The Human Instinct were from New Zealand but frequently appear on compilations of UK psychedelia as they spent time in London in the mid to late 1960s and recorded a run of excellent singles while based there.
The band, who hailed from Tauranga on the North Island, had been known as The Four Fours in New Zealand and had had a number of hit singles as well as supporting The Rolling Stones on their March 1966 tour of the country. They changed name when they left for the UK in August of that year, playing a residency aboard the ocean liner Fairsky during its five-week voyage in return for reduced fares to England.
Once settled in London, The Human Instinct supported all the major acts of the day and played the likes of The Marquee and Zebra Club, and had a Monday residency at the Tiles Club. The band released three singles on Mercury (which had links to Zodiac, the label they had been signed to in New Zealand), including a re-recording of The Four Fours’ hit ‘Go-Go’.
They then switched to Deram, a subsidiary of Decca Records, and issued the first of two classic popsike singles in December 1967, recorded at Olympic Studios with producer Mike Hurst. The a-side ‘A Day in My Mind’s Mind’ was written by guitarist Dave Hartstone and has a swinging “Carnaby Street” feel with strong harmony vocals, neat use of flute, and a very distinctive Morse Code inspired intro and outro.
‘A Day in My Mind’s Mind’
The flip ‘Death of the Seaside’ is a jaunty pop-psycher with more strong vocals, some rollicking bar room piano, and lyrics that contrast halcyon Summer days on the beach with the deserted scene in Winter.
‘Death of the Seaside’
There was also a promo release in the US on Time Records but with ‘Death of the Seaside’ on both sides of the single for some inexplicable reason.
Reissues: ‘A Day in My Mind’s Mind’ is on Rubble Volume 12, The Psychedelic Scene and A Day in My Mind’s Mind (a great compilation of New Zealand psychedelia), and the flip on The Great British Psychedelic Trip Volume 2 (or Volume 3 of the vinyl) and A Day in My Mind’s Mind Volume 2.
- Can’t Stop Around / Want to Be Loved by You (Mercury, 1966)
- The Rich Man / Illusions (Mercury, 1967)
- Go–Go / I Can’t Live Without You (Mercury, 1967)
- A Day in My Mind’s Mind / Death of the Seaside (Deram, 1967)
- Renaissance Fair / Pink Dawn (Deram, 1968)