The Flies

From: London, England

The Flies, also known as No Flies On Us, were an English psychedelic pop band formed in London, England, in 1965. The band released three singles over the course of their career, and are best-remembered for their cover of “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone.” Although not too commercially successful, it, along with the band’s other material, has since received notice as a result of the song’s inclusion on the psychedelic compilation album Chocolate Soup For Diabetics, Volume 1.

Originally known as the Rebs, the group’s line-up was Robin Hunt (lead vocals, drums), Ian Baldwin (bass), George Haywood (guitar), Brian Gill (guitar), John Da Costa (guitar, keyboards) and Peter Dunton (drums). Under the name In-Sect, the band recorded a British Invasion-exploitation album in 1966 on the RCA Records label titled Introducing the In-Sect Direct From London. All but one of the album’s tracks were cover versions of contemporary pop hits. Later that year, under the name No Flies On Us, the band auditioned for Decca Records, presenting the label two demos of songs, one of which was a cover of Paul Revere And The Raiders’ “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone.” Decca liked what they heard and negotiated a contract with the band, shortening their name to The Flies.

In October 1966, the Flies re-recorded “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone,” this time with a more psychedelic-pop sound. Also recorded was “Talk To Me,” which would make up the B-side for the band’s debut single. The record became a regional hit, peaking at #11 on the Wonderful_Radio_London FAB 40 charts. The Flies gained a rather substantial following and, as a result, were pricked up as the opening live act for popular English bands such as the Move, the Who, and the Moody Blues. The band also held a prominent slot alongside the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the popular club, the Roundhouse, in February 1967. The Flies became known for their sometimes outrageous stage acts, in particular their April 1967 appearance at the 14-Hour Technicolor Dream psychedelic festival where they arranged for hundreds of bags of flour to explode and consequently cover the unsuspecting audience.

In mid-1967, the Flies released their second single, “House of Love”/”It Had To Be You.” According to Allmusic website reviewer Lindsay Planer “It Had To Be You” “”made the band sound more like Sopwith Camel or the New Vaudeville Band than the acid-laced garage rockers associated with their earlier sides.” The band recorded one final single, “The Magic Train,” in 1968 for RCA Records which went largely unnoticed. They disbanded by the end of the year.

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1966 single Decca F 12533

  • I’m Not Your Stepping Stone

From the 1967 single Decca F 12594

  • House Of Love

Complete Collection 1965-1968

  • Turning Back The Page [Previously Unreleased]