The Mad Lads were a raw R&B band from Belfast who supported Them on many occasions at the Maritime Hotel and eventually took over Them's residency at the club.
They signed to Decca Records in 1965 through the Solomon connection. Decca pushed the group in a pop direction. Their sole 45 for the label was recorded at Decca's studios in London. The B-side was written by Kenny McDowell, who was the only band member to actually play on the single, along with Andy White (drums) and Phil Coulter (keyboards). A third track "Answer Your Phone" was recorded during the sessions. The producer was Bert Berns, who'd already done Them's immortal "Here Comes The Night".
The single was released under the name Moses K & The Prophets to avoid confusion with an act signed to Stax Records. According to Kenny McDowell in Irish Folk, Trad and Blues: A Secret History, the manager sacked all the band members circa January 1966, apart from Kenny. The plan was to assemble a new backing band behind Kenny as Moses K but this never happened. Kenny McDowell later joined Them in the USA and was later in SK'BOO.
The renaming of the band provided the rest of the group the opportunity to continue as The Mad Lads and by April 1966 they were gigging with new frontman Billy Williamson. Dougie McIlwaine left to join the King Bees in November 1966.
A second single, this time credited to The Mad Lads, was released on Emerald in 1967, though both sides feature much earlier recordings made with Kenny McDowell. The A-side was reputedly recorded in Dublin prior to the Decca recordings. The B-side is "Answer Your Phone", recorded at the Decca sessions with producer Bert Berns. So both sides of the single were almost two years old when Emerald released it.
(Thanks to Norman Dunlop for explaining the origin of this single--ed.)
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