Ealing-based R&B band The Tomcats responded to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius by investing in sitars and tablas and reinventing themselves as psychedelic warriors July – or ‘the Eastern Hollies‘ as they apparently liked to be known.
Their eponymous debut album (1968) was a classic of its era and is now one of the era’s prime collectables.
Among its delights are the wonderfully trippy Move On Sweet Flower (complete with blissed-out spoken section) and The Way, bolstered by sterling sitar playing from lead singer/writer Tom Newman, and tabla from Jon Field.
Their double-sided single, My Clown b/w Dandelion Seeds, beautifully condensed their muse into 7″ format, with the latter track perfectly distilling the essence of UK psych-pop into three-and-a-half delirious minutes.
A copy of the original single today will set you back the best part of 200 quid!
Conversely, their October 1968 single, Hello Who’s There? was a nightmarish confection of wince-inducing lyrics and nursery rhyme tune, with a chorus so irritatingly catchy it should come with a public health warning.
Tom Newman released a number of solo albums and also produced several albums for other artists, including Tubular Bells for Mike Oldfield.
Duhig died on 11 November 1990, in Somerset, aged 49.
In 2009, Tom Newman, Chris Jackson, and Alan James reformed July.
Vocals, guitar, sitar
Vocals, flute, organ