Saturday, 25 September 2010

Leicester story...


There have only been a few times in my short life when Leicester has been a place I really thought about. This is definitely not knocking the place, quite the opposite actually, but when you've spent your formative years in the South, and a few in South Wales, it seems that anywhere further North will crop up one day, but it's not actually pencilled in the diary yet...

1) My flatmate went there in 1969 for an appointment to sell plywood cases to a funeral business.
2) I met Peter Wheeler at a rugby club dinner in 1988.
3) I also have a good business chum who was a stalwart of the 'Tigers'.
4) I was at school with a chum named Taylor, and he came from Leicester.

Er... that's about it - until last week.

As the three people who read this know, I'm an inveterate recaller of useless things, rather like all the characters in 'Last of the summer wine' but not actually finishing up in the river with shrieks and hoots of laughter as the music squeaks and bangs onto the next programme.

Since the nineteen sixties, I've had a song in my ol' grey head which I've never been able to find again. The bass line - even now, was repetitive, and bound to stick in the mind, as it has done for all those years. I still find my self humming it!

I was convinced Youtube would come up trumps, but nooooo. Even Itunes - your kidding aren't you... (you couldn't even get 'The Wall', by Pink Floyd until only recently), said 'no cigar'. And Google failed me for ages, until that is, I spelt the name of the band differently. You see, the song was a 'Fab Forty' hit on Radio London, and Tony Blackburn, Dave Cash, John Peel et al, were knocking these songs out with a lot of fun. 'Big L' really was required listening back then, unless you wanted to listen to David Jacobs and Pete Murray...

'And I cry', by 'The Four Sights', (I was searching for 'The Forsytes') as I've just been finding out, was actually up there with the rest of the big names back then, and the song was very popular on the pirate stations, as well as, presumably, in the clubs and pubs of Leicester! The band members were obviously well-established accomplished musicians and it was a good sound, and, although one member seems to have departed this mortal coil, the others should well be hale and hearty, although, like me, in their sixth decade and feeling the aches and pains more than somewhat.

The big search found this man - Lyn Nuttall, from Queensland, Australia, who has a website which seems to cover just about every piece of music ever performed! All I did was vaguely mention to him that I'd found a picture of a demo disc of the song, and he came back immediately with so much information, that it took me an hour to figure it all out! Thank you so much 'Young Man', your archive is incredible!

I won't steal Lyn's thunder from his side of the story, (he knows an awful lot more detail), but in the link here, you'll see so much about the band members, and a lot more besides!

What is so good, is that if you click on the MP3 link, you'll understand why Scrobs is wandering about with a huge smile on his face...

Hat Tip - Mr Nuttall, Australian Extraordinaire! and also, if he has a few minutes to flick back a couple of posts to the Rock Robin post, I hope he'll see how much this all means to a greyish guy in Kent, wondering what to search for next...

8 comments:

rvi said...

Well, I don't know about the other two readers, but the only useless thing I recall about Leicester (apart from their football team) was taking a drive there shortly after the M1 opened. I drove up - no problem, but my mate drove us back later that day in a real pea souper fog all the way back to London. We could not see the front of the car, let alone anything that might have been in front of us. We vowed then and there never to go to Leicester again - and to this day we have maintained that pledge.

I cannot comment on your music choice as I do not recall the tune (and in any case spent the vast portion of the 60s outwith the UK. I do agree with you, however, that John Peel played some great stuff.

Scrobs... said...

I always seemed to avoid the place Reevers! Dunno why, it was never a destination for any reason.

The song is actually the sort of thing which has never gone away, although today, it is clearly a sixties piece, and typical - if not a bit better of the usual stuff around then.

What I found interesting was that eventually, you can find out just about anything by internet searching these days, and all you need is a keyboard and a PC!

Something to do these long winter evenings I suppose...

rvi said...

Did your other 2 readers get lost in/on the way to Leicester then?

Scrobs... said...

I don't know Reevers; its worrying that everyone seems to be away on holiday other than you and me!

Or perhaps this is just another bloody boring post, and not worth the hassle of signing in...

Just wait for the next one though, as there's going to be such a hilarious post that I reckon I'll need an agent and a typist just to keep up with the comments! And, as you're the only one to have asked, I'll generously cut you in with the royalties, which will mean we can all 'fart in silk' until the next millenium!

rvi said...

How splendid. I have put the bubbly on ice...

David L. said...

And I Cry is not forgotten by me, I was the Foursights lead singer and drummer. I have it on vinyl and CD recorded from sounds of the sixties a view years ago.

Scrobs... said...

David L! Now this is history or what!

Thank you so much for getting on here and becoming part of the celebrity!

I really do like the song I blogged about. It was actually before it's time I think, but believe me, it was a favourite for a long time (no tape recorders then - or money to buy the single either unfortuantely), and I was absolutely delighted to listen to it again!

That bass line was very simple, but enduring, and as I said, I still hum it!

Interesting that you also have it on a Sixties CD, I scoured everywhere for one those, and in desperation, my wife bought me a collection which at least had 'Excerpt from a teenage opera' on it, which is also a classic in my book!

Thanks for calling by!

Lyn said...

David L.: Have you read my page about "Go To Him", the song from a Foursights demo that was covered by a famous Australian 60s band? Link: http://www.poparchives.com.au/63/ray-brown-the-whispers/go-to-him

I'd love to hear from you with anything you can add, or if you can point out anything I've got wrong. (Click on the CONTACT ME button at the side of that page.)

It was a difficult story to research, and I'm sure there are still some gaps.