Thursday, 13 October 2011

TOTP 30/9/76 (tx 13/10/11): Dave wants to hear Demis Roussos

Quick poll - should I migrate the On This TOTP Day feature from Twitter to here? It might get in the way of recaps and such business, but it means I can fill the detail out and pre-schedule a load in advance.

This week's show, then. As we know from when the relevant week's TV listings were featured here it's DLT hosting, and... well, let's save the rest of the preamble for a moment.

Can – I Want More
The anatomy of performance:

0:03 Is he playing us with that pause for digestion - he definitely ends up spitting crumbs out - or has he not thought this concept through? Choose your answer carefully and within knowledge of who we're talking about here.
0:04 Notice that his tank top has 'DLT - RADIO ONE' in the pattern. Someone knitted and sent him that out of goodwill.
0:13 Jeffrey Daniel, surely?
0:17 Must have been some dissolution in the ranks the day that photographer came round.
0:57 So the first thing to point out, apart from how for the unprepared this must be quite a frightening sight, is that isn't actually guitarist Michael Karoli. In fact nobody in the corners of the web that you'd think might know seems to know who it is. It's not Lou Reed either.
0:59 For all the centrally positioned camera time he's about to get because the band probably misled the director at rehearsals he's a bit tentative, whoever he is, he's been given a mike but never uses it. All four proper members are officially credited with backing vocals with no given lead, so it's only fitting.
1:01 Clearly wants to mark his territory, though, I can't recall seeing that prominent an amp before on this run.
1:03 Meanwhile Holger Czukay is wearing the colour of trouser that we well know is very much in this (autumn 1976) season.
1:13 Look, they've even taped a note to his mike stand. Chord charts?
1:22 He's even set 'his' pedal board up.
1:28 So now the director's going to let loose on them, this red saturation effect direct from contemporary Dr Who invasion scenes used when the director gets bored of the men standing a little too far away from each other for single shot comfort, which is often.
1:40 OSTENTATIOUS AMP SETTINGS FIDDLING. Followed by a power chord, just to make sure.
1:49 Are there warnings for the colourblind attached to this? Are there heck.
1:56 First swing towards the crowd, and doubtless the first "what is this?" thought bubble.
1:58 Look at the stage and stop chewing, you.
2:06 A hell of a swinging rostrum camera shot, circumnavigating the front of the stage and those few people who turned up to see this recording five (!) weeks earlier in eight seconds flat. Must have been a specially brought in expert, Ken Morse himself possibly, the regular TOTP team would have decapitated at least four of them trying that. Followed by some frantic work on the camera cuts.
2:44 Now he's positively hokey-cokeying on 'his' pedals.
2:55 The very moment the director realises our guitar hero's not going to be involved and he might have been sold a pup.
3:28 She's easily distracted, isn't she? Watch for the moment of lurking cameraman realisation.
3:39 Intrigued by the odd noises coming from next door to rehearsals for that year's Porridge Christmas special, Richard Beckinsale sneaks in. Watch the girl with Cherry-length hair next to him, she's really freaking out to that funky disco-kraut sound.
3:44 So instead we pan to some newly flashing scenery. The glamour.
3:47 Oh, he's got his eye in now for taking plausibility on his instrument to the limit.

And so, some sort of moment. Had they kept it in the early version first time round you'd have seen Noel tell us "we were going to have them at the beginning of the show but you can't have a Can opener". Five '76 weeks later he gets proven wrong and with some casual viewer-wrongfooting style. DLT, just to seal it, forgets to back-announce them. Maybe there are people confused to this day as to what it was. Or they guessed a name, taken pot luck and bought Tago Mago (someone on Twitter claimed to us to have done so), in which case the best of British to them.

Randy Edelman – Uptown, Uptempo Woman
So why the food-based humour, Dave? "I've been working so 'ard on the show today they haven't given me a lunch break!" You've been working on the show, DLT? What's semi-permanent newish producer Brian Whitehouse been contributing? This, anyway, will be a theme, but not before "a gentleman who's sure to be number one in a few short weeks", again demonstrating the powers of prediction for which the presenters have become legendary - it peaked at 25. Edelman, who gets to play his white piano in the tight round, looks and dresses like Brian Conley's spoof kids' presenter and thinks a wider British audience would be interested in a New York-referencing song about falling in love and then splitting up with a woman of a higher class which doesn't have a punchline, or point, or reason to continue on the same track given it's signalled its final intentions by the halfway mark. The first verse hasn't finished by the time most of those around him have started moving to a much faster tempo in their heads which just looks odd as the rostrum camera circumnavigates the piano lid. Smithers, have Randy Newman killed.

