Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Silkie

The Silkie were an obscure British folk band from the '60s consisting of four Hull University students which specialized in covers of other folk acts - particularly Bob Dylan. They weren't very successful, save for one hit record with the help of a very prestigious group of supporting players.

A chance gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool brought them the attention of Brian Epstein. He assumed the role of their manager, and set up a meeting between the Silkie and several members of that other famous band he managed at the time - the Beatles.

Together, they recorded "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" - by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Lennon produced the track, McCartney played guitar, and George Harrison played tambourine. It went to #10 on the U.S. pop charts, and #28 in Britain.

Invitations to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand had to be declined due to problems with obtaining visas for the band. Subsequent records failed to chart, and the Silkie broke up soon after.

Here's a rare clip of the Silkie performing the song live. They are not lip-synching to the original record. You can listen to the original record - the one with the Beatles on it - here. I heard it played on the Underground Garage a few years back, and immediately downloaded it from Limewire. I've played it for a few friends who were unimpressed. I like it a lot, so judge for yourself.