Members: Ernie Graham (vocals), Chris Stewart (bass), David Lutton (drums), Henry McCullough (guitar, 1967-68), Mick Cox (guitar, 1968), David “Tiger” Taylor (guitar, 1968-69), Peter Tolson (guitar, 1969), Steve Jolly (guitar, ?-1970)
Eire Apparent had their roots in Tony & the Telstars, a Belfast beat group with bassist Chris Stewart and drummer Davy Lutton. As members passed to local rivals The Wheels and German beatsters The Stellas (Stewart’s temporary vocation), guitarist Ernie Graham came aboard.
The Telstars changed their name to The People and recorded two songs — “I’m With You” and Buddy Holly’s “Well… All Right” (later covered by Blind Faith) — for the 1966 Ember Records comp Ireland’s Greatest Sounds: Five Top Groups From Belfast’s Maritime Club. In 1967, the lineup of Graham, Stewart, and Lutton added guitarist Henry McCullough, a Portstewart native with a background in showbands.
The People moved to London, where they signed with the management team of Mike Jeffery and (ex-Animal) Chas Chandler. At the suggestion of Jeffery’s wife, the band renamed itself Eire Apparent. (Eire is the Irish Gaelic name for Ireland.) They signed with Track Records, a label recently established by The Who‘s management for post-psych talent, including the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Chandler’s other client, Jimi Hendrix.
In January 1968, Eire Apparent released their debut single, “Follow Me,” backed with the group-original “Here I Go Again.” The a-side, written by the team behind Flowerpot Men, was also recorded and released that February as a b-side by The Fruit Machine, a precursor to Rare Bird.
Chandler assigned Eire Apparent as the opening act on a Feb–March North American tour with The Animals. During a stop in Vancouver, McCullough was detained and deported to Ireland for marijuana possession. The band hired English guitarist Mick Cox and did further North American shows with Soft Machine and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Eire Apparent entered New York’s Record Plant with Hendrix and cut their second single, the group originals “Let Me Stay” and “Yes I Need Someone,” released in August 1968 on Buddah. They recorded their album in Los Angeles during October 1968, once again with Hendrix as producer.
The completed album sat in the can for seven months. In the meantime, Cox cleared out for guitarist David “Tiger” Taylor, a one-time member of The People. He co-wrote Eire Apparent’s third a-side, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Band,” released in January 1969 on Buddah (b/w “Yes I Need Someone”). The Taylor lineup toured Europe that April with Hendrix.
Eire Apparent released Sunrise in May 1969 on Buddah (UK, US, Germany, Argentina, South Africa). It features five originals per side, including three apiece by Graham (“Got to Get Away,” “Someone Is Sure to (Want You),” “Magic Carpet”) and Cox (“Mr. Guy Fawkes,” “Morning Glory,” “Captive In the Sun”). Stewart contributed “The Clown” and co-wrote the closing track, “1026,” with Graham. The album also includes both sides of the first Buddah single.
Hendrix produced Sunrise and played on several tracks, including “Yes I Need Someone” and “The Clown.” Select numbers feature uncredited cameos by Softs drummer/singer Robert Wyatt and Experience members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding (then also in Fat Mattress).
Sunrise involved four engineers: , , — all involved with concurrent MGM titles by Eric Burdon & the “New” Animals — and
In Japan, Sunrise appeared as Jimi Hendrix Presents Eire Apparent with an altered cover (shifted image, deep blue background).
Eire Apparent cut a session for the April 20, 1969, installment of Top Gear, hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Their set featured three songs: “Yes I Need Someone” and covers of Bob Dylan (“Highway 61 Revisited”) and Them (“Gloria”). Guitarist Peter Tolson played in lieu of Taylor on this session.
By the time
- Sunrise (1969)
- “Follow Me” / “Here I Go Again” (Track Records, January 1968)
- “Yes I Need Someone” / “Let Me Stay” (Buddah, August 1968)
- “Rock ‘N’ Roll Band” / “Yes I Need Someone” (Buddah, March 1969)
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