I remember it quite vividly: it was 1985, and I was sitting in the only pub of a tiny coastal village on the North Sea, nursing a small beer and staring out the window, enjoying the sunset. The pub had one of those small CRT TVs sitting on the bar, and because I was the only customer, the bar keeper asked whether he could turn it on, switching the channel to a clip show showing the latest music videos (remember those? Big thing in the eighties, especially for countries who didn’t get MTV yet [when they were still playing music]), of course presented by a person with big hair. Between the usual Michael Jackson, Madonna and A-Ha there was suddenly the most enormous big band sound filling the pub and an amazingly catchy tune made both the barkeeper and me look up and check out the clip. On the small screen where 4 obviously British chaps with a large big band doing their thing, miming away with vim and vigour and 3 minutes and 24 seconds later they were gone. I couldn’t quite understand the presenter afterwards, but I caught the word ‘idlewild’, though I didn’t know whether this was the band’s name or the song title. A few days later I tried to find the record at my various local record shops (all of them history), but nobody had heard of the track and that was that. Over the years I tried to find the record from time to time, but all I could find was stuff from the Scottish band ‘Idlewild’ which was definitely not what I was looking for. But just a few days ago, I stumbled over a link on youtube, and there they were: the same video as in 1985, with the same 4 chaps with their funny eighties pop star hairdos and the big band sound. Have a look:
Weren’t they glorious? Isn’t the song amazing?
They were called ‘Here’s Johnny’, from Liverpool and unfortunately dropped by their record company after only a few singles, not even having a single album under their belt (or a wikipedia entry – how sad is that). There is an comment under an (excellent quality) soundcloud entry of the song by Colin McKay, their songwriter:
That’s me . . . Still can’t believe nobody bought it!
True. Nevertheless, I now bought the 12″ off ebay, and while my little contribution unfortunately will not find its way into Colin’s pockets, I can blast the song now, 31 years later, through the house while I dance through the living room like a complete idiot, yelling ‘I start to shake, I start to tremble’ .
Mission accomplished, Colin.