2007   JULY 30   #211

Oh You Handsome Devils...

1. Helen Wheels (McCartney) (3:36)
2. Girl From The Isle of Wight (Humber) - (one of their own songs) (3:51)
3. Hide Away Girl (P. Sanders) - (another one) (4:01)
4. Flyin' High (D.Chandler) - (the drummer wrote this - the Derek Smalls of the band it seems ;-) NEVER let the drummer write songs!) (6:17)
5. Hey Tonight (Foggerty) (3:48)

I dunno what it was about the Seventies. maybe it was to do with being there as an awkward teenager, but it does seem to have been the decade when Average Geezerdom was monumentally unappealing. But I had lank hair, a greatcoat and The Yes Album back then so shouldn't talk.

This lot, were the summer season band at Pontins in Camber Sands in the early seventies apparently. This is a self produced effort, presumably to sell at gigs etc.

It turned up in a Streatham charity shop in the eighties and of course I had to buy it. Not to play you understand; though they are a perfectly competent covers band of their time, but for the brilliant cover.

For me the cover image has a horrible fascination. It's unashamedly what it is, a bunch of average geezers seemingly picked at random from some pub or other in some suburb or other plonked next to a canal, in freshly laundered trousers...

So why does that provoke even the smallest degree of fascination? I think it's the otherness of it. On one level it's perfect for who they are and what they are doing, I mean, you gotta say it's unpretentious, and you know pretty much what you are getting, but on another level it's just so BAAAAD! And not in the Isaac Hayes sense. The question "What is it that we are trying to convey in this picture?" doesn't seem to have been asked. Not that that in itself is particularly surprising, it's just that it's the kind of thing that has anyone of a Graphic Design persuasion banging their heads on the table...

I bet they never thought, when they were having the photo taken, that in fifteen years time, a bunch of stoned art students would spend significant amounts of time sniggering at their trousers...

The back cover has a profile of each of them and a list of their likes and dislikes. . great stuff. I'd give a lot for photo of "Deaf Cuckoo"...

The music is, to me at least, better than the cover might suggest, in that they are obviously a very pro covers band who feel quite able to mess with the arrangements of the songs they cover and who evidently know what they are doing. That doesn't mean that you will wanna listen to the album particularly, but I feel I should give them their due.

The A side is all covers, the B side has three originals, one a ploddy blues workout, one a Chuck Berry/Quo type thing and one that can be loosely described as a kind of prog psyche fest complete with phased drum solo... Hey, you could sample that!

I ripped side 2 for your listening pleasure. Enjoy, and If you're out there guys, the very best to all of you, and I bet you had some great laughs down in Camber Sands. Forgive me a smile or two at your expense ;-)

- Contributed by: Jon Allen

Images: Front Cover, Back Cover 1, Back Cover 2

Media: LP
Album: Maxwell Plumm - We Can Work It Out