. Again you would find it hard to find a band around today who can capture such attitude and put it into a simple pop song. This was the band in their prime.  You can imagine an ocean of Mod heads bobbing up and down in packed, sweaty late night club feeding off the band's cool sound and celebratory feel. 

Pete Townshend of The Who was so impressed with the innovate guitar style of Eddie Phillips he asked him to join the Who as a second guitarist but he turned it down like any cocksure, young upstart with dreams of his own would. Like a true Punk, The Creation would be the band that would slay the rest outta sight. But sadly, it wasn't to be. With success just around the corner, their label Planet folded. Talma was retained as producer and the band eventually signed to Polydor. But not before unrest started to creep into the band. Jack Jones was replaced by a friend of Bob Garner but he was soon left and the band re-instated Jack Jones. 

The band were also upset at having so much attention so early on without quite gaining the success it promised. The management was blamed and Bob Garner was now trying to establish himself as the leader of the band. The icing on the cake came when Phillips arrived at a practice to find a new bass player had been drafted in with Bob Garner on vocals. Pickett walked out and the great songwriting partnership was broken. 
New bassist Kim Gardner was formerly in the Birds (not the American band!) and the new look Creation released If I Stay Too Long b/w Nightmares. But the single wasn't a success and the bands fortune lie more on the continent, especially in Germany. In their homeland, the would disappear into obscurity as quickly as they broke onto the scene. 

Their debut album 'We are Paintermen' was only released in Germany, Holland and Scandinavia. The bands next release in the UK was a single Life Is Just Beginning c/w Through My Eyes. Their label used their success in Germany to promote the record but mysteriously the band never broke through. Perhaps they were ahead of their time. Polydor issues another powerful single, How Does It Feel To Feel (covered in recent times by Ride on their Carnival Of Light album) which had already been released seven months previously in Germany, It flopped and the band went through more line up changes, which included recruiting Ronnie Wood before releasing a final single for Polydor, Midway Down c/w The Girls Are Naked. 
They were eventually dropped from Polydor without ever releasing a debut long player in their own country. Further releases followed on the continent before the band split up in June 1968. 

1. How Does It Feel to Feel? (Garner, Pilllips) - 3:09
2.Life Is Just Beginning (Garner, Pilllips) - 3:00
3.Through My Eyes (Garner, Pilllips) - 3:08
4.Ostrich Man (Unknown) - 2:29
5.I Am the Walker (Pickett, Pilllips) - 2:48
6.Tom Tom (Garner, Pilllips) - 2:57
7.Girls Are Naked (Pickett, Garner, Jones) - 2:00
8.Painter Man (Pickett, Pilllips) - 2:52
9.Try and Stop Me (Pickett, Pilllips) - 2:28
10.Biff Bang Pow (Pickett, Pilllips) - 2:26
11.Making Time (Pickett, Pilllips) - 2:57
12.Cool Jerk (Storball) - 2:21
13.For All That I Am (P. Kahan, S. Friedland) - 3:06
14.Nightmares (Pickett, Pilllips) - 3:13
15.Midway Down (Eandrling, Shapiro) - 2:47
16.Can I Join Your Band (Garner, Pilllips) - 3:05
17.Uncle Bert (Garwood, Pickjohn) - 2:25
18.Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan) - 2:59
19.If I Stay Too Long (Garner, Pilllips) - 3:23
20.Hey Joe (Roberts) - 4:09

The Creation
*Kenny Pickett - Vocals
*Eddie Phillips - Guitar
*Bob Garner - Bass
*Jack Jones - Drums

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