29 March 2014

The Heavyweights - Utterly Funky/ Shambala

Label: Speak
Year of Release: 1969

Back in the sixties, smaller British labels had a habit of releasing instrumental singles recorded by session musos.  The thinking must have been that while these records were highly unlikely to be large hits, they might be purchased by enough people to turn a reasonable profit.  Also, if they were dancefloor friendly or funky enough, they might even be picked up by the keener Friday or Saturday movers. 

The Heavyweights, rather than being a 'proper' group, appear to have been Spark's attempt to make a small bit of money from this game, and given how infrequently copies of this one turn up now, it seems they probably failed. That's a shame - the A-side is a neat instro track which sounds peculiarly like it could have been an eighties sit-com theme, while the B-side is somewhat strangely the funkier of the two, filled with heavy breaks and deep basslines. The incessant repetition and the backing vocals also give Julian Cope's "Sunspots" a run for its money.  That puffing flute riff dates the flip squarely in 1969, however, back when such things were considered momentarily to be future instruments of rock and roll. It also helps to give the impression that this is actually TellTale, the group from the children's TV series "Rainbow", having a bit of a party after a successful shoot.

In reality, The Heavyweights seem to have been a one-off studio arrangement with sixties songwriting cult psych legend Russ Alquist involved, along with ex-Ministry of Sound member Micky Keen. Once this track failed to chart, they wandered off to engage in other bits of work instead. 

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