Friday 22 April 2011

Easter Parade

"Hoi, where's the dance tunes?" I hear at least one of you mutter.

Well seeing as it's Easter, I thought me might have something different this Friday from the usual,  well,  past it's sell by date Friday feature. Another reason would be that I couldn't decide which dance track to pick on account of having given it absolutely no thought whatsoever this week.

Instead I thought that I would regale you with a story that explains no matter how many times Mr H over at The Ghost Of Electricity posts the Jones Girls or something similar I will always stick up for him and "gie him hauners" if the need ever arises.

When I was seventeen I went on my final caravan holiday with the family to Polperro, not a prospect I was overjoyed about at the time, being cooped up in the back of the car with my brother for the best part of 2 days and then spending a fortnight in a tin can on wheels with three other human beings in close proximity.

When we got there I kind of mumped and moaned my way through the first week, doing as little as possible, spending a small fortune on batteries for my red Sony Walkman and generally being an arse. However at the end of week one I met a girl from Ashington in Northumberland and things started to pick up. We had a liking for the same kind of music, Northern Soul and Indie and both had an interest in scooters.  We got on really well and were nearly inseparable for the next week,  my last but L's first.

At the end of the week as we said goodbye L gave me a tape, "something to remember me by" she said. On the way home I put the tape in the Walkman and listened to it with a heavy heart. It was all northern soul, the stuff that the purists sneer at,  Frankie Valli's The Night, The Snake, Out On The Floor and the like.  At the end of the tape however, there was a track that didn't fit in with the rest, an acoustic guitar strummed ballad sung by someone who to me at the time sounded a lot like Pete Wylie. I played the tape over and over again and made myself miserable thinking of my holiday romance. The tape however lasted only slightly longer than the relationship and snapped before I ever found out who it was by or even what the song was called.

I would be lying if I told you that ever since the song has haunted me. But it has popped into my head every so often and I have wondered what the hell the song was but had given up all hope of ever solving the mystery and over the years I had even forgotten the melody and could only remember the two words Easter Parade.

A couple of years ago while perusing the Ghost Of Electricity one day, Davy had posted a song by the Faith Brothers, a group who up until this point I had been criminally oblivious of. Davy waxed lyrical about Billy Franks so much so that I decided that he and the Faith Brothers warranted further investigation. So I visited Franks' website where there was loads of stuff to download and so I duly did. When I listened to the tracks I couldn't believe it; in amongst a lot of really good songs was the song that I had first heard from that Panda cassette over twenty years earlier and duh! it was called Easter Parade.

A few weeks later after finding a copy of a double pack Faith Brothers single containing the tune and being successful in the bidding I finally got to play the track without hiss or being ever so slightly wonky due to the tape being stretched and it was every bit as wonderful if not more and when I further found out what the single was about (wounded soldiers returning from the Falklands conflict and not being allowed to take part in the homecoming parade, at Thatcher's behest) it became even more moving.

So that is the convoluted story of why Davy H is a legend in my book.

Have a good Easter weekend people.

Faith Brothers - Easter Parade


howdoesthatonegoagain said...

Good post Drew. It's interesting how certain bits of music can come into our lives and then re-appear again through fortuitous circumstances.

Go easy on the Easter Eggs and have a good weekend!


howdoesthatonegoagain said...

Good post Drew. It's interesting how certain bits of music can come into our lives and then re-appear again through fortuitous circumstances.

Go easy on the Easter Eggs and have a good weekend!


Anonymous said...

great post - a trult under-rated band and good to hear again

davyh said...

The Jones Girls are good.

swiss adam said...

I love a song with a good story attached to it. Not heard this, looking forward to it.

Simon said...

Given your tastes from the time I'm surprised The Faith Brothers passed you by? Criminally forgotten by so many people, but they were brilliant. Country Of The Blind gets a regular listen in my house, and Easter Parade is a wonderful song.

Great post.

Mondo said...

What a tale, what a tune - and what quality blogging's all about

Scott said...

Great post Drew. Top tune by the ever wonderful Billy Franks. Have a great Easter.

dickvandyke said...

Became 1 of the most important songs in my little life too.

You will have purchased (or downloaded from Billy Franks's site) the lp 'Eventide' I'm sure.

TH said...

A great song relevant today as it was 30+ years ago. Another Faith Brother's classic is Fulham Court.

Billy Franks is still making music today