Friday, July 31, 2009

The Pleasers - Thamesbeat (1996)

  Hailing from West London and Surrey, The Pleasers called their own music    Thamesbeat, but they definitely owed their haircuts ans suits, if not  
  their sound, to the 60s Merseybeat. it's worth mentioning that the band,  
  according to themselves, briefly pursued a glam direction in the mid-70s. 
  First PLEASERS line-up consisted of Steve McNerney (vocals, guitar), Bo  
  Benham (bass), Dave Rotshelle (ex-The Rockets - drums) and Nick Powell on  
  lead guitar in October of '77. According to McNerney, "We're going to be  
  the first new wave band [that] kids, who are interested in the music, but  
  put off by the bands, will like." The band must have considered that  
  target audience group rather large as Bo Benham told the NME "We're going  
  to be big." 

  Today, The Pleasers anno 1977 definitely fall into the new wave category  
  and one would never ever consider calling them punk. But back in the  
  chaotic days of 1977 with the music scene turned upside down and the  
  record companies desperately trying to grasp punk, The Pleasers, though  
  without a single ominous note, were considered new wave. coming across as  
  little more than new wave Beatles-wanna-bes, The Pleasers managed to ink a  
  deal with Arista Records in mid-1977 and the band found themselves  
  swallowed up in the new wave tide and got marketed as such. The Pleasers'  
  2nd 7" on Arista is thus much more new wavishly produced than their pure  
  pop debut platter on the small indie label Solid Gold, though the lyrics  
  are still about love love love... 

  Sounds, which often championed The Pleasers, said about their music: "You  
  can pogo, frug, jive or shake to 'em." The Pleasers encompassed everything  
  that the safer new wave would: Clean looks, bland lyrics, no rough edges,  
  no insults whatsoever and, last nut not least, their name. as archetypal a  
  new wave band as one can imagine, the later new wave tag itself could  
  easily have been molded straight after The Pleasers. 

  The Pleasers performed at the Hope & Anchor pub as part of the front Row  
  Festival, from which live material was later issued on a double album.  
  Steve McNerney and Nick Powell were involved in a car car accident at the  
  tail end of 1977, but both escaped with only bruises ans sprains, altought  
  their car was totalled. 

  Recorded live in 1977, "Billy" and "Rock 'n' Roll Radio" are the 2  
  Pleasers tunes punking down the 1978 "Hope & Anchor - front Row Festival"  
  double LP. The Pleasers released 3 more 7" records without ever reaching  
  any noteworthly level of sucess. this forced them into becoming little  
  more than a cabaret act. 

  Steve McNerney later performed solo and in Changing Man. In 1996, a  
  retrospective Pleasers CD entitled "Thamesbeat" appeared on the Lost  
  Moment label.  
  Biography by Henrick B. Poulsen

1. Billy Benham/Mcnerney  
2. Troublemaker  
3. You Dont Know Benham  
4. Lets Dance Jim Lee  
5. Stay With Me  
6. Kids Are Allright  
7. Precis Benham  
8. Rock 'n' Roll Radio  
9. Breaking My Heart  
10. My Girlfreind's Back  
11. Im Still In Love  
12. Change My Mind  
13. Lies  
14. Im In Love #2  
15. Who Are You  
16. You Know What Im Thinking Girl  
17. Hello Little Girl  

By Don Williams "

These four guys must have been inspired by Beatlemania (the stage show and the real thing) to an unnatural extent. However, they were actually able to pull off their faux Beatles act (Benham/McNerney, rather than Lennon/McCartney) far better than any reasonable person might expect. An idea like this hinges on the ability to write good songs--and this record shows The Pleasers were able to do that. In fact, Precis Of A Friend, does Rubber Soul-period Beatles as well as the originals, and that's saying a lot! Even a cover of The Who's classic "The Kids Are Alright" has the proper feel. Against all odds, this is really a cool record. Comment Comment | Permalink | Was this review helpful to you? Yes No (Report this)
In the present, the sound, while retro in orientation, is a timeless sound. As proud Londoners, the group described their sound as Thamesbeat but you might know it better by the name their music was given by press of the time: Powerpop.Yes The Pleasers were the group who gave birth to the title that defines strong melodic pop to this day. They were at the forefront of the new wave of guitar-based groups that swept through the Britain`s music industry in the late 70s.They wrote and performed great songs with superb harmonies, jangling guitars and pure sixties drum fills, and their live shows brought back the fashion for being surrounded by cool guy`s wearing thin ties and screaming mini skirted girls. Extremely Highly Recommended!
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