Record Mirror, 12th June 1976
Top Of The Pops Annual, 1976 - “Ace Dudes”
THE TEDS from Leicester have done alright for themselves over the past couple of years. Having proved to cynics that they aren't just copy-cats of great rock 'n 'rollers of the Fifties Showaddy are writing their own refreshing sounds (spiced with just enough authentic Teddy-o R&R) and taking their songs into the top fifty.
But the bombers aren't fairly represented by their singles. To appreciate Showaddy you've got to see them live, hot-footing round the stage with the vivacity and suppleness of toy rubber men who dangle on a string and are instructed by the owners which movements to make.
Picture if you can eight dudes, resplendent in drainpipe lurexy trousers, box jackets, bootlace ties, frilly shirts, brothel creepers and multi-pastel socks. All of them dancing like something out of West Side Story and creating incredible noises from their respective instruments. The show is varied, quick as lightning (never does it cool down) and it delivers the punches. It's simply sheer entertainment.
They often do a medley of Buddy Holly classics - including Oh Boy - and have an impressive dance-cum-mime sequence for the oldie Chain Gang. The voices within the band are all distinctly pseudo-Yank pre-sixties with over emphasis on the phasing, which was commonplace for that particular period. Diminutive singer Buddy (has he changed his name perchance?) sings versions of the other Buddy's (Holly) tunes which are particularly good and catch the atmosphere of the Fifties to a tee. Dave (often termed the pin-up of the clan) however, is better with rollicking rollers. In dark glasses and hard-nut stance he looks and sounds utterly convincing as a Teddy Boy rebel.
Big Duke, the one who acts as Daddy of the band, is a very personable chap, and responsible for most of the choreography.
In the days before Showaddy were even thought of, Duke worked on a building site and as a hobby went dancing in the evenings. Duke became such a "twinkle toes" that he went on to win lots of trophies, medals and dance titles.
To this day he is perhaps the most agile, skilful, even the most flash of all Showaddywaddy's soft-shoe shufflers.
Duke's easy but sensible philosophy is: "We want to create excitement on stage for our audience. The Seventies hasn't exactly been the most enjoyable era. These days showy-type live acts are supposedly unhip to some. A lot of bands prefer to get on stage, let their long hair hang round their face and get stuck into some long drawn-out solo.
To our mind that's not entertainment. We like to create impact. We've heard a lot of audiences 'ooow' and 'arrh' at some of the things we do on stage. This is what we like to hear."
Indeed Showaddy have quite a following. And, believe it or not they aren't all made up of ex-Teds or the 70's styled Teds. Why, it has been known (very often, especially when they do cabaret) for half the audience to be ordinary housewives with their husbands, who are out on the tiles for a good whoop-it-up-night.
Then, of course, there's the younger audience you get at Showaddy concerts. Some of these can range from as young as ten years old right through to twenty and over.
The boys have a wide spectrum of ages liking their music, because the king of stuff they do bridges all the known age gaps.
Trevor reckons: "Rock'n'roll has always been an ageless kind of music. By that I mean two things : It never ever dates and secondly it appeals to all sorts of people. Young or old. Rich or working class. Ravers or crooners. Extroverts or introverts. It's the definitive 'lets all get together' music, which we all need these days."
Hear hear! When groups sing about "don't play your rock 'n' roll to me" and umpteen other references denouncing the greatest music in the world, nobody, especially Showaddy, ever takes them seriously.
Greatest Hits LP, 1976 - Sleeve Notes by David Hamilton
Showaddywaddy came to the public's attention with Hey Rock And Roll their first hit. I had the pleasure of presenting them with a gold disc for sales of over half-a-million copies. The presentation was made at the recording studios at Wembley where all their hit records have been conceived, a stone's throw from the famous Empire Pool, scene of many great concerts and where the boys appeared in their earlier days.
Since then I have followed their career through lots of hit records, most of which are featured on the album and two of which I am delighted to say were my records of the week on my Radio 1 show.
Nowadays, Showaddywaddy play to packed houses in nightclubs and ballrooms all over the country. It is a long way from 'New Faces' to the 'Greatest Hits Album', but Showaddywaddy have proved in those four years that they're a great little rocking band. - David Hamilton.