Guide to British Music of the 1960s


The Attack

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Vocals - Richard Shirman, bass - Gerry Henderson, organ- Bob Hodges, drums - Alan Whitehead, guitar - David John (Davy O'List)

The Attack evolved out of a group called The Soul System. They were signed to Don Arden's Galaxy Entertainment and he hoped that they would emulate the success of the Small Faces. They released a single called Please Phil Spector on the Philips label but later releases were on Decca. The first Decca single, released in early 1967, Try It was a cover of a Standells song. Its b-side We Don't Know recently resurfaced on The In Crowd compilation. 

Later singles looked for a more commercial direction with Hi Ho Silver Lining and Created by Clive competing with other versions by Jeff Beck and The Syn respectively. However, the b-sides moved in a more experimental and psychedelic direction, Colour of My Mind being a notable example. Hi Ho Silver Lining lost the chart battle to Jeff Beck but made the press as the Attack claimed Beck had stolen it from them. The b-side Anymore Than I Do was adapted by John Peel for one of his Radio London jingles.

However, there was some disquiet in the band. Davy O''List was approached by John Mayall as a potential replacement for Peter Green but he decided to join The Nice while Alan Whitehead became a member of Marmalade. Shirman continued with a new line-up that included George Watt (organ), Chris Allen (drums), Geoff Richardson (guitar), Kenny Harold (bass) and John DuCann (guitar). Harold was later replaced by Jim Pittman-Avory who himself was later part of Thunderclap Newman. DuCann was later in Andromeda (with other Attack members) and Atomic Rooster.

Richard Shirman died in August 2017.

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