Sidewalk Society hinted at what they had in store for us last year with their four-track EP featuring covers of songs originally by The Action and David Bowie, but this is what they were building up to - The complete Action LP 'Rolled Gold' recreated with love, flair, style and a whole load more love.
It's a remarkable collection of songs and Sidewalk Society do them proud - every one recorded with style, it's sheer class from beginning to end.
I really don't know of another band outside the UK that has the same ability to get under the skin of songs from English bands of the 60s and reinterpret them with such care and quality
Jason Barnard, from The Strange Brew, introduces the album....
"As the world marvels at the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper, it’s time to shine a light on George Martin’s other protégés, The Action. Their legendary ‘Rolled Gold’ demo material recorded in late 1967 and early 1968 has been lovingly dusted off and remoulded for 2017 by US group Sidewalk Society on ‘Strange Roads: The Songs of Rolled Gold’.
For many, these tracks marked the high point of the The Action, a group revered in the mod community for a string of classic soul covers in the mid-60s. As the decade progressed, the group enthused with jazz and the West Coast sound demoed a collection of self-penned material that whilst still tied to their soul roots arguably showed their true voice.
However in what should have been their moment to peak into national conciousness saw them lose George Martin leaving them without their producer and biggest supporter. The subsequent departure of lead singer Reg King ensured that the set was never finished with the remaining members moving on to Mighty Baby.
What is clear is that even in their raw form these demos provides an energy and timeless song writing that more than stands up against contemporaries The Small Faces, The Who and yes, The Beatles.
Given this ‘Rolled Gold’ gave Sidewalk Society the perfect template to re-record these songs with great care, love and respect. So for the first time, with Sidewalk Society’s wonderful re-imagination of ‘Rolled Gold’ we finally get to hear what this remarkable music could have sounded like with the full studio treatment. Come follow me down into ‘Strange Roads: The Songs of Rolled Gold’.
The Strange Brew Podcast - one of The Daily Telegraph's 'podcasts you need to be listening to'
Have a listen to some excerpts...
If you're in the UK, you can pre-order now for £15 (if you're not, please go to our SHOP page for options)