Label: Penny Farthing
Year of Release: 1973
Now here's a tricky one - I can happily provide you with some limited facts about New Inspiration, but not bagloads. It would seem that they formed in Ghent, Belgium in the late sixties and were spotted by Dave Berry while he was touring that country. Berry quickly decided to act as their mentor, and penned additional material for the group, undoubtedly acting as a factor in getting them signed to Decca in their native country.
Stacks of singles and three LPs followed their signing, buried among which are apparently some surprisingly psychedelic tracks, including the mournful "Hurry Up and Tell Me". Much of their early work is obscure for a reason, though - faintly under-produced and with heavily accented vocals, it doesn't really stand up against the cream of the period.
By the seventies, however, they had moved in a more successful, rockier direction where the earlier flaws had been ironed out, and it's from this period that "Medicine Man" stems. For all their usual heaviosity, though, this single is something of a dancefloor treat, featuring pounding drums, whooping backing vocals and a chanting chorus so successful that it forms the basis of three-quarters of the track and gets away with it. Elements of it do drift frightening close to Creme Brulee's "Voodoo Lady" conceptually, but it's no piece of half-arsed plastic glam. This is actually fantastically and insistently groovy, in a manner which Bobby Gillespie might approve.
"Medicine Man" stems from the tail end of the group's career, and I'm not too sure what became of them or even really who was the line-up. If anyone can plug the gaps in my knowledge, I'd be very grateful.