Sherbet – Howzat
DLT's eating a banana. "I've brought this on to mention that when I was a kid I used to enjoy dipping a banana in a certain substance. Now that certain substance is all over the stage behind me." What is he on about? Is it a euphemism made all the more horrible by who's delivering it? So that's your welcome to this country, Australia's Sherbet, with your 10cc pretensions and your song which will be played all the time come the invention of Twenty:20 with its chorus that seems to be in a different key and tempo to the rest of the song. The singer seems to be dressed as a 1970s wrestler in blue ringmaster jacket and plunging neckline waistcoat-cum-unitard, while the drummer has the most elaborate tom-tom setup you'll see. Piled up the side, they are.

The Ritchie Family – The Best Disco In Town
DLT's drinking a capuccino, and obviously has froth on his nose and beard. Sherbet's guitarist is just caught before the lighting change looking across out of equal parts hope and pity. As regular readers may have spotted this is Cherry's last stand and she's being sent off not with the song, which is perhaps the first medley to trouble us duly only that nobody really knew what they were or how to do it so it just sounds like some people chucking phrases in, but with a special costume effort, as in she's the only one permitted a bra top where everyone else is given full coverage. Oh, they knew their audience alright. Flick's drilled them on the routine too, a sparse stage and familiar songs giving a free ride. Not so well off are the costumiers, who've given everyone cream outfits, squaw skirts for the girls, combat trousers for the boys and colour-coded cowboy boots all round but with lots of ribbons, bits of cloth, bits of wool and things you find hanging up in Chinese restaurants attached for no reason other than to fly about and get in the way. Obviously Cherry gets plenty of prominent screen time, including the crucial final solo, but note Floyd's two solo spots, perhaps to make up after all his family and friends saw the previous week's show.

Tina Charles – Dance Little Lady Dance
DLT has a box of chocolates. This "lovely little package" - yes, he goes there - has an absolute unflattering tent of a dress on and an absolute unflattering song to work through, especially when she seems to call her paramour a "cooker". If he is it's the wrong host for his purposes this week. She also looks like a nervous Rebecca Front, but that's by the by. She's certainly not the surest of performers, unlike the orchestra's flautist and wah-wah pedal guitarist, who seem keen to get their union subs this week. Charles, lest we forget, was the original (uncredited) vocalist in 5000 Volts, and indeed despite our woman/men and their errant talkbox most knowledgeable sources suggest that hit was a fluke and they never recovered from Charles' departure. Everything comes back to 5000 Volts round here. It's like a very limited Six Degrees Of Seperation.

Jesse Green – Nice And Slow
DLT has a chicken leg that looks like he had to fish it out from the back of the sofa. "Now they're trying to kill me with a camera!" he moans as the crane comes nowhere near him. This is a repeat of something I had nothing to say about first time, bar the eventual failure of Van McCoy-style disco flute to last the course. Thing is, this is Nice And Slow's fourth appearance on the show plus an instrumental play at the end, so had two not been wiped this frankly nondescript piece of flute-disco fluff would have become as ubiquitous as 5000 Volts. That's odd, as of the songs that have been on the show so often thus far ver Volts had a slow climb and a reputation from I'm On Fire and Mud were a popular band on the show catching the zeitgeist before it fled them forever. This was Green's first hit and while he had a couple more top 30 singles he never really did anything again - this peaked at 17 and is on this week after a surprise one-off rebound to 23. How out of character is this? He's listed on Wiki as 'Jesse Green (reggae music)', which reveals he drummed for the Pioneers (Long Shot Kick De Bucket, Let Your Yeh Be Yeh) and Jimmy Cliff. Strange business all round.

