Harpers Bizarre

California sunshine poppers, initially The Tikis, who took their new name from the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar and had a huge hit in 1967 with Paul Simon’s The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy). Four fine albums, produced by the peerless Lenny Waronker, followed; they didn’t write much of their own material, but chose quirky songs by the likes of Randy Newman and Van Dyke Parks, bittersweet harmonies adding a poignancy to the beautiful tenor voice of lead singer Ted Templeman (on, for example, The Drifter). And that would be that, had they not re-emerged after nearly half a century, thanks to the good taste and sampling skills of The Avalanches, as the unsung heroes of the Australian soundscapers’ brilliant 2016 album Wildflower.

The Hi Fashions

Female trio who sang harmony on the first album by the great singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, More Than a New Discovery (1967), and backed her at the Monterey Pop Festival, along with The Wrecking Crew (after one rehearsal). An understandably nervous Nyro, aged 19, performed on the Saturday night of the festival, in between The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane.

High Heels Lo Fi

“All sass, no class, kick ass” Canadians who don’t take themselves too seriously. “Imagine if Joan Jett was kicked out of the Ramones’ Rock’n’Roll High School for her skirt being too short, being drunk, and acting like the class clown. Not only a good band, we’re a great time.” Big Dumb Rock Song is a typical offering.



Hired Gun

Fictional act featured in The Axeman Cometh, a 2007 episode of Midsomer Murders; DCI Barnaby’s favourite band, he said they created a unique fusion of rock and blues. The concert scenes – during which Suzi Quatro’s character was electrocuted on stage – were filmed in front of a confused audience at the Rhythm Festival, Clapham, Bedfordshire, compered by veteran DJ Mike Read.



Hoggie and The Sharpetones

Pete “Hoggie” Hogman – and not, as sometimes claimed, Rod Stewart – played the famous harmonica solo on Millie’s My Boy Lollipop, although both Hogman and Rod the Mod had been members of The Five Dimensions, who provided the backing for the Jamaican teenager along with the legendary guitarist Ernest Ranglin on his black Gibson. Half a century later, Pete and his wife Gill were still playing the blues.

The Hollies

Sixties beat groups from Manchester were rarely as accomplished, and certainly not as cool, as their Merseyside counterparts, but The Hollies were the best of the bunch. Named after Buddy Holly moments before their first gig – at a coffee bar called the Two J’s in 1962 – The Hollies enjoyed a long run of success and produced some fine pop singles that are somewhat underrated; if The Beatles had recorded, say, King Midas in Reverse, it would have been hailed as a masterpiece. Graham Nash, who wrote that song, went on to fame and fortune with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Hombres de Honor

Christian band featuring Teófilo Gutiérrez, a striker who wore the No 9 shirt for the Colombian football team at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. It translates, as you may have guessed, as “Men of Honour”.


The Honey Cone

Soul trio signed to Hot Wax Records by the post-Motown songwriting legends Holland-Dozier-Holland. Best known for the US No 1 single, Want Ads, sampled very effectively on The Avalanches’ 2016 album Wildflower. Lead singer Edna Wright is the sister of Darlene Love and another Honey Cone, Shelly Clark, married Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire. The Honey Cone broke up in 1973 but reunited for two concerts in 2014.

The Honeycombs

Female drummers, still relatively rare, were unheard of in 1964 – so Honey Lantree, a hairdresser who swapped her scissors for drumsticks, gave this north London beat group a novelty factor that created a huge amount of interest and inspired their record label to change their name from The Sheratons. Their first single, Have I The Right?, written by the prolific team of Howard and Blaikley, went to number 1 in the UK (5 in the US) in 1964; it was produced with characteristic verve by Joe Meek (the stamping chorus is the band’s feet on the wooden studio stairs, recorded on mics fixed to the banisters with bicycle clips). The Honeycombs broke up in 1967 but versions of the group toured in the 1990s and they played for Radio Caroline’s 50th anniversary in 2014.

The Hot Sardines

Cool retro swingers from New York City. “Hot” may evoke Django Reinhardt’s Hot Club de France, but singer Elizabeth Bougerol says the name was inspired by a tin of spicy sardines. They look and sound great here on Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.