Friday, 24 May 2013

Lally Stott

Lally Stott, real name Harold Stott was born in Prescot, Lancashire near Liverpool in 1945 and was a member of many Merseybeat groups during the early sixties including The Vaqueros, Denny Seyton & The Sabres and Four Just Men who released two singles for Parlophone during 1964-65. This band would evolve into freakbeat favourites the Wimple Winch, although Stott had quit the group by that time and relocated to Italy with some friends from Liverpool and formed Lally Stott & The Black Jacks. Photographs from this period show Stott with notably long hair for that time. The Black Jacks went through many line up changes, eventually changing their name to the Motowns. There's a great clip of the Motowns in action here on an Italian movie called "Soldati e Capelloni", watch out for Lally on guitar on the right with the shoulder length hair!

Stott left the Motowns in 1969 and moved to Rome where he would write many songs including "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" which would become a worldwide hit in 1971 and was recorded by Middle Of The Road, Mac and Katie Kissoon and many others. Stott released his own version of the song and an acompanying LP on the Philips record label also in 1971. "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" the album is a great  lost pop record with it's fair share of highlights, arranged and produced by Stott himself, my favourite is "Love Is Free, Love Is Blind, Love Is Good", a post psychedelic, cello driven piece which brings to mind The Move and early ELO. "London Town" is a simple yet effective orchestrated ballad with a killer guitar hook. "Jakaranda" is a groovy, tribal like tune which would most definitely get me up on the dancefloor if I ever hear it out. This was chosen by Philips to be the follow up single to "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" although it was not to be anywhere near as successful.

"Fe Fe Fi, Fo Fo Fum" sounds more 1966 than 1971, nicely funky and not at all as bubblegum as the title might have you think. "Help Me Mrs. Jones" is a symphonic tune with full orchestration and even some harpsichord, kind of like what you'd hear on a Ripples compilation of late 1960's PYE acts. The same can be said for "Ting Aling Along". These song names have most probably scared off collectors for years, not knowing the treats that lay behind the cheesy titles. The album ends with "Red Sun, Blue Moon" another dreamy ballad which melodically reminds me of late Simon & Garfunkel. On the whole this album is consistently good and deserves wider appreciation. It's never been released on CD as far as I know so hopefully a reissue label will get on board soon and spread the word.

Not on the album but also worth mentioning is the b-side to Chirpy, "Henry James" which is a funky psychy dancefloor beast, not what you'd expect on the flip side at all. Two more single for Philips followed, "Father Christmas" and "Sweet Meeny", both sounding like attempts at repeat his previous chart success, nice pop but not killers.

Throughout the early to mid seventies, Stott would write and produce records for other bands including both sides of Candlewick Green's debut single "Doggie" b/w "Like We Still Do", both sides of a single for Roger Peacock (which deserves it's own separate post) and a single for his old band the Black Jacks. There is also an album which he recorded with his wife Cathy as The Lovebirds in 1976 which was reissued by Splash records in 2012. I've listened to the clips on itunes and some of the songs sound pretty good so I'd definitely pick up a copy if I see it going cheep!!

Sadly Lally Stott died in 1977 in a motorcycle accident, some say he was knocked off his Harley Davidson while other rumours reckon he was riding his mother's scooter, either way it was a tragic loss to a talent that is worthy of wider recognition. More than just a one hit wonder with long hair.

Dig this...

4 comments:

  1. 3nd song lovers of the world unite ,quite glam outfits !

    ReplyDelete
  2. I met Lally in the mid 60s in Florence, Italy, when he was with the Motowns.
    Great chap!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did you consider choosing the most recommended Bitcoin exchange service - YoBit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Claim free satoshis at Easy Bitcoin. Up to 33 satoshis every 10 minutes.

    ReplyDelete