Demis Roussos – When Forever Has Gone
Finally, the punchline. DLT has a full dinner service with wine, grapes, a candle, the works. According to his version of events the BBC for some reason treating him even though he's been wolfing down food and drink all half hour. "Actually, the truth is they're trying to impress our next guest because..." Because he's a great big fat bloke who might have seen the odd full table spread in his time, Dave? Brave given he's in the studio and with not much of an audience this week it's not so far for him to travel and smash your face in for the perceived slight, and we won't be trying to hold him back for more than the radial reasons. "...he's used to all this high flung living". Caught it. What's high flung mean? Demis makes some sort of noise-cum-comment in the background here but we can't catch what exactly it is, especially as it seems to come with reverb. He's doing the service of not looking DLT's way upon being introduced, which must mean something. In his voluminous purple kaftan at one point he's superimposed on shots from above (which seems to be off a mirror, it's not a monitor), from the back and close up from the side. Basically, they're not quite sure how to direct it. His all-embracing posture at the end is one of a thankful man still willing us to take him to our collective hearts. It's at this point that things go so far beyond the pale they may as well come back round and start from the beginning again, as DLT has now donned his own massive purple smock and over the still full layout shouts the dread words "Demis? Come over here, darlin'!" Two men in large beards and large kaftan/robes next to an open candle flame is asking for trouble, or at least a related gag. What we get is the pair of them sharing a glass of "our lovely British plonk, Chateau BBC 1914" - he's Greek, DLT, don't start making oblique jokes and expecting him to comprehend - before, with inevitability aforethought, Dave asks Demis what goodbye is in his native language and then attempts to copy his pronunciation. Demis has the good grace to chuckle.

ABBA – Dancing Queen
Seems a bit of a letdown now, this. It's been number one long enough, for starters. But finally they've found a proper copy of the video, which proves Anni-Frid could do proper moves and choreography if she wanted.


Arthur Nibble said...

A real shame, for two reasons this week. Firstly, Cherry sails off into the sunset and the dance troupe loses its magic ingredient as far as I’m concerned. Secondly, instead of Noel’s wonderful intro for Can, we get DLT’s failure to give the meister men a namecheck at all. What a complete cock.

Ah, Can. The anticipation’s almost been too much - almost as long a wait as we would have endured for a repeat of Be Bop Deluxe. A marvellous performance, not least by the mystery guitarist who looks like he’s gatecrashed the band with a bottle of cider but amp-fiddles, string-fiddles and flange-pedals impeccably. No, lest we forget the bearded noodling types staring on in shrine-like admiration near the front, dopey looking gum-chewing disinterested elfin girl who wouldn’t know a classic song if it goosed her, and wallflower bloke at the end, surrounded by comely young maidens but staring blankly in the opposite direction to the stage. Does Irmin remind anyone else of a cool Shaw Taylor?

Another wonderful chart forecast by the noshing idiot. Just what is it about the name Randy that results in wimpy singer-songwriter types? M’lud, I give you Randy Vanwarmer as exhibit B. Why were half the audience swaying along to that? I’d have followed the lead of the other half who looked totally bored rigid.

Next comes ‘Howzat’, NOT “How’s That” as stated twice by the hairy tool. Look at the back of the keyboard player’s top and get it right! Fresh from a scary countdown shot (what on Earth is happening right of shot?), we find the singer’s nicked one of the Dancing Queen costumes and the drummer’s followed the trend of yet more dungarees, though Chanter Sister-style stripes rather than mustard on this occasion. I always thought the band’s follow-up “If I had My Way” deserved to chart as well.

Good to see Cherry getting more camera attention for her swansong than in recent shows, plus an outfit that actually suited Floyd - and one that definitely suited Cherry! Did Philip make it his vocation to learn the words of every song they danced to?

As for Tina Charles and ‘someone taught me how to put out a small fire’, her outfit was almost as excruciating as that orchestration. It made the song sound like the sort of effort that would come last in the televised national heats of A Song For Europe.

There are three certainties in life - death, taxes and another showing of ‘Nice and Slow’. Couldn’t they have swapped it for the Supersonic version of Mud’s ‘Lean On Me’ just this once for a change?

What was Danny Baker doing on stage with a full beard and wearing a glowing pink marquee? Oh, sorry, it was Demis. Be thankful he wasn’t wearing tight trousers for some of those high notes - small dogs would have been covering their ears.

As for that last group, why is there no tambourine action on stage when the percussion instrument’s mentioned in the chorus? No thought process involved, totally amateur and shambolic. I feel a confident DLT-style forecast coming on - they’ll never make it big, mark my words.

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

PS - Sorry, I forgot to vote. I'd be happy if the 'On This Day' feature was moved to this page. Not only are the features interesting, but I have terrible trouble either accessing the attached clips or opening them full screen in their current location.

Steve Williams said...

