“Empty Club Blues”

Trio dressed in all black Beat gear and dark shades go jazz lounge

I bought this record for fifty pence from a Salvation Army charity shop in Newcastle the other day. I’ve seen it many times at fairs and on dealer lists but never bothered to invest, but today I was in the mood to try my luck. I had no idea what the Peddlers sounded like.

Dressed all in black with shortish hair for 1967, one guy wearing dark shades. One would think this was a Beat / R&B group from 1965. Could The Peddlers be undiscovered ravers in the mould of fellow all-black-wearing The Sorrows from Coventry?

The answer is no of course, and that I did know!

The numbers on this are delivered in slow paced jazz meanderings with lounge style ‘mouth-full-of-marbles’ vocals. Most of the tracks utilize organ but the player never goes wild, he just keeps it steady. So too does the drummer.

The record is wrecked to be honest. It doesn’t jump or anything but it looks like a previous owner has been flinging it at his cat. There are even a couple of indentations. Could he have stood on this back in the sixties while wearing Carnaby Street cuban heeled Beatle boots?

When I was in the shop checking this album out, knowing that it was wrecked, but at fifty pence was willing to take the risk, I reckoned that the track “Empty Club Blues” would have something about it. Indeed it does, it’s one of the most appealing cuts on here.

Side two mines similar territory with the mid-tempo, organ swinger “Ain’t No Big Thing” one of the stand-out’s. This number sounds like an unholy mix of Georgie Fame meets The Artwoods.

“Sneaking Up On You” is a blues charmer and recalls mid sixties era John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. The lounge-swing vocal style and over-use of orchestration ruins it for me though.

“Pentathlon” is an instrumental and typical background music for those ’60s espionage TV programmes and films.

charity shop purchase @ 50 pence

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