VA -- Return Of The Tokoloshe Men
Return Of The Tokoloshe Men: Demented Sounds from the 60s Teen Scenes of Jo'Burg, Cape Town, Durban and Beyond!
It's pretty impossible to list highlights from this set--there's just too many. This is one of those sets where there's very little (if any) filler. Every track seemingly is another relatively unknown gem of innocent yet primal rock. Most of these bands will be unknown to all of us except someone with a very deep knowledge of South African garage rock, from places like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and other areas from that region of the world. Listening to this collection it's obvious that bands were forming in a lot of areas Americans typically don't think of as hotbeds of snarly garage rock.
In 1971 the South African musician John Kongos released two of the best singles ever to make the UK Charts - He's Gonna Step On You Again and Tokoloshe Man.
What is a Tokoloshe Man? Does it (he?) actually exist? Is it a creature of this world? Or is it from another, perhaps imaginary, place entirely? Thanks to the internet I now know exactly what a Tokoloshe Man is. It is an other-worldly creature in African mythology. A creature that comes out at night. A creature with a sinister, even threatening, presence. And a creature that provides a perfect name for this quite wonderful collection of singles from a whole host of South African garage bands. Bands that deliver over 160 tracks of first class, in-yer-face, searing, relentless, garage rock. The kind that convinced our parents in those long ago days that doors needed to be locked, hatches needed to be battened down, and sons and daughters needed to kept safe at home.
Apart from John Kongos himself - referred to here as Johnny Kongos - together with Sharon Tandy who later moved to London, and Mickie Most who lived in South Africa for a period in the mid-60's, all other performers are completely unknown to me. There are a couple of bands here - The Zombies and Them - who share their monikers with rather better known Irish and British performers. But there the connection ends. However what does not end is the quality of the product. The performances here are every bit as good as anything produced by Van Morrison & Co in Belfast, and by the earlier incarnations of The Zombies (UK) in Hertfordshire.
A glance at the track-listing shows that a great deal of the material here consists of cover versions. As ever the works of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Larry Williams, The Rolling Stones, Barrett Strong and John D Loudermilk to mention just a few, are strongly represented. But, and this is really crucial, the interpretations here have a ferocity and a relentlessness I have never encountered in such profusion before. The performers really bazooka their way through each recording, assaulting your ears - delightfully - with a blitzkreig of hard driving, fuzzed-out, freaked-out, rock'n'roll you just have to hear for yourself. And lest I have not yet convinced you of the merits of this material, there are plenty of original numbers too - several dozen of them. Each of which is very much in the premier league of garage band performances world-wide. ~ Stuart Jefferson; Gerard Hennessy
Disc 1 1. Them One Time Too Many 2. The A-cads Watch Your Step 3. The Upsetters Daddy Rolling Stone 4. Bill Kimber & The Couriers I Wanna Know 5. The Invaders Chief Bull 6. John E. Sharpe & The Squires Lsd 7. The Invaders No Money, No Honey 8. Tall Emma & His Skippers Hammatan 9. The 004s I’ve Got News For You 10. The Mad Munks Lucille 11. Bill Kimber & The Couriers Life Without You 12. The Shake Spears I Can Tell 13. Johnny Kongos & The G-men It’s All Over Now 14. Danny Rivers & The Savages Rhythm And Green 15. The Navarones Blue, Blue Feeling 16. Bill Kimber & The Couriers When You Gonna Say 17. The A-cads Down The Road Apiece 18. John E. Sharpe & The Squires She’s Fine, She’s Mine 19. The End They Talk About You 20. The Zombies Let’s Have A Party 21. Hank Squires I’ll Never Get Over You 22. The News Wild Face 23. Them I Want To Be Rich Again 24. The Gonks You Can’t Stop Me Loving You 25. Bill Kimber & The Couriers I’m A Hog For You Baby 26. The Shangaans Yeh Girl 27. The Etonians Gates Of Eden 28. The Kynd Dimples
