Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Factory - Try A Little Sunshine/Red Chalk Hill

The Factory
Try A Little Sunshine/Red Chalk Hill


Released 1969 on CBS
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 25/03/2007ce


"Try A Little Sunshine" first turned up on volume 1 of the fabulous UK freakbeat sampler "The Perfumed Garden" (which I think is still in print on CD.) It was used as the lead track on the album and sure got my attention in a hurry. "Try A Little Sunshine" is slightly more melodic than their brain frying first single "Path Through The Forest." The record was issued in 1969, yet it sounds like it could have been recorded earlier.

The song kicks open the door with punishing power chords, then quickly ignites as a very melodic psychedelic rocker that sounds a bit like some of the other failed UK freakbeat acts such as The Attack and Wimple Winch. The guitar is just demonic throughout the song and has the same soaring quality as The Who's "Armenia City In The Sky." The song finishes like a torpedo strike, with pummeling power chords, out of control drums and the disoriented singer trying to avoid getting trounced by all the mayhem he's in the midst of. While this song does have commercial appeal, it's way too involved and complicated to have attracted casual listeners, which is probably why it stiffed.

"Red Chalk Hill" on the flip is a good but not great Bee Gees style ballad that also resembles early Status Quo. Both songs on the record were written by singer/songwriter John Pantry. I was told years ago he became a born again Christian and turned his back on the pop business. I wouldn't go tracking down his recordings though, as the ones I have heard are somewhat ordinary.

The Factory and John Pantry have both been linked to obscure UK acts The Norman Conquest and Peter & The Wolves. Anybody know for sure?


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