Idle summer rinky-dink tootling from probable hairies
Year of Release: 1972
From its late sixties to early seventies output, the UK branch of Polydor is a fascinating label for the crate-digger. During that period it licensed a lot of product from independent production companies, meaning the catalogue is overflowing with odd one-off 45s filled with novelty pop, freakbeat and Soho club basement soul. Some of it is also frighteningly scarce these days, if frequently available for reasonable prices when it does show up.
Here's another obscure oddment to add to the list. "Gone Fishin'" had a long life prior to this recording, perhaps being most appreciated in its guise as a Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong duet. Oh, how we'd all love to live in Bing's world, where David Bowie is a neighbour and drops by for a Christmas chat and sing-song, and he's forever popping round Louis' house for a cup of coffee but Louis is always out with his rod. But I digress...
What we have here is a slightly more subdued, less showbiz cover of the song which brings a lazy hippy folkiness to the original concept. The arrangements are closer to a Kevin Ayers LP than Hollywood, and it's as tranquil as a quiet day on Wanstead Flats. The rinky-dink arrangement palls a little towards the end, but on the whole it's a charming bit of hippy trad-influenced pop.
Doubtless Polydor snapped it up hoping for a novelty summer hit, but it didn't emerge, and ended up as yet another slab of vinyl cluttering up their warehouses. The identity of the group in question isn't known, but I suspect it was a vehicle for the songwriters K. Hancock and R. Moss, who also penned some other interesting records around the same period, including St. Cecelia's "C'mon Ma (Burn Your Bra)" and Dreamseller's "Jolly Little Mice". Suffice to say, this is a lot more laidback and dreamy than either of those.
Sorry the flip "That Summer Feeling" is so horribly scuffed, by the way, but I did my best.