Flashback

A collection of Flashbacks that have featured on the homepage of Showaddywaddy.net



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2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Showaddywaddy’s Red Star LP (Arista SPARTY 1023), released on 11th November 1977 - one of the band’s all time classics!
1977 was arguably one of the most successful years in the band’s career. The year followed on from the number 1 success of “Under The Moon Of Love” in December the previous year, and 1977 of course saw the Punk/New Wave movement really coming to the fore. Showaddywaddy were more popular than ever. Where punk was appealing to a disillusioned teenage youth, Showaddywaddy were pulling in audiences from all age ranges.
The year saw the band have three massive chart hits - “When” (released 25th Feb 1977) reaching number 3 in the charts, “You Got What It Takes” (released 8th July 1977) reaching number 2, and “Dancin’ Party” (released 21st October 1977) reaching number 4. The year also saw the band making at least 27 appearances on television, as well as over 100 gigs. Add the recording onto all the TV appearances and gigs and the band were certainly earning their money that year!
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Despite all this, the album actually only reached number 20 in the charts, but still attained “Gold” status.The main sleeve unusually did not feature band on the front, but there were plenty of pictures on the inner sleeve (the only SWW LP to have a picture inner sleeve). 13 tracks featured - unlucky for some perhaps?

The album kicks off with “Dancin’ Party”, the band’s current single at the time of the album’s release, followed by the rocker “’68 Teenage Queen” with Buddy Gask on lead vocals, and a favourite track of Trevor Oakes.
“You Got What It Takes” came third, a smash hit during the summer of that year, with “Lucy Jane (Part 2)” coming fourth featuring both Dave and Buddy sharing lead vocals; ‘Part 2’ being stated to not confuse fans with the “Lucy Jane”, a different song that featured as a B-side to “Heartbeat” in 1975.

Hot on the heels of a Dave Bartram classic, “In Above Your Head”, came another Bartram-led “Sweet Georgia”, the story of a croupier in a casino. “Somethin’ Else”, the well known Eddie Cochran song, had lead vocals performed by Buddy and is one of my favourite SWW songs (also performed by the band on TV that year). “(You’ve Got) Personality” was a song that the band thought would have been good as a single.

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Al James always contributed the odd track to LPs, and this one was no different, with the heavier-sounding “Feelin’” being a favourite of many fans over the years - perhaps a very un-Showaddywaddy song! Buddy Holly’s classic “Listen To Me” got the Showaddywaddy treatment, one of 6 cover version on the album, the other 7 being original tracks.

The album closed out with “Maybe Maybe Maybe”, one of Buddy Gask’s best vocal performances, finally the track Dave is most proud of, “Swansong”, a story of a rocker who is coming to the end of his career and feeling low, only to be greeted by thousands of people at the best gig of his life - one of the best SWW songs ever released.

If you are not familiar with Showaddywaddy’s work other than their well known singles, you won’t go far wrong in checking out “Red Star” - this is band at their best with their original line up.


The album has since been re-released with a number of bonus tracks, featuring the B-sides of the 1977 singles (ie “Superstar”, “Showboat” and “One Of These Days”), as well as 1978 singles and B-sides. It is highly recommended!


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1st October 1981 saw the release of Showaddywaddy’s “Good Times” LP on Bell Records, a label which had been revived after being dropped by owning company Arista in 1976. In fact Showaddywaddy’s 1976 number 1 hit “Under The Moon Of Love” was the last single to be released on Bell Records, until the label was briefly brought back for 1981.

The album itself was the first of the band’s album not to make the album charts, but is a strong album and as good as previous releases.

The album opens with “Multiplication”, a single which the band promoted on TV four times in the summer of ’81, including Razzmatazz and Cheggers Plays Pop, but crucially perhaps not on Top Of The Pops. It was released on 5th June 1981, four months before the album.

“Alley Oop” was an unusual choice for TV promotion in August 1981, as this was an album track not a single, and rather amusingly featured Malcolm dressing up as a gorilla and hitting members of the audience with a club (a rubber one of course!). The single release of “Multiplication” had been and gone by the time August came around, which may be why the band decided to do something a bit different, although they were probably specifically asked to play that track by the TV executives.

