This talented but largely ignored late sixties outfit was centred around Brian Godding and Brian Belshaw who first met as apprentices at the Hilger and Watts scientific instrument factory at Highbury, Islington in 1962. They formed a group called The Grave Diggers and later played in a R&B outfit, The Ingoes, who took their name from an obscure Chuck Berry number, Ingo. The Ingoes persuaded The Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky to taken them on and he arranged for them to go to Paris where they developed a strong cult following. After a short interlude in London when they recruited Jim Cregan, who had played in various R&B outfits, they returned for a second spell in Paris. During this spell The Ingoes recorded an EP for the Riviera label (cat no 231141) and a single version of Help, sung in Italian for the Italian market. Shortly after their return to London Colin Martin, The Ingoes drummer, left to be replaced by Kevin Westlake, who joined from Johnny B. Great and The Quotations who included future Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner. Around the same time, perhaps a little before this line-up change, The Ingoes became Blossom Toes.
Giorgio installed the band in a house in Fulham and they entered the studio to record their first album. Much of the backing on the album was provided by an orchestra and sessionmen. It was full of quirky, rather naive psychedelic pop songs with I'll Be Late For Me among the best. Also of note are the beautiful cello parts in Love Is, the hook-ladened Telegram Tuesday and the eerie What On Earth. It was typical 1967 music but the band's live act suffered from them being unable to produce most of the tracks on their first album live. During 1967 they also had a three week residency at Stockholm's leading psychedelic club, the Merry Hassan. (3) is a bootleg taken from a tape of one of these shows and is full of Beefheart numbers. Although disappointing overall, it did include Listen To The Silence which ended up on their next album. Late in 1967 Kevin Westlake left the band to be replaced by Poli Palmer, who had played in Deep Feeling and several other Midlands bands. A multi-instrumentalist Palmer would soon find his role restricted. Meanwhile they released a version of Dylan's I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, backed by Love Is in March 1968. Their next 45, Postcard/Everyone's Leaving Me Now, which appeared in October 1968 was much better. The 'A' side was rather catchy and the jazzy flip side featured Palmer on vocals as well as playing harpsichord and vibes. Shortly after Palmer left to join Eclection and later Family. He was replaced by Barry Reeves from the soul band Ferris Wheel.
Jim Cregan went on to play in Stud and then Family, before joining Cockney Rebel and later still becoming a member of Rod Stewart's backing band.
Peace Loving Man
Kiss Of Confusion
Listen To The Silence
Billy Boo The Gunman
Just Above My Hobby Horse’s Head
Wait A Minute
BRIAN BELSHAW bs
BRIAN GODDING gtr, vcls
JIM CREGAN gtr, vcls
POLI PALMER drms, flute, vibes, harp
Shawn Phillips sitar
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