Gloucester-born guitarist Robb Huxley (related to esoteric author Aldous Huxley) had been a member of Joe Meek’s house band The Tornados, and was with them on their Israeli tour of 1968, after which they disbanded.
Huxley stayed in Tel Aviv and became a member of local band, Churchills, co-writing and playing guitar on their self-titled 1968 album (which today is valued in the region of £3,000).
Originally not much more than a pop band of the day, Huxley injected a lysergic twist into Churchills’ sound and they stood almost alone as a truly psychedelic rock band in the country at that time. Following their demise, the remaining members relocated to the UK and renamed themselves Jericho Jones. Junkies, Monkeys & Donkeys is a fantastic album, recorded in one 24-hour session at London’s Tangerine Studios in 1970.
It covers many areas, from full-blown heavy guitar blasts through to dreamy and mellow, soft progressive passages. The opening three numbers merge together as one killer contrasting bomb: Mare Tranquilitatas (soft, acoustic, brooding), Man In The Crowd (fierce wah-wah led proto-metal blast) and There Is Always A Train (beautiful, acoustic and harmonious).
There isn’t a duff moment here, and this great band – popular on the London club circuit – released one further, also tremendous, album as the abbreviated Jericho for A&M before sadly disbanding in 1973.
Junkies, Monkeys & Donkeys, A&M UK, 1971, £375.