Disc 2 1. The Gonks Woman Yeah 2. Them It’s A Day 3. John E Sharpe & The Squires Bo Diddley 4. The A-cads Zip-a-dee-doo-dah 5. Johnny Kongos & The G-men 900 Miles 6. Bill Kimber & The Couriers Come On, Come On, Come On 7. The A-cads Hubble Bubble Toil And Trouble 8. Rigar 5 A Flying Start 9. John E Sharpe & The Squires Yours For The Picking 10. The Dominos Bye Bye Johnny 11. The Bats That’s Us 12. John E Sharpe & The Squires Monkey Shine 13. The Flames Don’t Ask Me What I Say 14. The Staccatos The One To Lose 15. The Kynd Talking ‘bout You 16. The Upsetters Pain In My Heart 17. The Kynd Shy Girl 18. Mickie Most & His Playboys Boney Maroney 19. The Five Come Back 20. The News Why Do 21. The Kynd Hideaway 22. The Hobos Hasie (Bunny) 23. The 004s It’s As Easy As That 24. The Kynd I’ve Been Wrong 25. Johnny Kongos & The G-men Money 26. John E Sharpe & The Squires I Gave My Love A Diamond 27. The A-cads Sha-la-la-la-lee 28. The Shake Spears Give It To Me 29. The 004s Parchman Farm
Disc 3 1. John E. Sharpe & The Squires Take It Easy 2. Bill Kimber & The Couriers That’s What I Want 3. The Bats Get Your Baggies On 4. The Anchor Beat Group What A Day 5. Bill Kimber & The Couriers Be Mine 6. The Bats The Chicken And The Hawk 7. John E. Sharpe & The Squires Back Door Man 8. The A-cads In The Midnight Hour 9. The Invaders Thinking About You 10. The Bats All I Got 11. The Chequers Bundu Beat 12. John E. Sharpe & The Squires Walking The Dog 13. The Zeroes Work All Day 14. The 004s I’ve Found Her 15. The Hoochie Coochies I’m A Boy 16. John E. Sharpe & The Squires I’m A Man 17. Hank Squires Sick And Tired 18. The Difference I Wonder Why 19. The Vedettes Please Don’t Feel Too Bad 20. The Invaders Painter Man 21. The Shake Spears What Happened 22. The Etonians Mr Spaceman 23. The Bats Lean On Me 24. The Kynd Too Much Monkey Business 25. Johnny Dean & The Apaches Deep Feeling 26. Bo Street Runners One Girl To Love 27. The Crescendoes Oh! What A Fool 28. The 004’s Beverley 29. Johnny Kongos & The G-men Tobacco Road 30. The Shangaans Taboo
Disc 4 1. The Shake Spears How Does She Look 2. The 004s She’s Going Back Home Today 3. Dunny & The Showmen You Ain’t Got Enough Love 4. The Bats That’s How I Feel 5. The Shake Spears Mah-pah 6. The Fireflies Cathy Come Home 7. The Leemen Ltd Under My Thumb 8. The Drifters Ode To An Undertaker 9. Finders Keepers Orient Green 10. The Bats Stop Exchange 11. The Staccatos New York Mining Disaster 1941 12. Dave Anthony Quartet Semi-detached Suburban Mr. James 13. The Bats Listen To My Heart 14. The Rising Sons I Wanna Take You Home 15. Una Valli Stop Thief! 16. Freedom’s Children Satisfaction 17. The Attraction Tax Man 18. Mccully Workshop Fast Car 19. Quentin E Klopjaeger Lovers Lane - Wednesday 20. The Staccatos Spicks And Specks 21. The Dominos Tabatha Twitchet 22. Freedom’s Children Little Games 23. The Flames Purple Haze 24. Finders Keepers Reflections 25. The Lunar 5 Feat: Bernie Brown Stone Free 26. Mccully Workshop Four Walls 27. Birds Of A Feather Love Is A Beautiful Thing 28. Ray Coussins Uptight 29. Una Valli Yum Yum 30. Birds Of A Feather Come On Up
Disc 5 1. Floribunda Rose One Way Street 2. The Bats It’s So Hard To Get Up In The Morning 3. The Outlet Lazy Life 4. Mccully Workshop Séance 5. The Square Set Night Then Comes The Morning 6. The Attraction A Day In The Life 7. Quentin E. Klopjaeger & The Gonks Long Way Home 8. The Flames Streamliner 9. Scrugg I Wish I Was Five 10. Allan Gold Topsy Turvy 11. The Bats Waiting For You 12. Quentin E Klopjaeger Not Going To Mersey Square 13. John & Philipa Cooper The Mad Professor 14. The Flames Useless Illusions 15. Humphrey Down Down 16. Quentin E Klopjaeger Weatherman 17. Emil Dean Lonely Boy 18. William E. Crazy How Love Slips Away 19. Leemen Limited Heartaches 20. The Attraction Moving Underground 21. The Staccatos Butchers And Bakers 22. Scrugg Sandwichboard Man 23. The Third Eye Valley Of Sadness 24. John Phillips Permutation Child 25. Ronnie Cline’s Expressions Jumbo 26. The Influence Dream Woman 27. Mccully Workshop Head For The Moon 28. Una Valli & The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Nowhere To Run
Disc 6 1. The Flames Solitude 2. Quentin E. Klopjaeger Chimes Of Ages Lost In Time 3. The Staccatos Imitations Of Love 4. Scrugg Lavender Popcorn 5. John & Philipa Cooper Gypsy Spell 6. The Flames You Keep Me Hangin’ On 7. The Third Eye Snow Child 8. Candid Camera Michaelangelo 9. Scrugg Only George 10. Bryan Miller’s Destruction Blue Machines And Dreams 11. Humphrey Time To Change 12. The Omega Limited The Boy And The Bee 13. Dickie Loader The Wind Keeps Howling 14. John Phillips The Bird With The Plastic Feathers 15. Colored Rain Planes Of Afterlife 16. The Bats Race With The Devil 17. Aerophone Of Tomorrow 18. Tidal Wave Spider Spider 19. Dickie Loader Feat: Freedom’s Children The Eagle Has Landed 20. The Wild Things Groovin’ Is Easy 21. Abstract Truth Jersey Thursday 22. Sharon Tandy Daughter Of The Sun 23. Dickie Loader & Friends Hey Devil Woman
Special thanks to Cor!