CD Rock Review

Brian Poole & The Tremeloes’ Live at the BBC 1964-67

Title: Live at the BBC 1964-67

Label: BGO

When I think of The Tremeloes, I think of bands such as Herman’s Hermits or even The Monkees. That is, bands who were largely disregarded at the time, were rather short on respect and seen as rather shallow in terms of creative importance but, later, garnered long overdue praise, esteem and admiration for a fine body of work.

The band initially made their name on the US Air Base circuit and were eventually signed by Decca in 1962 during that notorious time when the label were simultaneously rejecting The Beatles. The Temeloes’ breakthrough failed to arrive until they dumped their rock’n’roll pretentions and turned to R&B and, ironically in terms of The Beatles, released their own version of Twist & Shout (which appears on this CD collection) which rose to No 4 in the charts plus others covers such as Do You Want Me and I Want Candy (also on this set).

Trouble was that they, like the rest of the British Invasion force, failed to update and, while the hip and trendy Kinks and Yardbirds were treading the boards, The Tremeloes were still posing in matching suits. Soon Brian Poole (who had originally received individual billing due to pressure from Decca) began to develop his ego and wanted to become the next Tom Jones. The band split occurred, the expected stardom of Poole failed to materialise (I last saw him working as a butcher) but neither did the demise of the rest of the Tremeloes who had more than enough vocal talent to ‘go it alone’.

The new version of the band hit back with The Beatles cover, Good Day Sunshine and Cat Stevens song, Here Comes My Baby, an infectious ditty (again, both present on this set). The band then came over all progressive with an appealing fuzz guitar from in-house axe-man, Rick West.

This roller coaster ride of change is tracked on this collection of BBC excursions for the likes of Saturday Club complete with interviews. The performances are lively, energetic and have a live edge that gives each track an added spark along with a number of fine examples of the live vocal harmonic talents, a particular skill of the band.

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