Belfast Gypsies

MR 425LP MR 425LP

Known as The Other Them or as the Belfast Gypsies, or simply as Them outside of the UK -- where Van Morrison's group was granted in court to use that name -- this bunch of Irish rockers (some of them former members of the real Them) briefly became the world's most dangerous punk R&B band following a chance encounter with Kim Fowley. Sparks flew in the studio as howling Gloria/Mystic Eyes R&B collided with the freak-out sounds of the Sunset Strip. Kim pushed hard to make the sound even rawer than it already was and, in a matter of months, a few releases saw the light of day in different countries -- under various names. "Gloria's Dream" became a small hit in certain markets including Seattle, Orlando and Detroit. The band headed to Denmark where they could make some much-needed money touring as Them. In Copenhagen they recorded five more songs to complete the album, including "Portland Town", "Boom Boom", "Midnight Train" and a superb version of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue". Although Fowley wasn't present for the sessions, his influence can be clearly felt on a new band composition, "Suicide Song". By late 1966 it was apparent that the band had run its course, and in early November, after some final shows in Stockholm, they quietly disbanded. Meanwhile, Fowley continued to make deals for their recordings. This double-LP comprises the complete works of the band, including the updated version of "People! Let's Freak Out" -- as released on Island in 1966 -- with added psychedelic effects (apparently courtesy of Guy Stevens and Robert Wyatt) and a couple of demos recorded at KPS Sound Studio. This release is a Munster/Mono-Tone Records co-production.