This article was published prior to the release of Showaddywaddy’s debut album, and it is interesting to see that early tour dates included Batley Variety Club, a cabaret venue that the band played in well into the 2000s.
Disco 45, December 1974 - “Hitmakers”
SWW are a gas in person. Right? Well, at least if you've ever seen this 8-piece organisation in person, I'm pretty sure you'll agree. They're able to stimulate you musically. And they entertain ya - that's for sure - with a degree of showmanship that is rarely bettered by any comparable band today.
And what is more, SWW obviously care about their performances - whether in the recording studio or "live". Particularly the latter.
As drummer Malcolm "The Duke" Allured pointed out to me quite recently: "We spend a lot of money on our clothes, and on the shows in general. In fact, we spend as much money on the visual side of our act as anything".
Which means that meticulous care is taken by the lads to make sure everything - but everything - is absolutely bang on. (Which is more than I can say for some rock 'n' roll bands I could name!)
SWW are aware, too of what lead guitarist Russ Field calls "the immense difference between our records and our live appearances." But, in true SWW fashion, they know how to adjust. What steps to take. How to pace themselves.
And second drummer, Antigua born Romeo Challenger agreed with colleague Allured that although the main appeal of SWW is "show", they didn't use their dance movements - choreography, if you wanna use a big word! - weren't performed robot-like.
Which is great by any professional standards. But more than just a challenge when you consider that SWW pride themselves in having over 40 different routines for over 40 different numbers!
And "Duke" Allured was moved to mention that often a fresh routine takes place when he and the other guys are recording a new single in the studio. "We're listening to the playbacks, and already we're starting to work out a new routine", he confided.
Taking part in such a venture would be Allured, Challenger, Field, vocalists Buddy Gask and Dave Bartram, Trevor Oakes, and bassists Al James and Rod Deas. They work together well, in a friendly, non-competitve way, added Russ, and new routines take relatively short time to get together.
One interesting sideline about the kind of gear they wear to-day was provided by "The Duke". He said: "We changed our gear from the Teddy Boys' suits because at some venues you couldn't tell the difference between band and the audience. I remember at one club the bouncers had strict instructions not to let anyone - apart from us - on to the stage. Well, one or two of us just happened to step off-stage and we foungf that the bouncers were chucking us away from the stange...!"
Apart from trying to please the various types of rock 'n' roll fans - from the very early types to those of to-day - SWW's problem, such as it is, remains as one of trying to convince the people who go to see them in concert or at a club that they are a 1974-type band, and not just a fading memento of the past.
Not that SWW are afraid or ashamed of their past, musically or otherwise. But, quite naturally, they want to relate to the kids of the present - and tomorrow - as they do the rockers of yesterday.
That means, of course, on record, too. On that score they've nothing about which to worry. Take a healthy listen to their Bell LP " Showaddwaddy", and you'll know what I mean.
'Hey Rock And Roll', 'The Party', 'Rock 'n' Roll Lady', 'Rollercoaster', 'Johnny Remember Me'...they're all SWW. Representative of yesterday, today...and certainly tomorrow.
Rock on, lads, rock on...!