There’s very little I can tell you about this record aside:

a) It came out in 1974 on EMI’s reggae imprint Rhino Records.

b) The line up featured various lesser known names from the UK prog and pub rock scene scene such as Mike Hodgkinson from Sammy, and Keith “Smoke” Abingdon from Breakthru.

c) Frank’ N’ Stein was in fact a struggling group called Gnasher who fed a series of novelty singles through publishing impresarios Nick & Tim Heath (children of big band legend Ted Heath), whilst trying to sell their more serious output to Purple Records, home of Deep Purple among others.

d) Though the Heath brothers are credited as producers, they were only responsible for the studio session which let loose the A side Monster Reggae. EMI frowned on the homemade Tutankhamun, recorded on a Univox reel to reel in the basement of the band’s house at 67 Cromwell Road N6 (fittingly not too far-flung from the Highgate Vampire), fortunately they saw fit to release it as a b-side.

e) 67 Cromwell Road was a hive of musicians and artists, run by an aspiring writer who paid host to various bands including glam rockers Silverhead featuring a pre-Blondie Nigel Harrison.

f) Tutankhamun, in all it’s bone rattling rock-reggae glory, is a real treasure from the tombs.

And of course the fun but inferior A side – Monster Reggae.

Gnasher eventually signed to Purple, releasing one 7″ – Medina Road. Also of note, though admittedly quite tenuous, Purple also released a single by Yvonne Elliman, last seen on these pages bopping along to the blip-skank of The Beepers Video Fever, and heard here performing a slick rendition The Who’s Can’t Explain

And finally, Yoev Harel’s short documentary on psychic investigator David Farrant and The Highgate Vampire.

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2 Responses to Diggermortis

  1. I wrote this with Kit so shame we dont get a name check, Oh I am Colin Williams both from Gnasher, Mick wasnt in Gnasher but played organ on Tut. Gnasher fell foul of the oil crisis as no new bands could get any vynal, it was in short supply so went to the bigger and safer bands like Deep Purple. TUTANKHAMUN was by far the best record we made and great to see its achieved cult status. Oh and the road was actually Cromwell avenue, just for the record.

    • casseticuts says:

      Hi Colin, thanks for the extra info. Before writing this blog post, the most I knew about this record was simply how much I enjoyed it having owned a copy for many years. The info originally included was simply all I could unearth before I wrote about it so it’s great to get some input from the horse’s mouth – cheers! Tom

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