Monday, 23 March 2015

The Ossie Layne Show - Barcelona 69

The omnipotent modernists that dwell upon the mystical mount of East London's Acid Jazz towers have, in there ultimate wisdom, seen fit to grace us with yet another offering in their series of fine and rare sixties extended play releases; Barcelona 69 by The Ossie Layne Show......and it is good.

Norman Watt-Roy is recognized as one of the worlds greatest bass players, foremost for his involvement with punk legend Ian Dury and The Blockheads and more recently Canvey rocker Wilko Johnson, but back in the swinging sixties, Norman and his brother Garth, smashed the mod scene with soulful, powerful, and highly infectious rhythm and blues.

In 1967 the Watt-Roy bothers signed to Philips Records with Essex outfit The Living Daylights, releasing 2 singles including Let’s Live For Today (originally recorded by UK beat group The Rokes). In 1968 they formed a nine-piece soul band, backing visiting American soul singers including Solomon Burke, and notably, Ossie Layne, who took them to the Costa Brava for a summer residency. Layne previously recorded a single in 1966 on the R&B label, based in Stamford Hill, North London; the same label that released Georgie Fame's first two singles. 

The following year, billed as The Ossie Layne Show, the band recorded a live album, for Spanish only release, with Layne taking vocal duties on four of the tracks, side A. However, Layne's voice wasn't aggressive enough for the more dynamic numbers, and on the flip side flutist Colin Jennings took over lead vocals; it is the B-side recordings from which the Barcelona 69 E.P is composed.

Rod Stewart's Rock My Plimsoll and a cover of Spirit's Fresh Garbage, a fantastic version of the Sly and The Family Stone number Sing A Simple Song and a blistering instrumental of Midnight Hour.

This record is much more than just another 'soul-review' re-reissue, it's a beautifully packaged, highly playable, portion of mod muso history. 


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