Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Adam, Mike & Tim – Little Pictures

Adam, Mike & Tim - Little Pictures (Decca F12221. 1965)

Thanks to Paul Martin

Here’s an interesting little 45 from a band who have been somewhat neglected over the years.

The band were from London and featured brothers Adam and Mike Sedgwick along with friend Tim Saunders. They all worked for a large advertising agency in London and starting out livening up boring lunch breaks by singing folk songs. They were encouraged by a friend to send a demo tape to Decca who impressed enough to offer the band a deal for three singles, the first of which “Little Baby” appeared in 1964, backed by an early songwriting outing from a pre-Pink Floyd Rick Wright, “You’re The Reason Why”.

The band’s debut failed to dent the charts and a follow up “That's How I Feel/It's All Too True” also had little success. The band’s final 45 for Decca would be “Little Pictures/ Summer's Here Again”, which was a great piece of Byrdsian folk-pop with some rather lysergic lyrics;

I’m seeing little pictures of orange, red and gold

I’m hearing all the crazy sounds of bells.

I’m hearing some wind with a voice, just like a little bird

I’m seeing a joker man that no-one tells.

I’m walking on a road that’s made of sunlight beams

I’m swimming through a sea with frozen waves

I’m counting on the rain to wash the ragged scenes

of a joker man that nobody saves

I’m picking up a fruit of a fast dying tree

I’m treading on the stems of little flowers.

The clouds weep some tears in a big hungry sea

The joker man just winks his eye and smiles

Perhaps not out of the ordinary for West Coast USA, this groovy 45 would have been very out of place what was happening in England at the time of it’s release (August 1965) and while not overtly psychedelic musically, lyrically it could certainly class as one of the first ‘psychedelic’ singles to appear in the UK in the 60s (Miller’s ‘Baby I Got News For You’ would not appear from another two months).

Unfortunately the 45 also bombed and the band moved to Columbia for two more releases in 1966, “Flowers On The Wall/Give That Girl A Break” and “A Most Peculiar Man/Wedding Day”. The band appeared to be ahead of the game once again with their cover of Paul Simon’s “Most Peculiar Man”, which featured sitar and must rank of one of the earliest examples of its use on a UK 45.

Bizarrely “Little Pictures” would get a further outing on some Small Faces re-issues were it was credited to that band as “What a Matter Baby”. Despite having little commercial success in the UK the band would still secure a number of US releases.

Mike Sedgwick would be the only band member to return to music, launching a solo career in 1968.