Tony Wilson always used to say Howzat was the worst record ever made and the real reason punk had to happen, but I've always found it a likeable enough tune, especially when it turns into the Pearl and Dean tune halfway through. They do appear to be the most self-conscious band in the world, mind, and I like the drummer wearing the most stereotypically Australian outfit ever. Not as nice as the keyboard player's "Howzat" bomber jacket, of course.

Not very intelligent scheduling to put Dance Little Lady Dance next to Nice And Slow, they sound very similar. Steve Wright played The Best Disco In Town not so long ago, he plays some absolute rubbish on that show. I like the bit near the end where everyone gets a close-up and the camera pulls back.

Seems strange to start with a repeat, though in two weeks we start with a video. BORING OBSERVATION - Is that the first time the credits aren't in yellow?

Arthur Nibble (again) said...

I was mulling that last night - do you think someone was in the know and made the credits cherry red as a tribute / farewell?

Note from me mum - Luckily for you all, I won't be around in time to hog the next edition's early comments. I'm on a four-day break in the Cotswolds with 'er indoors and probably won't get to a PC until Sunday.

Angelo Gravity said...

Strange thing is memory. I was 9 in 1976 and remember most of the hits from the year very well - Radio One was always on in the morning before I went to school.

The Elton/Kiki number one I remember very clearly - saw the video lots at the time, on TOTP and Swap Shop (and maybe even Tiswas)
Yet I have no recollection whatsoever of Dancing Queen! I don't know how that happened - I liked Abba - I can remember Mamma Mia and Fernando very well, and the next single Money Money Money - but for some reason Dancing Queen seems to have completely passed me by.

There's a big Dancing Queen shaped hole in my 1976 memory. The tune by Pussycat though, which I think replaces it soon at number one, I recall perfectly, along with the steam boat in the video.

But the year's biggest memory trip for me is still to come, and that's the mighty Showaddywaddy.

Thinking about it, I don't think I actually saw that many episodes of TOTP in 1976 - at the time it was on, certainly in the lighter months of the year, I was doing that activity that seems so alien to today's kids - I was playing out with my mates!

I'm expecting big memories from the winter episodes though :-)

Anonymous said...

Is that really Richard Beckinsale?

Simon said...

I hope so.

Before we leave this alone, it should be pointed out that that may not even be the most unlikely TV appearance Can made to perform I Want More, given the surroundings in this one. Karoli's turned up this time and even gets to indulge in some light physical comedy towards the end.

ximeremix said...

Does not seeing any VPL on the drummer mean that he is underpantless or just wearing Tangas.......... hold on.... Australian? check,...dungarees? check,..very weird tom-tom set up? check....... yep, he's wearing Tangas!!!

Steve Morgan said...

What on earthe was that continuity announcement all about? "You're about to meet Pan's People, don't worry about the date, it was 35 years ago." Surely a little previous given that Flipper are about to give up the ghost in favour of the as yet unnamed and unseen replacement.
Anyway, that edition reminded me of an old KTel album which I still have. Disco Rocket featured edited (as you'd expect given KTel's output in the 70s) versions of In Zaire, Dance Little Lady, I'll Meet You at Midnight, Blinded By The Light and Mississippi amongst others.
But back to Pops, I was wondering what was with all that food DLT was eating, I found the whole thing quite nauseating, especially the chicken leg which makes me feel queasy just thinking about it. DLT was more annoying than ever this week.
Good to see Can again though, easily the best of the bunch.
Randy Edelman sped through his number at a fair pace didn't he! Perhaps he just wanted to get away from the audience who couldn't have shown less interest if they'd tried.
I always liked that Sherbet track, and agree as to it's follow up which should have charted too. Howzat always reminded me of Bowie's Starman, shame the arrangement on this weeks show let the track down.
The least said about Flipper's routine this week the better, I'd previously thought that disco suited them and that they seemed to dance better to a disco track, but The Best Disco In Town did not suit them this week.
It was a relief to get to Tina Charles, but what on earth was all that wah wahing about, fortunately on the actual record it's mixed down and doesn't sound quite so bad, or perhaps it didn't back then when almost every other disco record had it in it.
Demis Roussos was never a favourite artist of mine, I know he has his followers but I'm not one of them and I was glad to see ABBA who I won't/can't knock as I love them so much despite the over familiarity of songs like Dancing Queen, and it was good to see a full copy of the video on the show at last despite me digging out the DVD over the last few weeks.
DVD! What's that? It would have been unheard of 35 years ago, having all this music available to the general public on a small, convenient package of a shiny disc, what innovations will they think of next?