“Footsteps” and “Good Timing” were other singles released from the album, on 6th Nov 1981, and 19th Feb 1982 respectively, and it is perhaps not a surprise these singles didn’t do too well sales wise having being already available on the album. “Footsteps” was promoted on TV three times however (including Top Of The Pops), whereas “Good Timing” barely received any promotion at all (save for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention on Tiswas).

“Weekend”, another album only track, was promoted on The Little And Large Show in 1985 in what turned out to be Malcolm Allured’s and Russ Field’s last TV appearances with the band. It was pleasing to see album’s title track “Good Times” featuring in the band’s live set in the early 2000s, and “Weekend” was also a regular in the band’s set at this time. Incidentally, “Weekend” was a fixture in the band’s set in their very early days in 1973-1975, but not recorded until 1981!

“I Don’t Like Rock ’n’ Roll No More” is one of the band’s classic songs and should have been a single, whereas “C’mon Everybody” is probably the weakest song on the LP.

All in all, despite it never making the album chart, this is one of the band’s classic albums, with the band featuring on TV a lot around the time of its release.



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Rod Deas, Romeo Challenger and Dave Bartram, with Leicester City’s Alan Birchenall, at the King Power Stadium, November 2011. The guys were filming a short segment for Dave to bid farewell, as he was to leave fronting the band the following month. Incidentally, the band, particularly Dave and Romeo, are big Leicester City fans and were thrilled at the club winning the Premiership Title this season, with Dave going to many games home and away.



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Showaddywaddy performing ‘King Of The Jive’ on London Weekend Telvision’s “Supersonic” on 13th September 1975. The band also performed ‘Heatbeat’ on the same episode, which was the band’s current single at the time.









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Showaddywaddy performing “A Little Bit of Soap” on Top Of The Pops. This episode was recorded at BBC Television Centre in London on 5th July 1978, and was broadcast the day after, 6th July 1978. On the night of the broadcast, the band were playing at the Golden Garter nightclub in Manchester, which incidentally was where the promotional video for the single was recorded.


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The band donned these shiny satin-type Teddy Boy suits in 1977, and wore them on their appearance on the 1977 Christmas edition of Top Of The Pops. Never popular amongst the band or fans, these suits were quickly ditched in favour of the normal material.













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Showaddywaddy in 1975 - this classic shot was used on the rear of the band’s Step Two album which was released that year.































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In 1995, Danny Willson joined Showaddywaddy as lead guitarist, remaining with the guys until 2009, achieving a total of 14 years in the band. This particular set up, was together as shown in this 1995 promo picture, with five of the original members in place. The original band started to change in 1984 having stayed together as the original 8-piece for 11 years. A classic Showaddywaddy line-up.























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On 19th November 1974, Showaddywaddy gathered in London with girls from the National Children’s Home, Harpenden, to promote their new single, Hey Mr. Christmas, which was released a few days earlier on 15th November. The single spent eight weeks in the charts, reaching the number 13 spot, and the band performed the track on TV shows including Top Of The Pops, Lift Off With Ayshea, and A Stocking Full of Stars. The single was recently featured on TV as being the 43rd best selling Christmas single of all time.

The band are known to have performed the song in their live shows around the time of release, and after a long absence it returned to the set in 2010, and is still being played live around Christmas time today.

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And if you fancy a sing-a-long this year, the lyrics are:

Hey Mr Christmas, we hope you’re having fun; Hey Mr Christmas here we come.

Throw away your troubles at Christmas and make this Christmas bright,
Carols singing, bells are ringing, Santa comes tonight.
Forget your troubles and worries, and kick them out the door,
Don't look back, come on in, we'll just play some more, more, more, more.

Old folks sit by the fire, and children play in the snow;
They've been waiting, anticipating, see their faces glow.
Forget your troubles and worries, and kick them out the door,
Don't look back, come on in, we'll just play some more, more, more, more.





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On 28th August 1973, Showaddywaddy won a £1000 prize in a national competition, the Top Town Talent Contest. The band played a set of Wipeout, Rip It Up, New Orleans, Chain Gang, Rockin’ Robin, Teenager In Love, Jailhouse Rock, It’s Only Make Believe and Weekend.

Just four days later on 1st September, the band would play their first gig as professional musicians, at Dreamland Ballroom in Margate.







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Showaddywaddy in 1975. This promo shot featured on some of the band’s recorded material, most notably a Pickwick compilation from 1981. This is my favourite photo of the “original” band.