Thursday, 21 January 2016
Don't Start Cryin' Now/Philosophy/Baby Please Don't Go/One Two Brown Eyes
Them were a formidable, popular group in their own right before singer Van Morrison went on to even greater fame. This Belfast five only produced two LPs and a potful of 7" singles during its ascendance in the molten heat of the British Invasion. But they did manage two Top 40 hits in America in 1965 (the enduring number 24 "Here Comes the Night," later covered glam-style by David Bowie on Pin Ups, and number 33 "Mystic Eyes") and two Top Ten hits that same year in their native Britain ("Here Comes the Night" and a cover of Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go"). And is there a single bar band in America that doesn't play "Gloria," shouting "G-L-O-R-I-A" just like the 19-year-old Morrison in 1964? Moreover, the group's West Coast U.S. tour of arenas like the Fillmore in the spring of 1966 had the Ulster youths commanding bills that included such admiring support groups as the Doors, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, the Grass Roots, and the Association. At one of them, Frank Zappa even joined them on-stage. Clearly, Them's tough, heavily American blues captivated, a direct result of the vicious voice of Morrison.