11 February 2013

Moving Finger - Higher and Higher/ Shake and Finger Pop

Label: Mercury
Year of Release: 1969

The Moving Finger were an odd group who couldn't seem to make up their minds quite what they wanted to be.  Hailing from Norwich - home of "Sale of the Century" and Alan Partridge - and originally known as The Anglians, they issued the blue-eyed soul disc "A Friend Of Mine" on CBS. When that failed, they switched labels to Mercury and changed their name, issuing the moody popsike track "Jeremy The Lamp" backed with the absolutely fantastic, woozy and dream-like "Pain Of My Misfortune" (one of my favourite popsike tracks ever).

Needless to say that didn't pay dividends either, and the glorious technicolour of all things psychedelic had also largely faded by 1969.  This would seem to have inspired them to revert back to plan A and they subsequently issued this record, which is yet more blistering soul-inspired pop which rattles along with a lot more ferocity than their CBS disc.  The B-side "Shake and Finger Pop" is available on iTunes and elsewhere and showcases the group's abilities very well, being an intense and frantic take on the track which still gets spun occasionally by DJs of a certain persuasion these days.  Less is heard about the actual A-side, though, a mod take on Jackie Wilson's "Higher And Higher".  It certainly doesn't surpass the original in terms of quality, but it's a strident enough version which unveils previously unexplored beat possibilities.

What became of The Moving Finger after this flopped nobody really seems to know, but on the basis of the limited evidence we have available to us it's a fair bet that they were a fantastic live band in their day.  What do you mean "Isn't that just speculation?"  Of course it is!  I'm not a purveyor of time machines, you know.


Anonymous said...

Moving Finger became "Second Hand" that released the amazing "Death May Be Your Santa Claus", Peter Gabriel eventually asked them to bew his backing band but Kieran O`Connor had drinking & other problems so it never happened... Otherwise they would have become Genesis!

Check it out on Discois.

clive thomas said...

Anonymous, You're talking about Moving Fingers with final S: that's another prog band with a similar name.