Wellieman said...

Think I've discovered the real reason "why punk happened". It was an age thing. Consider the following... first up were Can, let's face it they looked a bedraggled mess. Holger Czukay was 38 by this time and his mates looked about the same.

Next on was Randy whatsisname.... oh dear even in 1976 his oversized Deirdre Barlow glasses were the height of uncool. Nice song, just a bit too high brow for UK yoof.

Sherbet were the kind of band you looked at and thought yuk. They came across a bit smug but couldn't quite pull it off as their clothes were more 74 than 76. But again they all looked to be about 30.

Ruby Flipper were going through the motions to some karaoke type song I barely remember, followed by Tina Charles who really was singing a karaoke version of her own song! Surely one of the most sterile backing tracks by Johnny Pearson and his crew ever! But poor old Tina (despite being only 22) looked for all the world like one of my mums friends and managed to lose any sort of sex appeal she had hidden under her tent.

The only thing noticeable about Jesse Green - as mentioned before - was the James Galway type flautist to his right. Couldn't they have got some younger, trendier flautist in??

Demis Roussos... oh dear, where to start? Not really the sort of artist to engage the young kids in their bedrooms, best remembered as being the music of choice at the middle-aged Abigail's Party. I thought he was about 40 and my teenage daughter thought he was about 50 at the time. Amazingly the Wiki entry had him only just turning 30!!

Of course the majestic Abba closed the show (how could you have missed this Angelo??). Head and shoulders above the rest of course in terms of musicality, and even Frida was looking hot then for a short period. But even they had three members in their 30s by then.

So the thread here has been revealed, young people in their teens and early-twenties had absolutely nothing to engage with. It was presented by and featured smug middle-aged men, with women who dressed like your mum. The music and sets were sterile and lifeless, the audience dowdy and lifeless. How on earth did they manage to kill the excitement and buzz of 72/73/74 in just a couple of short years?

I rest my case m'lud.

wilberforce said...

i can't really make any comments about this week's show... not because there was nothing of interest on it, but because i had set my video to record last night's late-night showing, and when i sat down to watch it earlier today found the tape had run out halfway through can! to make it even more annoying i had previously set up the timer to record "mock the week" but ended up watching it live and forgot to rewind the tape!

anyway, i'll now have to wait to watch saturday night's showing to see it properly - yes, i know i could watch it via bbci but i prefer the old-fashioned approach of watching the gogglebox in the comfort of my easy chair with my feet up...

Noax said...

DLT's 'comedy business' with the food really was quite tiresome, wasn't it?

If anything started punk, it was probably things like that passing for entertainment, not Sherbet, but then it wouldn't be that surprising for Tony Wilson to spout some blatant shite.

Can - Enjoyed this much more the second time around, except for the bit where the director tries to encourage epileptic fits in all of us.

Randy Edelman - Had to play this many, many times on the radio in my local radio career and never want to hear this again thanks.

Sherbet - This is an ace song, and a decent performance I think. They do look a bit confused at times, but with the hairy one waving random bits of food around, is that a surprise?

The Ritchie Family - I can't believe that we'll not see Cherry again. None of the other girls I find attractive at all so I'll only be watching them for Floyd's regular humiliation from now on. As for the song, dear me. I'm sure I have this on CD somewhere yet somehow don't remember the blatant steals from other people's songs at all.

Tina Charles - Was she really 22?! Poor frumpy Tina. Still, 'Dr Love' will be on soon, and that's a better song!

Demis Roussos - I guess feta and houmous hadn't been invented in the UK then so at least we were spared some Greek food humour. Thank goodness also that we didn't have the duck costume this week or that probably would have been the 'hilarious' centrepiece.

ABBA - Nothing much to say about this. Roll on Pussycat I say. Not literally. Hmmm, then again....

Bobby Morrow said...

DLT hideous this week. There wasn't one good TOTP anchor, was there?

Have to put in a good word for Sherbet. I always loved this song and was thrilled to get it on one of those 'Guilty Pleasures' comps a few years ago. I never heard any of their follow-ups, though.

I think this was perhaps Tina Charles' last big hit (though I do recall 'Rendevous' from a little later) Not much stage presence for sure, but did have a really pretty face, I thought.

I'm sure Randy Edelman was miming. That performance was incredibly similar to the record (also on the aforementioned GP). I don't actually mind the song. Edelman never really made it, but a few of his tunes have turned up on albums I own by other people.

