Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Can I Touch It?


Avenues and Alleyways' reminiscences of Showaddywaddy make me think of other Fifties inspired party bands from the Seventies we all enjoyed, even though we probably would dare not admit it.

The Rubettes's Sugar Baby Love I remember, and still think is a great tune, but it was slightly before my record-buying time. The hit of theirs I did buy thought was their 1977 comeback single Baby I Know. It's mellower, but they were still wearing those caps (known as Rubettes caps at the time, but surely they have a proper name?). The big-lipped lead singer was irritating and probably called Alan.

And what about Racey? Even at 14 I could see the lead singer was a grade A tit, but I loved Lay Your Love On Me, and I still think it's a great song. It always reminds me of going to a neighbours' school Christmas disco at which there were many girls in skintight satin trousers. I asked my neighbour to ask this girl called Chantal if I could 'touch her satins', and to my surprise she agreed, though hesitantly and I wasn't to touch them for long. I'll never forget it. It's a difficult age. I nicked someone's mod badges from their parka on the way out.

And of course, Darts. My love for It's Raining is well-documented on these pages, and it's the third most-played song on my ipod. I love them, but they're such an odd mix of people. Can you imagine such a group appealing to kids today? Perhaps it was the deep voice thing, beloved by Showaddywaddy as well, and always injecting novelty into already noveltyish records. What's not to like?

11 comments:

Matthew Rudd said...

Darts are just fabulous. Every time I hear Come Back My Love it feels like life will go on forever.

Five-Centres said...

That song reminds me of having a blackboard rubber thrown at me for singing it in a science lesson.

Mondo said...

And Mud of course with Les Gray (Harry H Corbett does Elvis).

Darts, The Boy From New York City (it's almost the same riff as Tainted Love you know), reminds of tangerine and lime Tic Tacs first appearing , and getting a Grifter.

It's Raining makes me think of summer holiday in Braunton. We thought the b-side Messing Shoe Blues was high hilarity at the time.

Speaking of 'touching satins'. Did you ever play 'Nervous'?

Five-Centres said...

Nervous? Tell me more, Mondo.

Mondo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mondo said...

Nervous - a boy and a girl would sit with one hand on the other's knee asking in turns 'are you nervous ?' If it was no, move one pace higher, until you get a yes and bail. The girls typically said yes before the boys (at roughly six inches above the knee, in fairness they were usually wearing skirts and we had the security of trousers). But occasionally the like the Racey song says 'some girls will'

I've just realised how simpatico 'Nervous' is with the title of this post!

Helen said...

I had a pair of turquoise satin trousers that I got for my cousin's wedding 'do', I was quite envied for them. I remember learnin the words to Come Back My Love and thinking how well I could sing it which was probably not the case. What about Pilot? I used to confuse them with The Rubettes. Poor old Les Grey.

Five-Centres said...

I read an interview with Pilot the other day. The way the singer carried on you'd think he'd invented pop music. They only had two hits.

Never bold enough to play Nervous, Mondo. Not even now!

Ishouldbeworking said...

Is 'satins' rhyming slang? I'm racking my brain trying to think what on earth for.

The Rubettes were local heroes where I grew up, and I met the drummer once in a travel agent's (I was 14 by then so deliberately unimpressed). He was actually lovely, really unaffected and friendly (not in a pervy way.). They did a very 'ahead-of-it's time' single called 'Under One Roof' about a gay relationship in about 1977, which I always thought was really brave of them. But the hats, and the singer's lips (he WAS called Alan, wasn't he?) got a bit much after a while.

'Some Girls' by Racey can still cheer me up on a winter's day. It actually contains the line 'now that I know you socially..' . Fantastic. And Darts were pretty much irresistible, weren't they?

BPP said...

I don't know why, but all of these shitty bands from the '70s strike me as being a bit kiddly-fiddly. I think it's the Taint of Gadd. It's made me look at the whole lot of 'em with suspicious eyes.

TimT said...

You could add the Bay City Rollers to that list - their first hit, Keep On Dancing was very 50s, albeit desperately limp. I heard it on the radio the other day.

Sugar Baby Love always reminds me of a school trip to the Wye Valley when I was 11, and in particular of a day trip to Hereford. It seemed to be playing on the radio everywhere we went.

I've got three Darts LPs somewhere - I must dig them out. They did a great medley Riot In Cell Block No. 9, Framed and a couple of other jail-themed songs.

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