Artist: The Playmates
Title: Jodi b/w Don't Fight It
Year of Release: 1970
One of the perplexing things about the Irish Showband scene is that while it produced a plethora of acts who were fleetingly very successful in their home country, finding recordings, biographies, photos or factual information about many of these people is far harder work than it should be. And so it goes with The Playmates - "Jodi" was apparently a sizeable hit in Ireland, but information is otherwise pretty scarce.
Still, I have to be honest and say that it's not really the A-side I'm interested in here, which is a springy and catchy pop track but nothing otherworldly. Rather, I'm much more curious to hear a showband take on Wilson Pickett's "Don't Fight It", which sits on the flip. Did the story for "The Commitments" start here, folks? Well, no. "Don't Fight It" is a faithful cover, but regrettably it lacks any grit or oomph, sounding more like an uptempo good-time sound. It's indisputably a product both of its time and of its circuit, but it's interesting to hear something so unexpected.
Artist: Gregory and The Cadets
Title: Girl of Independent Means/ Young and Beautiful
Year of Release: 1967
And here's another act on the circuit, Gregory and The Cadets, who managed a string of convincing hits in Ireland (One, "More Than Yesterday", even reached the top spot) but haven't left a strong mark on the Internet.
They appear to have been closely linked to an old friend of the blog, Peter Lee Stirling, who often produced or wrote a number of their singles. "Girl of Independent Means" is one of his efforts, and rather than being a piece of folky observational sixties pop, is actually a well-sung ballad in awe of one woman's wealth. The B-side "Young and Beautiful" is a belting piece of balladry which is unfortunately rather needle-damaged by the previous owner, who clearly preferred it to the A-side to such an extent that he or she hammered it to death.