Cet article non signé a paru dans l’hebdomadaire britannique Sounds daté du 3 janvier 1976. Au-delà de la biographie approximative des Pretty Things qu’il propose (non, le groupe ne s’est pas exilé en Allemagne dans les années 60…), il offre une liste intéressante du matériel dont se servaient les membres du groupe à la fin de la période Swan Song.
FORMED WHEN Dick Taylor left the Rolling Stones, the Pretty Things at one time were real challengers to the Stones for title of London’s best R&B band. But they were totally uncompromising and lacked the whirlwind energy and pushiness of an Andrew Loog Oldham. Although they had several hit singles they never broke into America. When soul began to overtake everything they headed to Germany for a couple of years.
In 1967 they found themselves—by now several changes in line-up along—on EMI. Where producer Norman Smith—also working with Pink Floyd—channelled their raw music into a precursor of Led Zeppelin’s airy thunder.
Their work included a seven minute single, ‘Defecting Grey,’ which moved through four distinct themes, ‘S.F. Sorrow,’ a conceptual album about the life of a man—several months before ‘Tommy,’ and culminated with the classic ‘Parachute,’ one of the decade’s best records.
The band is now in its thirteenth year. Vocalist Phil May is the only original member, though keyboardist John Povey and drummer Skip Alan have been with him almost 10 years, and guitarist Peter Tolson only slightly less. The newest members are bassist Jack Green and additional keyboard and guitar player Gordon Edwards.
Albums: (on Swansong)
‘Savage Eye’ (SSK 59401)
‘Torpedo’ (SSK 59400)
John Povey: R.M.I. Stereo electric piano and a Wurlitzer electric piano. These are put through three Maestro phase shifters, three M.X.R. noise gates and a Maestro signal isolator. The pianos are then mixed through a custom built Nik Rose four channel desk (one channel being spare for another piano) and then fed to an R.S.E. 300 watt stack. The main PA takes a direct feed from the noise gates.
Gordon Edwards: Plays a Fender Stratocaster, modified with built-in fuzz & effects, through a Vox AC30 which is miked for the PA. He also plays Grand Piano fitted with a Countryman pick-up through a Nik Rose single channel mixer into a 300 watt R.S.E. stack. The main PA takes a direct feed from the Countryman pick-up.
Jack Green: Plays a Fender Precision Bass through two Ampeg V.4B Bass stacks which are fitted with direct injection outputs for the main PA.
Pete Tolson: Plays a cut-down Fender Stratocaster and a Rickenbacker single pick-up guitar through a Dee Fisher effects pedal board and an M.X.R. phase shifter into an Ampeg V.T.22 Lead Combo, which is miked for the PA.
Skip Alan: Uses a Ludwig drum kit comprising of a 26in Bass Drum, an 18in Floor Tom-Tom, a 14in Top Tom-Tom and a 14in Snare. Cymbals used are 24in, 20in, 18in and two 14in Paiste plus a Cow Bell all on Premier fittings. Sticks are Ludwig 2A.
Phil May: Apart from an inbuilt custom voice plays Marraccas and Tambourine.
Source : WorldRadioHistory.com (PDF).