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The Krew Kats
October 3, 2012 4:50 AM   Subscribe

The Krew Kats were an instrumental surf-rock act out of England in the very early 60s. Cut from the same cloth, you might say, as the much more well known stateside crew The Ventures. But the Krew Kats had a playful, surprising, inventive and gloriously dopey sound all their own. As far as I can tell, their total recorded output consists of seven songs, all of which are available for your listening pleasure here.
posted by flapjax at midnite (13 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like this.
posted by Jimbob at 4:58 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a former member of London if not the UK's premier instrumental surf combo Dead Man's Curve, I thought I knew everything about surf music in the UK... but I'd never even heard of these guys! Thanks.

They look just as dorktastic as every other UK surf act ever, including (especially) us.

PS The guitarist from DMC (Django Deadman, see above) now has his own band, Los Fantasticos, who I highly recommend and who just released a new album.
posted by unSane at 5:10 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nice bit o' rock history here, Flapjax.

Licorice Locking (bass) and Brian Bennett (drums) are better known as members of The Shadows. (For those who don't know, the Shadows were simultaneously England's premiere instrumental group as well as Cliff Richards' backing band. Imagine if the Ventures backed Elvis. Now move it to England. That's the Shadows).

Locking was only a Shadow for a couple years, but he's on some key tracks and appears in the Cliff Richard film Summer Holiday (see also The Young Ones) Bennett remains a member of the Shadows today.
 
posted by Herodios at 5:39 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I blame Quentin Tarantino for making me want to knock over a bank when I listen to this kind of music.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:42 AM on October 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


Bennett remains a member of the Shadows today.

Thanks Herodios. When I was putting this post together, I considered going more full-on and including links to some band members and such, then decided against it, preferring to just let these seven songs speak for themselves. But, yes, Brian Bennett is something of a figure in British pop music history, isn't he? Here's his Wiki page.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:51 AM on October 3, 2012


I blame Quentin Tarantino for making me want to knock over a bank when I listen to this kind of music.

And I blame Space Ghost and Man Or Astroman? for making me want to become an outer-space superhero when I listen to this kind of music. :)

Thanks for this, flapjax!
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:14 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


. . . preferring to just let these seven songs speak for themselves.

Well, you had to know that wasn't going to happen here!

Turns out the Krew Kats are the same guys who, as the Wildcats, backed Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran on their ill-fated 1960 UK tour.

Brian Bennett is something of a figure in British pop music history, isn't he?

Yah, and Big Jim Sullivan apparently had, let's say, a checkered career as a session and touring musician. Here's his website.

The vocal tunes are . . . interesting. Strangely, they forced a fade out in "Johnny B. Goode", a rock-n-roll song that has a written ending. "Sweet Little Sixteen" is for some reason sung in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis. Lead guitarist Sullivan took some interesting chances there. I want my 2:11 back for "Cover Girl".

"Tonight" (from West Side Story) totally did not work.

I am somewhat dissappointed that "The Bat" is not the same "The Bat" that was the theme to the eponymous Vincent Price movie recorded by Alvino Rey.

However, I am cheered by the soaking wet reverb on tracks like "Trambone".

"Polaris" is clearly chasing "Telestar". Loving the background vocals. The overall production of this tune immediately called to mind the theme for a teevy show I used to watch, The Sons Of Herk You LEEEEEEZ! featuring, apparently, Marty Robbins' backing band and what sounds like my father's barbershop quartet on vocals.

I blame Quentin Tarantino . . . I blame Space Ghost and Man Or Astroman? . . .

I Blame My Parents!
 
posted by Herodios at 7:02 AM on October 3, 2012


Oh no no that's not what I know Brian Bennett for.

I know him as the Library Music composer who came up with this masterpiece and a fair bit more besides.
posted by solarion at 7:21 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This piece seems very timely - Fifty years ago this week, a certain surf-guitar sound graced the theme of a movie that launched a franchise. NPR reported about Vic Flick's contribution, for which he was paid only $15.00.

He's a better man than I - He isn't bitter.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 7:50 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, is it that time again already? Hang on, let me get out my script:

Thanks, flapjax, this is great! Another musical goldmine I wouldn't ever have heard of. Keep on sendin' 'em on!

Love,
Rykey
posted by Rykey at 7:55 AM on October 3, 2012


Like! Dig mucho!
posted by quazichimp at 8:54 AM on October 3, 2012


As a rather sad coda to this post: Big Jim Sullivan's obituary.
posted by Dr.Pill at 5:01 PM on October 3, 2012


Wow, Dr.Pill, thanks for that. Big Jim died just the day before I made this post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:23 PM on October 3, 2012


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