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3 Sep 2016

Larry’s Rebels “A Study In Black” 1967 New Zealand Garage/Beat/Psych band












Larry’s Rebels “A Study In Black” 1967 New Zealand Garage/Beat/Psych band 

full 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDyefbPiFss 

watch…. 

http://www.audioculture.co.nz/people/larry-s-rebels 

“There’s rock - and there’s rock ‘n’ roll, an attitude to a song and to life. Larry is and always has been a rock 'n’ roller”- Bruce Morley 
NZ Music Critic ….. 

Larry’s Rebels were New Zealand’s Animals. Our Paul Revere and the Raiders. The top notch local pop band with bluesy bite, who released a handful of vital discs, and for a brief few years were all over the media, the charts and the nation’s bedroom walls. They were Auckland’s first great homegrown pop band of the modern pop era; hard working and electrifying live. Their cover versions nipped at the heels of the originals. …… 

In 1967 Larry’s Rebels released their first album A Study in Black on Impact Records, which included the Top Ten single ‘Painter Man’ (which was subsequently banned by NZBC radio stations for being a ribald record in bad taste). The tracks for this album were mostly stage favourites, but included five originals – among them ‘Let’s Think of Something’ which went on the win that year’s Silver Scroll. 

During 1966 and 1967 Larry’s Rebels could not put a foot wrong in New Zealand. After their run of classy support roles on international tours, they began headlining their own blockbusters, including two Impact Shows and two Larry’s Rebels Dance Spectaculars. 

At Auckland’s Western Springs Stadium they drew a crowd of 18,000, followed shortly after by a crowd of 12,000 in the city’s Epson Showground. Many appearances erupted into frantic riots, with the stage rushed and costumes ripped to shreds. A task force was subsequently assembled to provide protection for the band members at shows. A sure sign that the boys were serious stars. 

The band was unravelling, however, and in 1968 Larry Morris left, and the remaining members reverted to calling themselves The Rebels with Glyn Mason taking over on vocals. 

They then had a number one hit with ‘My Son John’ and released the album ‘Madrigal’ (again on Impact). They broke up in 1970. …. 

Interesting NZ pop. Ray Columbus was a big name here and had quite a few hits. They broke up before the advent of psych so unless you are interested in early- mid 60s beat and such it would not really interest many here. 

Larrys Rebels is more interesting. The two albums seem to bookend the psych era, the first just as psych sounds were hitting our shores and the second LP came after their psychedelic singles (which are not included here), and heads to a different era. There was also a change in lead singer for the second LP at that point as Larry Morris was busted for drugs and became a solo artist. This also affected the choice in songs to some extent. 

Of the two LPs the first is a odd mixture of people pleasers that they toured round the clubs with and has a touch of Saturday night cabaret with a mix of pop soul blues and garage sounds. You lurch between Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and a beatpop take on Scots folk tune of Skye Boat Song, soul covers like Dancing in the Street and Midnight Hour, and the band’s own fuzzy bluesy psychedelic creations like Speak My Mind and Flying Scotsman. 

1968’s Madrigal is loved by some as the high point of the groups career and others would probably say - meh. It has more Joe Cockeresque takes on Beatles (Good Day Sunshine, Ticket to Ride) and Bee Gees (To Love Somebody) as well as memorable originals like My Son John and the Who-like Passing You By helping make it a little more cohesive……. 

There were a few twists with Larry Morris. He was indeed arrested fr drugs, twice. The first time for possession of cannabis was a big blow as he was starting out on a solo career and was making his money touring on the club circuit sponsored by one of the main brewery company. Of course when that came up the contract was terminated (after all alcohol is a acceptable drug)and that was the end for his career to some extent. Than a year or two later he was caught dealing which was far more serious and served a four year jail sentence.  

One last interesting thing is for some reason in the middle of their psychedelic period the group put out a EP of christmas songs. I have no idea what it is like or why they did it (I think Paul Revere and the Raiders did a similar thing) I understand they are pretty faithful covers and not freaked out versions. Needless to say I have never bothered looking for it. ….. 

Despite the name there wasn’t much rebellion in the Auckland quintet who became national pop heroes in the late 60s after early hits like I Feel Good and Painter Man. 

Their 1967 debut LP - here reissued with Madrigal, the band’s second album recorded after the departure of frontman Morris for a solo career - shows them torn between Saturday night cabaret and garage grit. That divide makes for a uneven set, lurching between likes of girl group anthem Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, a beatpop take on Scots folk tune of Skye Boat Song, soul covers like Dancing in the Street and Midnight Hour, and the band’s own fuzzy bluesy psychedelic creations like Speak My Mind and Flying Scotsman. 

With Morris replaced by Glyn Mason, 1968’s Madrigal delivered Joe Cockeresque takes on Beatles (Good Day Sunshine, Ticket to Ride) and Bee Gees (To Love Somebody) as well as memorable originals like My Son John and the Who-likePassing You By helping make it a little more cohesive. 

Though you suspect that finale track Rhubarb was just the band padding the end of side two a bit. Not an essential collection but certainly one for Kiwi rock history completists…….review by Russell Baillie 

A1 Midnight Hour
A2 What Now My Love
A3 Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow 
Written-By – King-Goffin* 
A4 Stormy Winds
A5 Flying Scotsman
A6 Shakin’ Up Some Soul
A7 Painter Man
B1 Skye Boat Song
B2 Saturday’s Child
B3 Let’s Think Of Something
B4 Dancing In The Street
B5 Speak My Mind
B6 Inside Looking Out
B7 Situation Vacant 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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