Poets relaxing at home in late ’65 or very early ’66 L-R back Hume, Fraser, John, front Jim and George
The Poets in Boyfriend magazine 1965
‘Call Again’ / ‘Some Things I Can’t Forget’ (IM006) not only marked the group’s Immediate debut, but it was also the debut studio performance of guitarist Fraser Watson. Once more the group opted for a more wistful, mellow tone, and also seemed to have taken on board some of the American folk-rock feel, elements of which were then being heard on records by, especially, groups like The Byrds.
Magazine ad for ‘Call Again’ The first Poets single on Immediate. (LH)
The Poets first Immediate 45, Call Again.
Call Again (Gallacher/Paton)
Some Things I Can’t Forget (Gallacher/Paton)
The atmosphere on ‘Some Things I Can’t Forget’ was different, however, and more intense, with the 12-string sounding quite edgy, trebly and jangly. Also included were a couple of deliciously dramatic pauses, furthering that introspective, almost pensive sound the group had already begun to make their own. This first Immediate outing, as well as being a double-sided beauty is one of the group’s harder to locate 45s. The group weren’t all that happy with the choice of A side either, and Fraser has told me recently that the guys were all pretty depressed that Andrew decided on ‘Call Again’ for the A side, as the group were pushing for ‘Some Things I Can’t Forget’.
The Poets in rehearsal early 1966 Fraser Hume and John
In the group’s fan club newsletters throughout the latter half of 1965 there was talk of a full-length LP being recorded. Despite a hope that this would be released in time for the Christmas period, nothing ever came of it, and alas no LP record by The Poets was ever issued during their time together.
The unreleased at the time Love Is Fading Away recorded and cut to acetate in autumn 1965
By now the atmosphere within the group was beginning to take its toll, and due to a combination of things such as manager Andrew Oldham spending more time with his main charges, the hugely successful Rolling Stones, and Hume Paton’s father taking a not always welcome, but nonetheless much more active role in the day to day affairs of the group, all was not well with The Poets.
half obscured is Jim Breakey, with Fraser Watson and Hume Paton onstage Poets late 1965 / early 1966
Late 1965 Poets: Hume and George (with tambourine – semi obscured)
And of course they were still chasing that elusive hit single that, had it happened, would’ve no doubt given them a stronger profile, resulting in more prestigious gigs – especially down south. However, just a few days into the new year, 1966, Immediate release a new Poets single, ‘Baby Don’t You Do It’ / ‘I’ll Come Home’ (IM024). The topside favours a raw and electrifying cover of this mod-soul anthem originally recorded by Marvin Gaye, while the flipside featured another quietly reflective original, perhaps not as memorable as some of their previous outings but still capturing a particular mood.
The Poets at Lakeside R’nB.
Magazine ad for second Immediate 45 ‘Baby Don’t You Do It’
Baby Don’t You Do It – the second Immediate release
Baby Don’t You Do It (promo copy)
Baby Don’t You Do It (Holland/Dozier?Holland)
I’ll Come Home (Gallacher/Paton)
Perhaps if it had been produced by Oldham, who could’ve upped the ante and given it a wonderfully dense yet crisp reverberating atmosphere, it would’ve resonated much more with fans of mid-60s beat. Instead it was left to the relative inexperience of the future Gary Glitter (Paul Raven) and thus the sonic balance heard over both sides isn’t really up to the standards set by their previous disc outings. That said, ‘Baby Don’t You Do It’ just as it stands exudes a particular magic, and has a certain primitive charm that makes it what it is today!