Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't Look Back..The Story of Them and Show # 202

Them are known for creating the garage rock staple/standard "Gloria" and for being the first band of Van Morrison. Coming from Belfast in Northern Ireland, Them originally started out as The Gamblers, playing at a R&B club in Ireland. The band contained Van Morrison (vocals/harmonica), Alan Henderson (bass), Eric Wrixton (keyboards/piano), Billy Harrison (guitar), and Ronnie Millings on drums. The band changed their names from The Gamblers to Them in 1964; The name came from a science fiction horror film titled Them.

Them would build a following playing at The Maritime Hotel. The band was known for their unique live shows. They are said to have gotten their energy from the various members on stage and the audience. Morrison would often make up lyrics and songs on the spot (that is how he came up with many songs) and play covers. The band would also sometimes do a twenty minute version of the song "Gloria", which was born on stage. When a fans recording of Them performing "Turn On Your Love Light" made it's way to Dick Rowe of Decca Records, he went to see the band live. Signing Them to Decca records, Rowe quickly put the band in the studio to start recording right away. To sign the two year contract the band members parents were required to sign and when Eric Wrixton's parents refused, he was replaced by another member. The band moved to England to correspond with their two year Decca recording contract.

Them first recorded in London, England in July of 1964. Studio musicians would be brought in for the records (a pattern that would occur through out Them's brief career). "Don't Start Cryin' Now" was the bands first single. It was released in August of 1964 and was backed with the song "One, Two, Brown Eyes". The single was not successful, so Dick Rowe and Them's band manager Phil Soloman brought in a different set of session musicians, which included the likes of Jimmy Page. The band's next single was a cover song it was "Baby Please Don't Go". This song got them an appearance on the Ready Steady Go UK TV show; The song charted at #26 in the UK. The B-side to the single was the song "Gloria", which would bring the band into the UK Singles Chart at number 10. The song charted higher when it was covered by the band Shadows of Knight.

The band's first album came out in 1965 and was titled The Angry Them. The band released their second and final album Them Again in in 1966. During this time the band also played live and had more hits in the UK with songs such as "Here Comes The Night" and in the US with "Mystic Eyes". In June of 1966, Them secured a three week residency at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles. At this time The Doors would play their first show and even perform a twenty minute version of "Gloria" together. Shorty after this in 1966, Van Morrsion broke up Them due to a dispute with the band and management over financial situations. The band would turn into the band The Belfast Gypsies and Van Morrison would go on to have a very successful solo career. Them were known for the blue print they left on rock. They used R&B and Soul influences along with rock to create a sound some would call garage rock. The bands two albums consisted of songs written by Morrison and cover songs of R&B and Soul songs.

The Play List:

1. MC5 - Call Me Animal
2. Ugly Ducklings - Nothin'
3. Marble Index - Anytime
4. Hentchmen - Psycho Daisies
5. Undertones - Teenage Kicks
6. Iggy & The Stooges - I Got A Right!
7. Them - Gloria
8. Them - You Just Can't Win
9. The Who - The Goods Gone
10. Munks - Long Time Waitin'
11. Great Scots - Ball and Chain
12. Collectors - We Can Make It
13. Ride Theory - Truce
14. Velvet Underground - Temptation Inside Your Heart
15. Golden Hands Before God - Communist Party
16. Revolvers - Shuffle
17. Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blues
18. Mint Chicks - Walking Off a Cliff Again
19. Clap Clap Riot - Thief
20. White Stripes - Bone Broke
21. Luger Boa - What is Real?
22. The Hives - I Can't Give it to You
23. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Arms Aloft
24. Bob Dylan - New Morning
25. Compulsive Gamblers - Two Thieves

1 comment:


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Hi Dave,

On behalf of Exile Productions and Exile Publishing, many thanks for plugging Van Morrison and, if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks from Van’s new album – “Keep It Simple” - full versions of "That's Entrainment" and "Behind The Ritual" (along with album track samplers) are available for fans and bloggers to link on Lost Highway's web-site at .

Up-to-the-minute info on Keep It Simple and Van’s 2008 shows is, of course, also available on and and, for a limited period, you can still hear Van's exclusive BBC concert at and you can also see his BBC sessions at .

Thanks again for your support.