Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New Zealand
Awesome late 60's NZ psych band.
So I was rummaging through a few blogs, and I came across this heavy psych blog that has literally (90% sure of this) 100's of rare 60's-70's albums of bands that played LOUD progressive psychedelic, in the Hawkwind/Flower Travelling Band sense of the term. Anyway, here I was having a browse and I saw the words New Zealand. This had me reeling on the back foot, I didn't know my country produced bands that made loud guitar drenched psych albums, let alone played that style of music at all. So I downloaded the associated album, called "Stoned Guitar" by Human Instinct. Here's some words from a much more informed source, if you want the short story start at about paragraph 5.
Below the quote I've upped the title track from Stoned Guitar.
This band started out as The Four Fours in New Zealand and were one of its finest mid-sixties combos. In August 1966, they headed for the U.K., playing on board a cruise ship and changing their name to The Human Instinct en-route.
Arriving initially in Southampton, they soon found their feet, acquiring a good agent and auditioning for promoters at Wembley's Starlight Ballroom. Here in England, they supported top acts such as the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Bluesology, Jeff Beck Group, Cat Stevens, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Moody Blues, Small Faces and Spencer Davis Group. They were also a popular attraction in the London clubs, playing at venues such as The Marquee, Tiles Club, Zebra Club and The Playboy Club in Park Lane. They also took over The Peddlers' residency whilst they themselves were overseas.
A singles deal offered by Mercury Records resulted in three essentially pop efforts, after which they teamed up with former Springfields' guitarist and vocalist Mike Hurst, who was working as a producer / A&R man. They were duly signed by Decca Records' new progressive Deram label. A new 45, A Day In My Mind's Mind, was recorded at Olympic studios and released in December 1967. This double-sided pop-psych gem was completed by Death At The Seaside, a cover of a Hall / Christie song about the death of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt.
A second 45, Renaissance Fair was released in 1968. Originally a Byrds' 'B' side The Human Instinct retained its basic structure but substituted a swirling string section for the raga guitars on the original. Maurice Greer turned down the chance to join The Jeff Beck Group during their time in England, opting to return instead with the rest of the band. You can check some of the U.K. 45s out on three U.K. compilations. Staircase To Nowhere (Rubble 12) included A Day In My Mind's Mind and Pink Dawn and British Psychedelic Trip, Vol. 3 featured The Death Of The Seaside (also on Psychedelic Unknowns, Vol. 7) and Renaissance Fair (also on Deram Dayze). The strongly British-influenced A Day In My Mind's Mind, with its morse code type introduction and catchy vocal line, can also be found on the New Zealand compilation, No. 8 Live Wire.
In 1968, they returned to New Zealand where they recorded five excellent and very rare albums of guitar-based hard rock. Back home they underwent various line-up changes. Most significantly, at Maurice Greer's brother Frank's suggestion (he was the band's manager) Billy Te Kahika was recruited to the line-up on guitar. His searing guitar work gave them a new dimension and, by late 1969, they had secured a residency at Auckland's Bo Peep Club.
Their first New Zealand based album Burning Up Years included four compositions by the now legendary guitarist / songwriter Jesse Harper:- Blues News, Fall Down, I Think I'll Go Back Home and Ashes And Matches, which owe much to blues / R'n'B roots. There's an unusual cover of Ray Davies' You Really Got Me, with Greer singing in between the bars. Greer's own composition Maiden Voyage blends various tempo changes with choppy guitar and Hendrix-style guitar histrionics. The closing title cut is lengthy, haunting in places but with lots of frenetic guitar work towards the end.
Stoned Guitar is a definite progression on their earlier effort. The title cut, a band instrumental composition, commences with a screeching and stunning sound effects opening. What follows is very Hendrixque instrumentation. The opening cut Black Sally is a guitar driven Dennis Wilson composition. There are two Jesse Harper compositions, Jugg-A-Jug Song and Midnight Sun, with lots more guitar-driven instrumentation. There's an acoustic cover of John Kongos' Tomorrow and the album concludes with the ten-minute long rendition of Rory Gallagher's Railway And Gun, recorded live at the Bo Peep Club.
Their Pins In It album is dominated by a number of catchy guitar-driven songs like Rainbow World, Stand Up, Duchess Of Montrose, Hazy Days and The Washing Song, whilst The Nile Song is a cover of '69 era Pink Floyd.
They also recorded a sixth album Peg Leg, which was never released.
xx's to tt's:
She thinks I'm a reclusive genius, she's going to be very disappointed when she finds out i'm a reclusive wa