Fickle Pickle — “Saturday”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 31, 2022


568) Fickle Pickle — “Saturday”

One of those seemingly miraculous Beatlesque songs that seem to have come out of nowhere, “Saturday” from Sinful Skinful is sort of a Saturday in the Park with You. Shindig Magazine says that the album’s “best tracks are blissful, sublime almost majestically effortless pop classics: [songs including] “Saturday” . . . employ strong harmonies and melodies and leave you speechless at their craft. ( Kevin Rathert says that Fickle Pickle “exhibits its ability to combine gorgeous melodies and beautiful vocal harmonies with skillful musicianship. . . . A very solid piece of melodic power pop . . . .” ( “[A] magnificent album, crammed with songs of wit, cynicism & wisdom, laden with memorable hooks and mellifluous harmonies.” (

[T]his album is an absolute KILLER of UK Beatles-inspired pop psych – a bit late in the game in 1971, but still clinging desperately to the spirit of ‘68 Swinging London . . . . [P]erhaps the strongest melody of them all here belongs to the AMAZING baroque pop track “Saturday” – one of those 3 minute pop tunes where everything just seems to fall in place perfectly – lush harmonies, sawing baroque cellos, and a melody that is pure unadulterated classic toytown pop! Quintessential baroque goodness here, quite intricate yet simple, like the Move . . . or the Idle Race – in a perfect world, this song would have made Fickle Pickle a household name and put “Saturday” on countless Swingin’ Sixties Pop compilations but maybe it would have had a better shot if it were released in 1968 instead of 1971, when the world had already moved on to Deep Purple and Jethro Tull. As it is, it’s one of those rare and glorious treasures that only a handful of lucky people will ever get to hear.

Who were these guys? Kevin Rathert tells us that:

A North-West London studio based quartet consisting of members best known as producers, engineers and session players, Fickle Pickle was actually a bit of an English psych pop supergroup consisting of Cliff Wade (lead guitar, rhythm guitar and bass guitar) and Geoff Gill (drums) from The Smoke, best known for their late 60’s acid classic “My Friend Jack” along with Wil Malone (piano, organ and electric piano) from Orange Bicycle and Steve Howden (lead guitar, rhythm guitar and bass guitar) from Red Dirt. Vocals for the band were supplied by all four members. The three bands had in common that they recorded at Morgan Studios in London, so it was rather inevitable that the four combined their talents and recorded a handful of singles as well as an LP that received very limited distribution.

How did they get into this pickle? —

Boasting four writers, singers and multi-instrumentalists who, between them, also handled production, engineering and arrangement duties, Fickle Pickle had the wit, cynicism, hooks, harmonies and technical dexterity to bridge the barren years between the demise of The Beatles and the eventual arrival in late 1972 of their kindred spirits 10cc. Fickle Pickle consisted of former members of the bands The Smoke (Cliff Wade, Geoff Gill), Orange Bicycle (Wil Malone) and Red Dirt (Steve Howden), who also worked as sound engineers and producers at North London’s Morgan Studios. Danny Beckerman (Pussy/Fortes Mentum) helped out as a musician and songwriter in the bands early days. In August 1970, Fickle Pickle published a cover version of Paul McCartney’s song Maybe I’m Amazed as a single in the UK, the USA and the Netherlands, where it climbed to No. 36 in the Top 40 in the spring of 1971. In the autumn of 1971, California Calling, written by Gill and Beckerman reached number 26. Due to this success in the Netherlands [they got to] release[] an album, Sinful Skinful.

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