In an ancient Abba article, the reviewer made mention of how the group had aged very quickly. It's true. The difference in Agnetha, in particular, is vast from this video to, say, 'The Winner Takes It All' from 1980.

When do goddamn Ruby Flipper go? I have an old Record Mirror from August 1976 which said they'd been finished that week. That said, I did rather enjoy this week's spot, though I have no memory of the song. Philip always seemed so happy!

I think Demis is almost on his was now. I think 'Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun' was his final hit. Can't believe he was only 30! I definitely remember all the Roussos jokes at school...

Steve Morgan said...

Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun was Christmas 1975. After When Forever.. he still has Because and the Kyrila EP in 1977. Neither of which bothered the top thirty, 39 and 33 respectively. Don't know if there were any more Pops appearances though. No doubt someone else here can enlighten us.

Simon said...

If you don't count Forever And Ever on the Christmas show, which seems to have been recorded at this taping, that is indeed it for his TOTP visits.

Flipper have two weeks to go, and due deference will be paid when they are cast aside. Maybe that's why Cherry went early, she'd been told they were finishing this week and made plans around it but the new Legs & Co members weren't ready yet. What I did get to wondering in researching the theme week is why Lee and Mary, who were members of Pan's People for about eight months until its demise, didn't join Cherry and Sue in RF. I know Lee ducked out early and then went to the press about how bad an idea male dancers on the show was, but Mary seems to have vanished without explanation. (Well, everyone vanished without explanation, but more broadly)

Bobby Morrow said...

Not too upset about missing 'Island'.. I could've sworn that was later. Aah well.

Incidentally, does anyone know yet if the show is set to continue into 1977? Perhaps the show's title 'TOTPS 1976' is telling, however!

Neil Barker said...

Demis' final TOTP studio appearance was for "Life In The City" on 20/4/78. It failed to trouble the chart though.

Noax said...

Bobby - As I mentioned above, Tina has 'Dr.Love' still to come which got to Number 4!

Can't wait to see if she's brushed up on her stagecraft by then.

Simon said...

The Saturday repeat was preceded by the same continuity declaration Steve Morgan mentioned - "There's a chance to join Pan's People - but don't worry, the competition date was 35 years ago". As well as there being no competition in the show and no Pan's People any more, there was seemingly nothing edited out - all the links had to flow to keep DLT's concept going. What's happened there?

Arthur Nibble said...

They've used that competition link three times this week to my knowledge. What's going on? What competition? Is the prize a night with Cherry Gillespie? Where's the entry form?

Neil Barker said...

Wonder if they shoved the repeat of Can at the beginning as an afterthought? Maybe another act couldn't make it? It was strange that DLT didn't even back announce it!

Simon said...

That thought crossed my mind too - I don't think there's been or will be* another TOTP this year that's started with a repeat, and it being five weeks since they were first shown too. Acker Bilk, to go to the other end of the spectrum, hasn't been shown again despite going top ten for two or three weeks, albeit he's not exactly TOTP standard. As I say in the piece, Jesse Green doesn't exactly deserve three repeats either.

(* Though before the end of the year two consecutive repeats will begin with the same song due to a wiping in between)

wilberforce said...

having now watched the saturday repeat there's not that much i can add to the above other than the following:

randy edelman - i always got him mixed up with randy vanwarmer! contrary to what someone said above, i believe he has since had a steady career as a soundtrack composer. as a kid growing up taking in the sunshine culture of the states from afar, "randy" really seemed the ultimate cool 70's american name, what with randy newman, randy bachman etc, not to mention numerous sportsmen...

sherbet - i always thought "howzat" a sturdy well-crafted effort (and top marks for the cricketing pun), if not one for my own collection. going by the lines around his neck the singer was a lot older than 30 (i've noticed i've acquired the same unsightly thing in the last few years and i'm nearly 50!)

tina charles - i'm sure simon once put a youtube link to tina singing on the morecambe & wise show (or was it the two ronnies?) at least 5 years earlier, so by 1976 she really had no excuse for her lack of stagecraft...

in contrast to some previous shows i felt flick really put the flipper troupe through their paces this week - i'm no expert on dance choroegraphy but it seemed an intricate and interactive routine that probably required a lot of a rehearsal. at one point lulu stops for a nanosecond as if to think "what's happening next" before getting back in step, but still very impressive...

and thank you simon for digging up the noel edmunds gas ad in a disco on youtube - i was laughing out loud, not only at the ad but also the comments made...

