At 6:30pm on the 17th of December, 2010 on a freezing night, The Pretty Things and the recording team from the LMS were sitting outside the 100 Club with their fans, waiting to get in to the venue that had been booked for them more than 6 months previously. Doors were set to open at 7:30 pm. And the reason for the delay? At the 11th hour (a few days previously), a certain Paul McCartney had decided to have a lunchtime showcase at the 100 club, and his crew were still breaking down. Hmmm… looks like "The Beatles" still outrank "The Pretty Things" - nothing ever changes - still the outcasts of rock n roll nearly 50 years later.
Setting up for a major London show in 30 minutes? Impossible… Setting up for a major live recording room on the stage in 30 minutes - Ha Ha Ha… You must be joking!
But The Pretty Things have learned a things or two after 50 years in the trenches and - at 7:45 pm, only 15 minutes late, doors were opened (with poor Bobby Whelan still climbing along the ceiling rafters after rigging the audience mice!) and the fans poured in. Mr. McCartney had packed 410 people into the small club - a record for the recent "Health & Safety" years. When the dust settled, the headcount for The Pretties was 418, popular outcasts, then!
The show was a tribute to the band's first album, entitled "The Pretty Things" and was something that they had never played in its entirety at any point in their career. I won't bang on about it - the show was incredible - 418 people filed in- and floated out. The songs were pin sharp and the band was devastating. Paul (Madden, not McCartney!) captured it brilliantly in impossible conditions.
And here it is for you to enjoy - a piece of rock and roll history - and a band at the height of its' powers, despite the passage of time. Check out the groove of "13, Chester Street" and the thundering energy of "Honey, I Need" - just brilliant.
We chose to wait until the bands 50th Anniversary to release it - it just seemed more appropriate, so it's been sitting waiting for you for a while. Blow the dust off the sleeve, sit back (or jump around!) and enjoy the best band most people never heard of, making real music, in glorious analogue, for the keepers of the flame and lovers of the real truth. Ladies n Gentlemen - "The Pretty Things" playing - "The Pretty Things". Enjoy!
Mark St. John, London, August, 2013
released July 16, 2015
Phil May - Lead vocals and maraccas
Dick Taylor - Lead guitar
Frank Holland - Guitar, harp and vocals
George Perez - Bass and vocals
Jack Greenwood - Drums
Special Guest: Lorenzo Moufflier - Blues harp
Recorded entirely on the Ronnie Lane Mobile Studio (LMS) by Paul Madden, assisted by Bobby Whelan
Recording Mixed and Produced by Mark St. John
Recording Mastered by: Gwyn Matthias