The Apostolic Intervention may have been the best band ever signed to Immediate Records that didn't find recognition -- forget success -- and considering that label's enviable (some might even say awe-inspiring) roster, that is extraordinary praise. The quartet, formed in Hertfordshire in late 1965 as the Little People, consisted of Angus Shirley on guitar, Peter "Dino" Dines on keyboards and vocals, Bob Argent on bass, and Angus' younger brother Jerry Shirley on drums. They'd started out, like a lot of beat bands of the era, playing a mix of American-style R&B, and idolized the Small Faces, who were regularly charting with precisely that kind of repertory and lineup. They'd achieved their high point as a performing band sharing a bill with them in Hertfordshire, and Small Faces lead singer Steve Marriott became something of a mentor to the band.
Marriott was able to persuade Andrew Loog Oldham, the label's founder, of their merits and got them into their offices in early 1967. He loved their sound but not their name, and then something of a double-lateral handoff took place -- Marriott wanted to call them "the Nice," but Oldham (who, for all anyone knows, had been reading a newspaper religious supplement) insisted on them becoming the Apostolic Intervention; Oldham then turned around and gave "the Nice" to the backing band for P.P. Arnold (Keith Emerson, et al.). In the meantime, Marriott was so impressed with the group that he agreed to produce their first single and also gave them a new song that he and Ronnie Lane had just written, "Tell Me (Have You Ever Seen Me)" -- according to Shirley, Lane wasn't thrilled with the idea of giving away a song that his own band could have used as a single, and left the session early. The resulting record was impressive all around, if a little lighter weight than the sound the Small Faces usually generated -- Bob Argent proved too nervous to play at the session, so Marriott took over on bass, and it was as solid a single as Immediate released from a new act in its history, catchy and filled with hooks, as well as showing off some superb playing, and no one better than Jerry Shirley, whose drumming was so complex as to transcend the role of a rhythm instrument. The B-side was an original that included Marriott contributing vocals, and showed just as much promise. Marriott was also evidently suitably impressed with Shirley's prowess, as later events bore out.
The record never charted, however, and the song became much better known as an LP track by the Small Faces on their first Immediate album, issued later in the years. Further attempts at recording them came to nothing, and the Apostolic Intervention dissolved by the end of the year. Dino Dines and Jerry Shirley joined Tim Renwick in a band known variously as Little Women and the Wages of Sin. Dines was later a member of the Keef Hartley Band and T. Rex, while Shirley remained associated with Immediate as a session player on Billy Nichols' solo album. Finally, in 1969, Shirley rejoined Marriott in Humble Pie, and went on to international stardom. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi