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Homage to Catatonia

Big Boy Pete

1998. Bacchus Archives CD
Homage to Catatonia

Big Boy Pete

1996. Tenth Planet Records Vinyl

1. Sheer Lunacy (1966)
2. Crocogators (1966)
3. I Am Seldom 21 (1967)
4. Knit Me A Kiss (1966)
5. 1,500,000 Volts (1967)
6. Captain Of My Toy Ballon(1968)
7. John Celery (1969)
8. Paranoia (1968)
9. Chinaman (1966)
10. Music Created By Dust (1966)
11. A Dog Called Doug (1967)
12. The Procession (1969)
13. The Candleman (1967)
14. The Treacle Dance (1968)
Musicians:
Drums: Luke Watson, Clive Monen, Robert Newton
Bass: George Parsons, Harvey Platt, Pete Miller
Guitars: Pete Miller, Robin Barnes
Organ: Peter London
Sitar: Pete Miller
Piano: Paul Gunnell
Electric piano: Derek Shepherd
Flute and bongos: Robert Newton
Balalaika, maracas and tambourine: Granville Hornsby
Vocal backing: Ricky Southern, Luke Watson, Peter London, Harvey Platt, Robert Newton, Leslie March

All tracks written and produced by Peter Miller
Photo (LP's front sleeve/CD's back sleeve):
left to right - Paul Gunnel, Pete Miller, Harvey Platt, Clive Monen

 
Record Collector Magazine (England) March 1997
Homage To Catatonia

Unless you've memorised the entire contents of our 'Rare Record Price Guide', chances are that Big Boy Pets might have eluded yaw atten-tion until now. A brief history lesson, then: Pete Miller was lead guitarist with Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers, then issued "Baby I Got News For You" as 'Miller' on Columbia in 1965, and became a Big Boy in time for his (pre-Lennon) "Cold Turkey" 45 on Camp in January 1965. Since then, he's been touring, recording, and generally keeping out of tht public eye.

And now this. If Pete's recording dates are to be believed, then the man was genuine psychedelic pioneer, home-taping these sparky pieces of acid-tinged rock as early as July 1966. That's apparently when he recorded "Knit Me A Kiss", which not only has the line, "I know you spiked my cup of tea", but also cascades from vocal phasing into a processed guitar solo altogether stranger than anything else heard on these shores before "Strawberry Fields".

Clearly Pete was on a mind excursion of his own Iong before the summer of love, and "Sheer Lunacy", "I Am Seldom Twenty One" and "Paranoia" are all fully-formed gems of psychedelia - to the point where you wouldn't believe the recording info if it came on a bootleg.

Limited only by the compression of the original tape source, "Homage To Catatonia" is a remarkable collection of work -all the more impressive because it occupies a musical space of its own, rather than slipping easily into the "son of Beatles/Stones/Dylan' category. (PD)



 
Ugly Things Magazine. N5 1997
Homage To Catatonia

Pete Miller is yet another fascinating figure from the underexpiored recesses of the British '60s beat under-world. He released two tremendous, utterly twisted singles: "Baby I Got News For You" (as Miller) in 1965, and "Cold Turkey" as (Big Boy Pete) in 1968. Prior to this, he had been lead guitarist for Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers, whose output included several singles produced by Joe Meek.

Judging by some of the quirky, inventive and just plain WEIRD sounds on this collection, Miller had been watching Meek closely during his Jaywalkers days, (though he'd have to have been doing so furtively as Joe was secretive to the point of paranoia about his sound techniques). In his home studio in Norwich -"sur-rounded by lava lamps and Hindi visuals" - Miller and his musician friends spent most of 1966-69 conjur-ing up bizarre feats of pop and psychedelia, utilizing some of the echo and compression techniques he'd observed at Meek's studio along with many of his own electronic innovations. Fourteen of these songs make their first public showing on Homage To Catatonia, amply displayed in a magnificent gatefold sleeve complete with lyrics and all-telling liner notes.

Combine a razor-sharp studio instinct, simple but superior '60s recording technology, madcap psycho-pop songsmithing ala (maybe) Roy Wood/Jeff Lynne with p'raps a little Edward Lear-esque nonsensical wordplay thrown in, and you may - just may - have same idea what you'll find on songs like "Knit Me A Kiss" or "A Dog Called Doug"-but it still won't begin to explain the impossible-to-pigeonhole (and amazing) "I Am Seldom 21", "Chinaman" or 'The Procession." Miller's tapes truly are a very unique secret horde of English psychedelia, and, incredibly, several of these recordings pre-date even the Beatles "Revolver", let alone the subsequent psychedelic stampede.

Perhaps the strangest but most strangely satisfying set since I Hear A New World. A grower. I recommended. (MS)

Rocksrilla Magazine (Italy) February 1997
Homage To Catatonia

La Tenth Planet ha pubblicato I'album "Homage To Catatonia" (tiratura 1.000 copie numerate LP/vinile, confezione apribile) di Big Boy Pete, vero nome Peter Miller, musicista della scena beat/flower power UK degli anni 60 ricordato dagli affezionati per il suo classico 45 giri psychedelico "Cold Turkey". Questo disco, totalmente inedito, include 14 tracce registrate dal Big Boy Pete combo (principalmente un quartetto) nel 67/68 per coronare un potenziale LP -programmato dalla Polydor - che non vide mai la luce perche considerato troppo eccentrico.

