The latest issue of Shindig! magazine includes a lengthy article on how the Pretty Things, perhaps England’s most vicious R&B group, spent 1965. Several paragraphs are devoted to a show the band did at a festival in the Netherlands in the town of Blokker. The show was being carried live on a state-run TV channel, but the band only got ten minutes into the set before the management pulled the plug on the broadcast.
Some footage from the show has surfaced recently, and although the clip below suffers from the poor audio/video synchronization one often finds on YouTube, I think it’s a fascinating document of a band that, while significant, should have been huge. Even fifty years after the fact, you can feel the intensity as the band drives the crowd into near-riot mode. As a bonus, this clip includes drummer Viv Prince, one of the few drummers who could keep up with Keith Moon, both behind the kit and on the business end of a bottle, the latter of which got him sacked from the Pretties after a disastrous tour of New Zealand. Prince actually filled in for Moonie occasionally after that, and unlike Moon, lived to tell the tale. He now grows oranges and raises dogs in Portugal, but as the clip demonstrates, he was a first-rate beat drummer as well as a raving lunatic. Enjoy!