Bobby Morrow said...


According to 'sources' Daryl Braithwaite, lead singer of Sherbet, was 27 when 'Howzat' was screened. Must be all the sun they get in Australia...

Adam Maunder said...

Mr. Underhill - that was me that posted the Tina Charles link! She was regular musical guest on the first series of the 2 Rons in '71, so she'd've been... 17? Here's another one:

I haven't watched the show yet, but I can (no pun intended) offer up a few bits 'n' pieces on the artists involved.

I refrain from slagging off Randy Edelman for one very good reason: his missus is as close as you get to a genius in the music business. The name of Jackie DeShannon isn't quite the household status it deserves to be, but the songs she introduced (and often wrote) make for an impressive list: Needles & Pins, When You Walk in the Room, What the World Needs Now is Love, Put a Little Love in Your Heart, Bette Davis Eyes... There's a dedicated YouTube channel devoted to her, so head over there to see & hear her in action - you won't be sorry.

I'll save my ears from Sherbet for now, but if their lead singer was Daryl Braithwaite, then I can certainly bore you further: I was in Oz for a year as a toddler - in the late 80s - and he was a massive solo star then. He appears 6 minutes into this send-off for the Timmins family in Neighbours a few years back, singing his biggest hit. (Karl also refers to the Easybeats!)

I'm sure I'll come to terms with Cherry's departure eventually; when she went, so did Ruby Flipper ultimately, so here's to a few months of Legs & Co!

Jesse Green is another of those informational black-spots (and that's DEFINITELY not a pun, OK?), but turns out Wikipedia was right, for once. Jamaican guy, had this hit off the similarly-named album (with de rigueur crap sexist cover art), and that would appear to be that. Lookie see, here:

Oh, Demis. Said it before on here, but please let's try & remember for him for Aphrodite's Child: considering it's Greek prog rock that also featured Vangelis, it's actually good stuff (at least the 'It's 5 O'Clock' album I've got is), so direct yourselves there if you feel like something different.

I don't wanna get into discussing Abba now - I've been through so many points in my life where I've hated & tolerated them in equal measure without ever being that fussed about such unavoidable worldbeaters, so maybe next time.


Tricky-Woo said...

Randy sounds like he put lyrics to the theme from All Creatures Great and Small.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

DLT was often making comments about food and drink on his radio show (he once spent an entire show talking about Roses Lime Cordial - perhaps they sent him a crate of the stuff). I guess this was just an extension of that albeit an unfunny and very tedious one.

Can. Is that Herr Lipp from The League Of Gentlemen playing the keyboards (Alles klar?). Or it could be Barry Humphries playing Herr Lipp.

I must be the only one who liked (and bought) the Randy Edelman song but then I always was a bit of a downtown downbeat guy. I like the guy in green trousers who is there at the start of the song behind Mr Edelman but then disappears and is replaced by a guy in a tie and waistcoat who stands still with his arms folded until he realises the camera has panned round and is on him and he goes into a half-hearted dance (well he moves his arms a bit and clicks his fingers) before changing his mind and stopping again.

Sherbert. I love the bit where the guitarist is making faces while he's doing his solo but none of the other band members are looking at him. I bet the keyboard player wouldn't have been able to bend down or even walk in those painfully tight satin strides. Perhaps he was wheeled on and wheeled off again in a barrow like they used to do with Terry Wogan.

Why all the hate for Nice and Slow? It's a fantastic disco track although just as good, if not better, in its instrumental form. I'd love to know more about the backing band.

I also bought The Ritchie Family's Best Disco In Town and recognized most of the songs in their medley except for Lady Bump which was a mystery to me at the time (it was a dancefloor hit by Penny MacLean). The title reminds of The Spitting image gag of Ronnie Reagan accusing Nancy of having two sets of 'Lady bumps' until she pointed out she's had a facelift and the second set were her knees.

Have Ruby Flipper's Phillip and Chris Barrie ever been seen in the same room?

I detested Tina Charles at the time, probably because she was so small and dumpy and was marketed as the 'Queen Of Disco' when she certainly wasn't. I thought what she did was not real disco but a cheap home-made imitation and the TOTP Orchestra's interpretation of it is doing her no favours.

Demis Rousoss made an album with Status Quo in 1978. Can't wait to see that on TOTP!