Un singolare seduttivo viaggio nel microcosmo della psychedelia popedelica - in questo senso sono davvero fantastiche le per-formances del secondo lato di "Catatonia" - con ammalianti sorvoli su visionari prati di marzapane multicolore che evocano panorami sonori nella nota vena creativa di Syd Barrett, Blossom Toes, "Sgt. Pepper" e "Satanic Majesties" (ascoltate le lysergide-scenti soiuzioni di "Paranoia", "Music Crea-ted By Dust", "A Dog Called Doug", "The Procession" o "The Candleman" senza uso di sostanze allucinogene, come raccomanda un avviso evidenziato sul retrocopertina!).

Ultimo divertimento, la lettura dell'avventuroso racconto sulle peripezie esistenziali di Pete Miller, dai primi passi R&R con gli Offbeals alle esperienze anni 60 quale membro del Jaywalkers - gruppo che andava regolarmente in tour con Beatles, Ani-mals, Rolling Stones e Kinks - al nostri gtorni

Altre contemporanee emissioni Tenth Planet sono le versioni CD di "Timespan" (con cinque bonus tracce non contenute nell'edizione LP, ovvero un'intera John Peel 'Top Gear session' del 1968) del Mike Stuart Span a "Chariot Rising" degli straordinari Dantalian's Chariot di Zoot Money.

 

Flipside 1998
Homage to Catatonia

You'll want to don a paisley Nehru jacket, love beads and sandals for thus one. The burning of incense and ingestion of hallucinogenic drugs wouldn'y hurt either. The sub-title is "The psychedelic adventures of Pete Miller" and that pretty much sums up everything in this multi-colored universe of his. If you like mid to late sixties flower powered bands like Tomorrow, The Misunderstood, or The Strawberry Alarm Clock, this release will make you very happy. Pete played guitar with a band in England, the Jaywalkers, in the early sixties that were fairly popular. They recorded with Joe Meek who apparently had a profound influence on Pete's own recording sensibilities. LSD likely provided the inspiration. The songs were all laid down between '66 and '69 and illustrate that era's fascination with experimentation. Sitar, balalaika, and insane amounts of echo are just a few of the elements custom made to help your mind "expand." The song titles alone might make you feel more at one with the cosmos: "Knit Me a Kiss," "Captain of my Toy Balloon," "A Dog Called Doug," and "Music Created by Dust" are some of my faves. The production is top notch and the songs are pretty catchy, even if you have trouble understanding lines like "Psychodiles and alligiles and black light croccogators, I see geese with hair, I see lions with feathers..." Recently Pete recorded an album called "Double Diamonds" in a band called Shig and Buzz. I've seen it but had no idea until now that this mad mod fellow was behind it. Attention early Pink Floyd damaged humans - this is it.

 
Smilin' Ears
Homage to Catatonia

Big Boy Pete is beter gekend ais Pete Miller uit Norwich. In het begin van de jaren zestig is hij aktief in twee bands: The News en Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers. In 1965 maakt Miller een acetate voor Oak: "Baby I Got News For You". Later wordt dit nummer door Columbia op single uitgebracht. Het zai de gescheidenis ingaan ais een van de eerste psychedelische platen uit Engeland. Maar het is pas goed rak in 1968 met de single "Cold Turkey", een stukle klassieke psychedelica. In de tussenliggende jaren (1966-1969) neemt Miller een groot aantal nummers op waarvan er nu een aantal op deze cd verzemeld zijn, 14 om precies te zijn. En wat moet men van nummers varwachten met titels ais "Sheer Lunacy," "Croccogators'" "Knit Me a Kiss," "Captain of My Toy Balloon," en "The Treacle Dance"? Juist, Miller bevindt zich in een zogenaamde psychedelische waanzin die eerder bij mensen als Syd Barrett herkenbaar was. Het is een allegaartje van gedrogeerde onzin met een stevige dosis humor. Mar er staan ook een aantal zeer goede nummers op zoals "Sheer Lunacy", wat herinneringen aan Kaleidoscope oproept, het al eerder genoemde "Croccogators", met een angstaanjagend gitaartje, het Barrett-achtige "Chinaman" en het beatlesque "The Procession". Al met al is dit toch een hele aardige cd die leuker wordt naarmate ik er meer naar luister. Vrolijke muziek voor een zonnige dag. (Andre Koolmees)
 
 
New York Magazine (U.S.) 1998
Summerland / Homage to Catatonia

It's great to watch a guitar player stumble onto the work of Pete Miller, to witness the progression of surprised amusement to jaw-dropping awe. Then, the inevitable question: "Where did this guy come from?"

He's been around. Miller got his first taste of fame in his native England as a member of Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers, an instrumenta rock group who had a number two UK hit with ''Can Can 62," and with whon he toured extensively, sometimes sharing bills with the likes of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

After leaving the Jaywalkers, he did some solo work (some under his own name, some as Big Boy Pete), and wrote pop songs for a pulishing company. Eventually he settled in San Francisco, built a recording studio, started a record company, and released "Pre C.B.S.", "Rockin' is My Bizness", and "Double Diamonds", three of the coolest, quickiest rock 'n' roll albums ever made.

These new re-releases date from Miller's solo period in the UK. Tne first, Summerland, is a masterpiece of mid-sixties pop that would de-fine the style if it weren't totally unknown. Miller's aptitude for writing great melodies, as well as coming up with perfect, poetic guitar lines is amazing.

Homage to Catatonia is a collection of late '60s gems credited to Big Boy Pete, Millers psy-chedelic alter ego. It, too, shows off Miller' s exquisite pop sensibiliti, along with some strange effects and stranger lyrics. Titles tike "Music Created by Dust", "Knit Me a Kiss," and "I Am Seldom Twenty One" give you a pretty good idea.

Brilliant work from a true rock genius - and fun listening, to boot.

Chuck Cuminale

 
   

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